Board of Trustees

Fr. Hermann Bacher

He is widely known as the ‘Father of participatory watershed development in Maharashtra’ for conceptualising, designing and launching the acclaimed Indo-German Watershed development Program. The successful implementation of this large-scale bilateral program laid the foundations for the setting up of the national Watershed Development Fund at NABARD by the Government of India in 1999, as well as the development of pedagogies and a huge pool of skilled personnel and that facilitated widespread up-scaling of participatory watershed development across the country. Fr. Bacher, though born and brought up in Switzerland made Maharashtra his home in his early 20”s.

Crispino Lobo

Crispino Lobo, together with Fr. Hermann Bacher, co-founded WOTR and is its Managing Trustee. Currently he heads WOTR’s sister institution, the Sampada Trust that supports livelihoods and provides empowerment and business development services to rural women. He has co-founded and is on the Boards of 2 other non-profits, namely, the Sanjeevani Institute for Empowerment and Development (SIED) and the Sampada Entrepreneurship and Livelihoods Foundation (SELF) which deals in micro-finance and financial services.

Dr. G G Parikh

A well- known 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 93, he continues to travel the 90-odd kms to Tara and continues practicing medicine at his clinic in Mumbai. He is also associated with the Khadi Gramodyog Andolan. Since 1996, Dr. Parikh has been a member of the Board of Trustees and WOTR is honoured by his presence.

Mr. Asoke Basak

When it comes to an understanding of the functioning of government agencies, there is none better than Mr. Asoke Basak, a retired IAS officer. He has served the Government of Maharashtra in various capacities including as the Additional Chief Secretary; the Chairman – Maharashtra State Electricity Board; Secretary – Water Conservation and EGS; Chief Executive Officer of Zilla Parishad, Bhir; Collector of Nasik and Nanded and Commissioner, Dairy Development. He holds a Masters degree each in Geology and Business Administration and a Diploma in Systems Management to his credit. His diverse experience in various facets of development administration has proven to be of immense support to WOTR.

Mr.Ajoy Mehta (IAS)

Mr. Mehta brings to the Board a range of competencies and experiences covering governance, policy making, technology, management and institution building. This includes stints as Collector, Municipal Commissioner, Joint Commissioner (Mumbai Municipal Corporation), Director of Horticulture (GoI), Managing Director of Maharashtra State Power Generation Company Ltd. (MAHAGENCO), Managing Director of Maharashtra State Electricity Board Holding Company Ltd. and Managing Director of the Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Ltd. (MSEDCL). Mr. Mehta holds a Bachelor of Technology in Civil Engineering from Institute of Technology, Benares Hindu University, an M.B.A. (Finance) from the U.K. and a degree in Law. Currently he is the Municipal Commissioner of Mumbai.

Dr. Marcella D'Souza

Marcella is an alumnus of the Government Medical College, Nagpur and a Takemi Fellow of the Harvard School of Public Health, Harvard University. A physician by education, she opted for Community Health early in her career. Of the over 3 decades she spent in rural areas, six years were spent on the Andes in Peru in community health and many more in the villages of India. As Programme Coordinator for women’s promotion in the Indo-German Watershed Development Programme, Marcella developed the pedagogy to integrate community health, gender concerns and women’s empowerment in the mainly male dominated, technically oriented watershed development projects.