Hard-cover • 2016
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A Shared Destiny
My Journey with CHETNA
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About the Book
<p>It was in the early 1980s that a young nutritionist, Indu Capoor, had a vision — of an India where the health and nutrition of marginalised women and children mattered. So when she was asked by a multilateral funding agency to write a proposal, she wrote a note going well beyond a project. She proposed an institution that would work as a bridge between policy and practice. And CHETNA, or Centre for Health, Education, Training and Nutrition Awareness, was born. Chetna means awareness in Hindi and several other Indian and Asian languages. This book is as much about Indu’s own awakening as it is about CHETNA, the engendered organisation. </p> <p><br /> <strong>A Shared Destiny: My Journey with CHETNA,</strong> is the story of a woman committed to a cause, and of how she has built a uniquely shaped organisation that has clear engendered work spaces, policies, structures, practices and proce-dures. It is about taking strong feminist leadership to build and run a civil society organisation that has acquired huge credibility and reputation. It is about a founder-leader moving on after three decades at the top of an organisation, <br /> and supporting the next generation to take charge. </p> <p>Entrepreneurs, leaders, indeed all working women and men, in the social sector and the corporate world, will find lessons in this book to help make the world of work more gender equal.</p>
Praise for this book
<p>Vision, tenacity, drive, commitment and a life-long commitment to keep working on solutions—Indu has it all. But it is how she has applied these qualities to design an organisation from scratch that makes this book educational.<br /> <strong>— Sushmita Ghosh,</strong> Former President Ashoka Innovators for the Public, Washington DC</p> <p> </p> <p>To birth an organisation takes the kind of courage that’s fuelled by passion, persistence and a visionary desire for change. To let go of an organisation after thirty years takes a courage fed by wisdom and a true understanding of the meaning of legacy. This is the story of a lesson in trust, an organisation of enormous calibre and a woman with the courage of a lioness.<br /> <strong>— Di Surgey,</strong> Feminist and former Director, Asian-Pacific Resource & Research Centre for Women(ARROW), Malaysia</p> <p> </p> <p>Indu Capoor’s autobiographical story of three young women coming together to set up a women-centric NGO some 35 years ago is a must read for those working on women, children and health issues. Today CHETNA is one of the better known and well respected civil society organisations of the country, but it has taken Indu and her team spirit, dedication and sheer grit to get the country to focus on rural women and adolescents and their struggles to be seen, heard and understood.<br /> <strong>— Usha Rai,</strong> Eminent Senior Journalist; Governing Council Member, CHETNA (2010-till date) </p> <p> </p> <p>Indu’s book details an incredible journey to create a gender sensitive organisation. The story of how CHETNA was created and the growth of this organisation to a world renowned organisation, is very compelling. It speaks to us about the enormity of the task and how a few people made this happen. This book would be very useful for organisations that are at an early stage of maturity. For people wanting to get an insight into leadership skills, it provides us with a good understanding of the mental models and leadership behaviours that can make or break an organisation. A highly recommended read for all developmental organisations!<br /> <strong>— Anu Waklu,</strong> Managing Director, Consultant, Coach and Facilitator, Pragati Leadership Institute, Pune; Former Governing Council Member, CHETNA (2002-2005).</p> <p> </p> <p>A fascinating account of personal and institutional growth in a sector on which so much of human well being depends.<br /> <strong>— Shri Ashoke Chatterjee,</strong> Board of Trustee, Prabhat Education Foundation, Ahmedabad; Former Executive Director, National Institute of Design (NID), Ahmedabad</p> <p> </p> <p>Indu Capoor’s book opens a window to the fascinating but changing world of gender discrimination, realities of the health of women and children in India’s hinterland, challenges in the social sector space and more importantly, how an organisation like CHETNA can whip up change and hope.</p> <p><span style="line-height: 1.6em;"><strong>— Ramesh Menon,</strong> author, film maker and editor.</span></p> <p> </p> <p>Indu Capoor’s book is a highly readable story of personal and organisational evolution. Born from a lifelong dedication to the ideals of gender equality and wholesome leadership, Indu’s narrative is both informative and compelling. This book is a must read for all those who care for co-creating more equitable organisations and evolving a society more caring towards women and the environment.<br /> <strong>— Arun Wakhlu,</strong> Executive Chairman, Pragati Leadership Institute, Pune; Former Governing Council Member, CHETNA (2006-2013)</p> <p> </p> <p>A fascinating account of the criss-cross of personal and professional challenges in the complex journey of women centred institution building.<br /> <strong>— Dr. Sharada Jain, </strong>Founder and Director Sandhan Society, Jaipur; Founding Chairperson of Governance Board, CHETNA (2002-2014)</p> <p> </p> <p>Civil society founder-leaders rarely reflect on their organisation-building experiences in India, or around the world. Even rare is the gender lens for understanding social change organisations. From both these perspectives, Indu’s story of CHETNA is remarkably and provocatively told. From young civil society leaders to students of organisation-building, a range of readers would find this book gripping.<br /> <strong>— Dr. Rajesh Tandon, </strong>Founding Member and President, Participatory Research in Asia (PRIA), New Delhi; Co-Chair, UNESCO (Community Based Research and Social Responsibility in Higher Education)</p>
<p><strong>Indu Capoor</strong> is Founder-Director of Centre for Health, Education, Training and Nutrition Awareness (CHETNA), based in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India, an organisation she started when she was just 23 years old. Trained as a nutritionist, she has spent over three decades working with women, children and young people, particularly those from marginalised communities, to improve their health and nutritional status. In 2013, Indu passed on leadership of CHETNA and took on the role of Director, CHETNA Outreach, to upscale and mainstream CHETNA’s evidence based approaches all over the globe. </p> <p> </p> <p>Widely travelled, Indu is the recipient of several national and international awards, has, extensively published and spoken about effects of gender and social determinants on maternal, young people’s, child health and rights in nearly 2,500 workshops, seminars and conferences. She was elected as an ASHOKA Associate Member in 1992 and a Global Leader on Early Childhood Care and Development (ECCD) in 2009.</p>
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