Success Stories

Manoj Bhatt

manojManoj is a native son of Indian Himalayas and was a leader in the mass-movement of 1994 to create the mountain state of Uttaranchal. His association with the mass-movement convinced him that strong home work is required to strengthen the institutions of governance like Panchayats, to prepare policy recommendations and to create a network for advocacy in order to use the coming opportunity of having a small mountain state.

He joined SBMA in 1995 to be a part of the efforts of the organisation for people's empowerment. Since then, he has been a part of many programs as coordinator, manager and leader but he mainly focused his energy on strengthening of community governance in Uttaranchal.

He carried-forward the central value of the organisation that community empowerment is possible only when people have ownership on the process and government and NGOs focus their efforts on the strengths of the people rather than focusing on problems only. He believes that a sustainable development process requires partnership between community, government and NGOs.

His successful work in community development and policy issues in Uttaranchal have convinced him that the region is ripe for development rooted in conservation of scenic, cultural and biological resources.

Mr. Manoj Bhatt currently is Executive Director of Research, Advocacy and Communication in Himalayan Areas (RACHNA) that is an independent, entrepreneurial, not for profit organization committed for lasting protection of the Himalayan ecosystems. RACHNA is a growing Green Business School of the Himalayas that works for promotion of green businesses, policies, practices and behaviors.

As an orator; writer and social entrepreneur, Mr. Bhatt has been leading social movements, public policy campaigns, projects and organizations for sustainable development of the Himalayas.

As director of programs at Shri Bhuvneshwari Mahila Ashram (SBMA), one of the leading nonprofits of the Himalayas , his work has been recognized by several national and international organizations. He represented the Central Himalayan region in the Rio+5 Earth Summit organized by the UNGASS in 1997.  Mr. Bhatt worked with Future Generations, USA as special fellow for one year to become master trainer in SEED-SCALE (a methodology of community development and applied conservation). Mr Bhatt was a fellow of Rainer Arnhold Fellows Program of Mulago Foundation, USA for two years to work on effective design and strategy for conserving Himalayan ecosystems.

Mr. Bhatt has earned Mater of International Affairs (MIA) - a full time professional post graduate degree in 2005-07 from School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA), Columbia University, New York, in Environment and Development. In the same year Mr. Bhatt received Environment Protection through Incentives for Conservation (EPIC) Luce Foundation Special Fellowship Award from Columbia Business School to write case studies on Van Panchayats (Forest Councils). His academic and networking work for the Himalayas, during his studies, was recognized by the University by awarding him the Progressive Sustainability Award for 2007. Mr. Bhatt also did a certificate course in Asset-Based and Citizen Driven Development (ABCD) from Cody International Institute, St. Francis Xavier University, Canada in 2008.

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