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Anita Ratnam

Email: [email protected]

Anita has been a visiting faculty member at the School of Dev, Azim Premji University since January 2019. Alongside this she is also the Executive Director of Samvada and Baduku Community College, an organisation that she founded in 1992 to educate and empower marginalized youth. She is also partner in Anekataa, established in 2016 to promote inclusion in the corporate workplace. Building these institutions has been her primary focus where designing and teaching livelihood courses and workshops on social justice and inclusion has been an integral part of her role.

Academic Qualifications

M.A Development Studies (1997) University of East Anglia, United Kingdom

PGDRM (1983) Post Graduate Diploma in Rural Management, IRMA, Anand

B.Com (1981) Madras Christian College, Chennai

Work Experience

1992 to Present: Founder Trustee &Executive Director, Samvada, Bangalore - an educational organisation that anchors Youth Resource Centres, Baduku Community College for Livelihoods, Youth Work Resource Centre, and a Research & Consulting Cell on Youth and Youth-hood.

1992- 1995: Acting Director, National Youth Foundation - A collective of 22 youth focused organizations across India who collaborated to empower and mobilize youth for social change.

1989-1992: Coordinator, Bangalore Centre, Student Mobilization Initiative for Learning through Exposure (SMILE) – A programme that helped university students understand social structures and social change through immersions, exposures, workshops and mentoring.

1988- 1989: Assistant Manager, Operational Programmes Cell, Indo German Social service Society, New Delhi. Responsible for managing and developing the SMILE programme

1984- 1988: Faculty Member, SEARCH, Bangalore – an organization that trained personnel of NGOs in social analysis, programme development and community mobilization

Teaching and Training

Youth, Youth-hood and Youth work
Sociology of Work
Project Management
Women’s Wellness
Women and Work

Publications and Writings
  • Career Guidance and Social Inclusion in the Context of Caste in a Globalising India’, Chapter in Career Guidance and the Struggle for Social Justice in a Neo-liberal World’ (Eds.) Tristram Hooley, Ronald G. Sultana and Rie Thomsen, London: Routledge
  • Traditional Occupations in a Modern World: Career Guidance, Livelihood Planning, and Crafts in the Context of Globalization. In: Arulmani G., Bakshi A., Leong F., Watts A. (eds) Handbook of Career Development (2014). International and Cultural Psychology. Springer, New York, NY
  • 'Traditional occupations in a modern world: implications for career guidance and livelihood planning', International Journal for Educational and Vocational Guidance, vol.11, no.2, 2011
  • Ratnam, Anita and Nitya Vasudevan. 2018. “The personal and pedagogical in the 21st century: experiments in learning about marriage”, in Learning Beyond the School: International Perspectives on The Schooled Society, eds. Julian Sefton-Green and Ola Ershad, Routledge.
  • Dalit, Devanahalli and some Difficult Questions, Deccan Herald, February 19, 2007
  • Bringing diversity and democracy in Campus, The Companion,  July 11, 2014,
  • Ammu’s Death Strips Garment Industry of Halo, Deccan Herald, March 08, 2007
  • A Dark Side to the Night Work Ban, Deccan Herald, Edit Page, May 06 2007
  • Modi, Taslima and the Roots of Fundamentalism, Deccan Herald, December 10, 2007
  • Its Immoral to Say No to Sex Education, Deccan Herald, Panorama , May 29, 2007
  • Review of film Parzania on the Gujarat genocide, published in Deep Focus 2007 and in countercurrents
  • Defining Youth – A Challenging Task, VOICES, Madhyam, Vol2 No.1 1998.


  • ICCO policy paper on Strategic Interventions for Youth in the South Asia Region in 2009. (ICCO is the inter church organization for development cooperation, Netherlands)
  • Women in Hindutva Agenda: Construction of womanhood and issues of women's cooption/empowerment Paper Presented at Seminar on Politics of Location, organized by Hengasara Hakkina Sangha, Bangalore November 2005, Published 2006
  • Coordinated and researched the Karnataka part of a study on "Gender and the Judiciary" published by SAKSHI, New Delhi (1997).
  • Illegal and Unethical practices of Pawn Brokers vis a vis the Urban Poor in Bangalore, Samvada 1998- Unpublished.
  • Incidence and Impact of Childhood Sexual Abuse of Girls - in and around Bangalore, Samvada (1994).

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