Board of Trustees

Mr. Asoke Basak, Trustee and Chairman

Mr. Asoke Basak is a retired IAS officer. He served the Government of Maharashtra in various capacities including as Additional Chief Secretary, Chairman of the Maharashtra State Electricity Board, Secretary of Water Conservation and EGS. He was also Chief Executive Officer of Bhir Zilla Parishad; Collector of Nasik and Nanded Districts and Commissioner, Dairy Development.

His diverse experience in various facets of development administration has proven to be of immense support to WOTR. He assumed the Chairmanship of WOTR in 2016 on the retirement of Father Hermann Bacher, Co-Founder and first Chairman of WOTR.

He holds 2 Master’s degrees, one each in Geology and Business Administration and a Diploma in Systems Management.

Mr. Crispino Lobo, Managing Trustee and Co-founder WOTR

Crispino is well-known in development circles for his knowledge and achievements in the fields of natural resource management, participatory watershed development and integrated water resources management.

He was the Program Coordinator of the Indo-German Watershed Development Programme (IGWDP) from 1989 till 2001. In addition to co-founding WOTR in 1993, he has co-founded 3 other non-profits – Sampada Trust (ST), Sanjeevani Institute of Empowerment and Development (SIED) and the Sampada Entrepreneurship and Livelihood Foundation (SELF).

Dr. Marcella D’Souza,Trustee and Director, W-CReS

W-CReS is headed by Dr. Marcella D’Souza. A physician by training, she opted for Community Health early in her career. Marcella is an alumnus of the Government Medical College, Nagpur and a Takemi Fellow of the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH). She has spent more than 3 decades in rural development, six years of which were spent on the Andes Mountains in Peru, South America where she established and managed an extensive community-based rural health program. Marcella joined WOTR in 1995 as the Programme Coordinator for women’s promotion in the Indo-German Watershed Development Programme (IGWDP). In this programme, she developed the pedagogy to integrate health, gender and women’s empowerment in watershed development projects, which has been widely adopted.

Mr. Ajoy Mehta, Trustee

Mr. Ajoy Mehta, a serving IAS officer and currently Municipal Commissioner, Brihan Mumbai Municipal Commission (BMC) brings to the WOTR Board a range of competencies and experiences covering governance, policy-making, technology, management and institution building.

Previously, he has served as Collector, Director of Horticulture (GOI), Joint Commissioner (Mumbai Municipal Corporation), Managing Director of Maharashtra State Power Generation Company Ltd (MAHAGENCO), Managing Director of Maharashtra State Electricity Board Holding Company Ltd, Managing Director of the Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Ltd. (MSEDCL) and Principal Secretary, Dept. of Environment, Govt. of Maharashtra.

Father Hermann Bacher, Co-Founder and Chairman Emeritus

Known as the ‘Father of people-led watershed development’ in Maharashtra, Father Bacher conceptualised, designed and launched the well-known Indo-German Watershed development Program. The successful implementation of this large-scale bilateral program laid the foundations for the establishment by the Government of India in 1999, of the National Watershed Development Fund at NABARD. This also gave impetus for the creation of a huge pool of skilled personnel and pedagogies that facilitated widespread up-scaling of participatory watershed development across the country.

Dr. G G Parikh, Trustee Emeritus

A well-known and respected freedom fighter and champion of the poor, ‘GG’ as he is known to his friends, is one of the pillars of the Yusuf Meherally Centre, an institution engaged in rural re-empowerment, located in Tara village, Panvel.

Age is not a hindrance and at 94, he continues to travel the 90-odd kilometers to Panvel while also continuing to practice medicine at his clinic in Mumbai. He is also associated with the Khadi Gramodyog Andolan.

WOTR is honoured that Dr. Parikh served as member of its Board of Trustees from 1996 to 2017


Pradip Shah runs IndAsia, a corporate finance and investment advisory company.He is a gold-medallist Chartered Accountant, Management Accountant and MBA from Harvard, who helped establish Housing Development Finance Corporation, the first retail housing finance company in India; CRISIL, the first and largest credit rating agency in India; the Indocean Fund, a pioneer private equity fund, in partnership with affiliates of Soros Fund Management and Chase Capital Partners; the AMP-IndAsia India Fund, in joint venture with AMP of Australia; Universal Trustees, for intergenerational transfer of wealth through wills and trusts; and, a social enterprise.

Dr. Ganesh Natarajan,ADVISORY COUNCIL

Dr. Ganesh Natarajan is Executive Chairman and Founder of 5F World, a platform for Digital Start-ups, Skills and Social Ventures in the country. He is also Founder of Global Talent Track and Skills Alpha and co-founder of two Indo-US Joint Ventures – Kalzoom Advisors and the Center for AI and Advanced Analytics.
Ganesh is Global Board Director and Chairman of the India Board of Social Venture Partners and Chairman of Pune City Connect, a unique collaborative platform that enables corporations to work with the Government on social and city innovation.