With backgrounds ranging from public health to government service, our trustees bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to Sankalp.
Mr. Eldred Tellis founded Sankalp Rehabilitation Trust in 1995 and has been in the field of drug de-addiction work for the past 30 years. With a background in counseling, Eldred pioneered the use of harm reduction methods in the early 90’s in the Northeast Indian state of Manipur, where HIV among injecting drug users (IDUs) skyrocketed from 0 to 50% in 6 months. After he returned to his home city of Mumbai, Eldred recognized the need for programs that addressed drug abuse among the street-dwelling population and sought to create an organization that would implement elements of harm reduction as well as longer term rehabilitation. Thus, Sankalp was born.
Eldred has been a leading activist in the area of ” Access to medicine” and has a challenged many patents of drugs related to HIV, Hepatitis C, Tuberculosis and COVID-19.
Eldred has received numerous awards for his work in the field of rehabilitation and HIV prevention work including the prestigious Ashoka Fellowship and the Red Ribbon Award bestowed on Sankalp in 2008.
Bal Bhagwat has a background in civil service, serving as a member of India’s Administrative Service for 34 years. During this time he handled field job, projects, and policy-making assignments both in the State of Maharashtra and the Government of India. After his retirement as Secretary to Government of India in the Ministry of Human Resources Development in 1995, Mr. Bhagwat served as Director of the NGO C.R.Y (Child Relief and You) which works for child rights in India.
Mr. Bhagwat believes in giving back to society whatever one has earned by way of experience and knowledge. He was drawn to Sankalp by virtue of its transparent working under a committed founder in a challenging field that helps marginalized people.
Ms. Sujata Ganega holds a BA in Sociology from Wilson College and an MSW from Mumbai University. She has worked in the field of de-addiction services in India for over 25 years, and has traveled internationally to study drug abuse and rehabilitation in other countries. For over 21 years she has served as the Executive Director of SUPPORT, an NGO that provides long-term rehabilitation services to drug-using street children in Mumbai. Prior to SUPPORT, Ms. Ganega served as the Programme Director of the Drug Rehabilitation program of the NGO Apnalaya. She also serves on the Managing Committee, Jr. Red Cross, Mumbai.
Ms. Ganega was happy to join Sankalp Rehabilitation Trust as a Trustee due to her passion and interest in the field of de-addiction and rehabilitation services. She hopes Sankalp can one day start a rehabilitation programme specifically for women drug users.
Dr. Saroj S. Jha
Dr. Saroj S. Jha has been working in the field of Community Medicine at the national and international levels for over five decades. She has served as Professor of Preventive and Social Medicine at TN Medical College in Mumbai, as Chief Executive of the Aga Khan Health Board in India, and as the Ag Regional Adviser in Health Education with the WHO Regional Office for SE Asia, covering 10 countries in the region.
Dr. Jha’s desire to give back to underprivileged communities was realized when Sankalp’s founder Eldred Tellis invited her to be on Sankalp’s Board of Trustees. Dr. Jha was greatly inspired by his passion and commitment to overcome formidable challenges to improve the lives of street drug users. Dr. Jha feels privileged to be associated with Sankalp and participate in the pursuit of its laudable mission.
Mr. Krishnan holds a post-graduate degree in Economics and served in the Indian Police Service for over forty years. During this time he served in all wings of the police, including in the Armed Police Battalions, Special Branch, Foreigners’ Regional Registration Officer, and the Intelligence Bureau. He also served as the Executive Director of Vigilance and Security at Hindustan Petroleum. Since retirement, Mr. Krishnan has served as co-chair of the Anti-corruption Cell of the Public Concern for Governance Trust, Pune Chapter, in addition to working with various NGOs concerned with anticorruption, police reform, public awareness, senior citizens, and other human rights concerns.
Having been a trustee with Seva Dhan, an NGO working with an abstinence model of drug abuse treatment, where Sankalp’s Founder, Eldred Tellis, was the Executive Director, Mr. Krishnan was convinced that Sankalp would help take Mr. Tellis’ vision forward, especially with related issues like HIV and Hepatitis C.