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ESG Team


Robert John ChandranDr. Robert John Chandran is a Tropical Plant Ecologist presently a Fellow at the Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and Environment, Bangalore. He has worked as a Smithsonian Fellow at the Dept. of Botany, University of Georgia, USA and University of Illinois. He has a Ph.D. from the Centre for Ecological Sciences, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore and his past degrees include M. Sc. and M Tech from Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi. His research interests include tropical forest ecology and management, conservation biology, protected area management and land use policy.  He is currently working full time as an Assistant Professor, Department of Biological Sciences,  Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Kolkata. Email: robert.chandran[@]gmail.com 


Arthur PerieraArthur Pereira is an active human rights activist in Mangalore and has successfully led the demand for fair compensation by Dalit and minority communities due to the Bajpe airport for over a decade now. He played a key role in mobilizing communities affected by the Airport expansion plan in Bajpe and also fought the expansion of the airport at the State High court and later at the Supreme Court on grounds of safety.  He is well versed on matters relating to Land Acquisition and has helped hundreds of farmers to benefit from the provisions of Land Reforms Act. His expertise also lies in building homes and rain water harvesting units to ease the struggle for water in major cities such as Bangalore, Mangalore and Mysore. Email: arthujpereira[@]gmail.com


Bhargavi finalBhargavi S. Rao
 graduated in Environmental Science and is a Botanist with an M’Phil degree in Aerobiology from Bangalore University. She also has a post graduate diploma in Journalism. Her initial research experience was in the areas of Microbiology and Cell Biology and she has worked at the Microbiology and Cell Biology Department of the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore. She has co-authored research papers in journals like Current Science and  Virology. She has had teaching experience as a lecturer in Botany and Microbiology at The BMS College for Women, Bangalore and also as a high School Teacher in Geography and Economics at the Sri Aurobindo Memorial School, Bangalore. Her interest in Environmental and Social justice issues brought her to Environment Support Group (ESG), where she has taken a leading role in a wide variety of Research and Educational projects and Campaign initiatives. She coordinates educational and training programmes at ESG with a focus on enhancing awareness and critical engagement in social and environmental justice issues. She has co-worked as Coordinator and faculty of the India sector of the ‘Cities of the 21st Century’ and ‘Health and Community’ courses of the International Honors program, a study abroad program from 2002-2009.   Bhargavi is also Resident Director of the India Centre of the Minnesota Studies in International Development, a division of the Learning Abroad Centre of University of Minnesota, USA. Bhargavi has also been a guest faculty at the Simpson Centre for Humanities, Washington University, Seattle in 2013. She has been a co-speaker at many of the talks and workshops on the issues of Environment and Social Justice in Universities across USA, Germany, Vietnam and China. In recognition of her long standing contribution in the voluntary sector, the Association for India’s Development has awarded her the AID “Saathiship” (2010-2013).  Her interests include Environmental Education, Experiential Education, Environmental health, Biodiversity, Traditional and Indigenous knowledge, Governance, Gender Issues, Law, Public Policy and Urban and Community studies. Email: bhargavi[@]esgindia.org


Leo finalLeo F. Saldanha
 is full-time Coordinator of ESG. He has gained wide-ranging experience in the areas of Environmental Law and Policy, Decentralisation, Urban Planning and a variety of Human Rights and Development related issues, working across many sectors for over a decade. He is a keen campaigner on critical environmental and social justice issues and has guided several campaigns demanding evolution of progressive laws and effective action. He has creatively supported various distressed communities to secure justice through public interest litigations and advocacy efforts, arguing as party in person several public interest litigations, many of which have resulted in remarkable judgments. In 2007, he co-authored the book “Green Tapism: A Review of the Environmental Impact Assessment Notification-2006” (2007) with team members at ESG. He has since co-authored "Tearing through the Water Landscape: Evaluating the envionmental and social consequences of POSCO project in Odisha, India" (20011), "Forfeiting our Commons: A Case for Protecting and Conserving Challakere's Amrit Mahal Kavals as Livelihoods-Supporting, Biodiversity-Rich and Ecologically-Sensitive Grassland Ecosystems" (2013), and a comprehensive review report of Environmental Decision Making in Karnataka State, in particular the State Environmental Clearance Committee (2014), amongst others. His papers and articles have appeared in many leading new papers, journals and magazines. Recently, he has contributed papers in "India's Risks: Democraticing the Management of Threats to Environment, Health and Values" (OUP, 2014) and "Living Rivers, Dying Rivers" (OUP, 2015). Leo facilitates a variety of learning programmes on environmental and social justice concerns for a wide range of audiences. He was the Country Coordinator and Faculty of the "Cities in the 21st Century" and "Health and Community" courses of the International Honours Programme, USA from 2002-2009. He has a background in Environmental Science and has been invited as a speaker by organisations and universities across the world. In August 2010, he was invited as a speaker at the International Forum on China's Rural Reform in the 12th Five-Year Plan Period organised by the  Chinese Insitute for Reform and Development, a Chinese Government think-tank for reform in policy decision-making. In recognition of his contribution to environmental and social justice efforts, Association for India's Development, USA, made him their first  Saathi. Email. leo[@]esgindia.org


ESG Team

Mallesh- new

Mallesha K.R. is with ESG from the time of its inception. He has a degree in Sociology and has more than two decades of experience in field  assisting in various ESG campaigns, educational programmes, Public Interest Litigation and administration work. He hails from Coorg and has a deep understanding of the agricltural practices in India and the changing scenario. He was invited to University of Washington Seattle in 2013 for giving a talk titled “Who knows what, what it means”. Presently, he is the Coordinator- Field and he plans and implements programmes in rural Karnataka. Email:mallesh[@]esgindia.org 




Pushpalatha B has a Bachelors Degree in commerce, with Diploma in Secretarial Practice and P.G. Diploma in Human Resource Management from Mysore University. Pushpa has earlier worked with children away from school and helped in bringing them into mainstream schooling. She has a deep understanding of rural school education and health system. In ESG she works as Library and Logistics Manager. She has experience of nearly two decades in office administration, accounts, documentation, training activities, fellowship programmes, preparation of training manuals and HR activities. In ESG she works as Library and Logistics Manager where she manages the ESG library and assists in administrative, educational and training activities. Email: pushpa[@]esgindia.org 



SusheelammaSusheelamma ensures everyone at ESG eats wholesome and healthy food.     





S. Subha supports in the upkeep of ESG office and gives everyone a clean and healthy place to work.





Advisory Panel          

Dr. T.B Dinesh is the Founder and technology Director of Servelots (1999), which develops cost effective open source solutions and services. Servelots develops Pantoto, a collaborative open source platform.Dinesh is also an active member of the environmental group Hasiru Usiru and has provided open source web-based technology support to National Folk lore institute, and various community based tourism initiatives, pastoral communities as well as NGOs through Janastu (a non-profit trust). His current projects also involve browser based Open Course Ware in Computer Science education and Web accessibility for Inclusion of non-literate communities. Email:dinesh[@]servelots.com

Madhu Bhushan works with Vimochana, meaning liberation, initiated in 1979 by women and men from within the Centre for Informal Development Studies (CIEDS)collective, that had come together in 1975 to seek a just, humane and creative society rooted in transformative politics. Vimochana grew out of the need for a public forum that would stand for organised resistance to the increasing violence on women and would be assertive in challenging the pervading apathy to the problems of women in the context of larger structures of violence and power. Madhu is a leading activist in India to assert the rights of women and disenfranchised communities. Email: madhu_bhushan2005[@]yahoo.co.in