Leadership and Team

Basanta Kumar Kar – Chief Advisor Cum Mentor

Basanta Kumar KarFondly known as ‘Nutrition Man’, Basanta is an international development professional who has won numerous accolades and has a broad experience of leading and managing large country and regional programs. He held leadership positions in credible national and international non-profit and social business organisations of repute and represents in numerous policy and advisory bodies. An organisation transformation change leader, Basanta has the ability to take the organisation to a new height and global reach.

For food and nutrition sector contribution, Basanta was conferred with the most prestigious Global Nutrition Leadership Award(2019), ‘Hero of the Decade’ recognition for contribution to the Swachh and Swasth (Clean and Healthy) India (2019), Government of India’s recognition on contribution to POSHAN Abhiyaan; Honourable Prime Ministers Scheme for Holistic Nourishment (2018),‘Transform Nutrition Champion’ Award for India and Bangladesh(2016) and Odisha Living Legend Award (2016). Basanta was featured in IFPRI’s Book on Nourishing Millions and was nominated for India Innovation Award (2006). He authored numerous articles and collection of poems.
Follow Basanta @basantak


Ms. Mona Jethwa- Regional Programme Officer- Odisha and Jharkhand

Mona JethwaMs. Mona Jethwa- Regional Programme Officer- Odisha and Jharkhand; is an MSc in Public Health from Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge, UK and an MSc in Dietetics and Food Services Management from India. She has a 12 year rich professional track record of serving in the malnutrition sector in Government as well as the NGO sector, both at the State and the National level.

She was the key nutrition resource in the design, roll out and programme management of POSHAN Abhiyaan, under the Ministry of Women and Child Development, Government of India. Earlier, as State Nutrition Manager, Department of Women and Child Development, Odisha, she has led the State and District Teams in planning, design and execution of the Nutrition Operation Plan and other malnutrition reduction programmes for women and children.


Priyamvada Kowshik, Head, Knowledge management

Priyamvada KowshikPriyamvada has been a senior development professional and communication specialist with nearly two decades of experience. She has edited international magazines on health and nutrition and built the digital knowledge platform for a television channel. She has previously worked for the Indian Express newspaper, the Outlook group, India Today group and Zee group. Her work has been intersectional and multi-platform, centring around highlighting sustainable solutions to food and nutrition security and community health issues. She has produced print and audio-visual knowledge products documenting traditional and indigenous food systems that support agro-biodiversity and ensure nutritional security. She has also worked on mapping performance and challenges of policy frameworks supporting public health insurance in Uttar Pradesh. Her interest area is building nutrition narratives using data, technology, social media and community knowledge of local ecologies and sustainable practises.


Ms Pratibha Chaturvedi – Regional Program Officer (Madhya Pradesh & Chhattisgarh)

Mona JethwaMs Pratibha Chaturvedi – Regional Program Officer – Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh; has quality experience of nine years in Maternal and Child Nutrition, Health, Digital Health, Early Childhood Education and Early Childhood Development. She has a Masters in Social Work, Diploma in Early Childhood Care and Education and a Green Belt in Lean Six Sigma Management.

She has handled Program Management, Monitoring and Evaluation, Documentation, SBCC, Curriculum Development, Training,Capacity building and Knowledge Management with stakeholders such as MOHFW, ICDS, WCD, UNICEF while working for six geographies – Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka.

She has a quantitative and analytical aptitude and has a keen interest in improving efficiency of Program with evidence based and data driven approaches.She likes to upskill her expertise regularly and spends her spare time exploring Nature.


Ms. Susmita Lali Kerketta, Regional Programme Officer- Assam and North Eastern States

Susmita Lali KerkettaMs. Susmita Lali Kerketta, Regional Programme Officer- Assam and North Eastern States; has experience of 20+ years in Program development, implementation, and management. She is a dynamic and result-oriented development professional with a Master’s degree in Gender Development from the Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex, UK. She has successfully delivered various social sector projects and has experience in dealing with Governments, Civil Societies, and diverse stakeholders.

She worked in different capacities in different projects with CARE India, Western Orissa Livelihood Project, Intra Health International, Project Concern International, Society for Child Development and IPE Global Limited. She has provided technical support in Health, Nutrition, and livelihood projects to the Health, ICDS, and Social Welfare departments of the Government of Rajasthan, Jharkhand, and Bihar, and Uttar Pradesh.

She has been awarded the prestigious Ford Foundation Scholarship under “International Fellowship Program and “Award of Excellence” by Project Concern International, in recognition of outstanding achievement and contribution towards PCI’s Programmes, Mission and for representing “The Values of PCI”.


Manisha Pandit – Assistant Manager, Knowledge Management, Membership Engagement and Communication

Manisha PanditManisha is a policy researcher by profession, doing her doctoral thesis on Health Policy Research in reference to Maternal Health in India from Central University of Himachal Pradesh. Along with this she did a three weeks course on Global Research and Evidence with reference to Maternal Health from London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Her current research focuses on enhancing health system performance by strengthening health coverage to meet the targets in maternal health care. One of her particular research interest looks at the policy approaches to ensure access to care among pregnant women through the increased utilization of the public health facilities. Her understanding on institutional approaches towards the allocation of resources and the current policy reforms to strengthen the maternal healthcare system in a holistic way is reflected through her deliberations in the form of academic and popular writings.


Mr. Bighnaraj Behera – Assistant Manager- Finance, Administration and Resource Mobilisation

Bighnaraj BeheraMr. Bighnaraj Behera has his excellence in the field of finance, account finalization, account handling, dealing with legal compliances, audit queries and related matters. He has an experience of working with various national Non-Profit Organizations.

Mr. Behera has a strong knowledge of statutory audit, internal audit, financial reporting, ROC & GST matter, as well as FCRA compliances etc.


Mr Deepak Kumar – Program Officer(PO), Jharkhand

Mr Deepak KumarDeepak Kumar is a trained public health professional with an expertise on health and nutrition issues. He has over 7 years of experience working with research, development and government organizations with a focus on equity and social justice. He earned his Master’s Degree in M.A in Development (Health & Nutrition) from Azim Premji University, Bangalore. Prior to joining CFNS, he worked as a Project Coordinator in Doctors For You where he led a team in Jharkhand on Digital Health & Covid-19 Response and health system strengthening.

Deepak has extensive experience implementing large-scale health projects for the Mac Arthur Foundation, Open Society Foundation, UNFPA, UNICEF, IKEA Foundation, International Cooperation of Development Fund, Taiwan (among others) in Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, and Jharkhand (among others) with organisations such as the Centre for Health and Social Justice, Delhi, Public Health Resource Society, and many other civil society organisations in Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, and Jharkhand. In the fields of maternal health, health rights, malnutrition, maternal infant and young child nutrition, strengthening local governance, he has provided technical assistance.


Dr Mukesh kumar Sahoo – Regional Program Officer (RPO), Jharkhand & Odisha

Dr Mukesh kumar SahooDr.Mukesh Sahoo- Regional Programme Officer- Odisha and Jharkhand; he is having Master's (Health Administration) in Public Health from Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai. He has a 6 year rich professional track record of serving in the Public Health sector in Charitable Hospital, Govt sector as well as the NGO sector. Having experience in project management, research analysis, data analysis, monitoring and evaluation, program design and on ground program execution.He was the key person in the design, roll out and programme management of the State and District Teams in planning, design and execution of the Nutrition Rehabilitation for Palliative Care,ICDS, CLMC and other programmes for women and children at School, College, Facilities (SC, PHC, CHC and DHH) and Anganwadi level. He worked in different capacities in different projects with Holly Cross, Tata Trusts(Cancer Program), NHM (Maharastra) and PATH. He has provided technical support in Health(CLMC ,Cancer, Oxygen Ecosystem, E Sanjeevani, IPHL, RSBY, PM-JAY), Nutrition(NRC), ICDS and Lab automation with NHM & Government of Chattisgarh, Maharastra, and Odisha."


Nar Bahadur Thapa, Support Staff

Nar Bahadur Thapa
Nar Bahadur Thapa is with the Coalition team since a very long time. He helps in managing the day-to-day activities within the organisation. He ensures the comfort of all members so that everyone can work up to their maximum potential. He is one of the most valuable employees of the Coalition.