Meet Our Team
We're a cross-cultural team, passionate about creating opportunities for rural communities, prioritizing lifelong learning, and ecological balance toward positive change.
“Madad, mehnat aur mannat (help and hard work, good wishes) are never wasted. If people achieve their dreams through my work, my dream would be achieved.”
Abodh began working at his father's blacksmith workshop in Bihar at a young age. At 10, he started his own street juice stall and with his first earning bought a Sanskrit grammar book for Rs. 7.5! He further went on to self-fund his high school and college!
His drive toward personal development and community impact has led him to lead all our community activities and bring key on-ground insights to our strategic decisions.
Associate Director - Youth Programs, OD
Arathi is a Mechanical and Aerospace Engineer by qualification and a Development Professional by choice.
With us, she forefronts our youth engagement functions and team capacity building. She brings on board an essential element to our team: the ability to merge organizational processes and individual buy-in.
Arathi is a Malayali by roots and grew up in Singara Chennai. She strongly believes that when people, specifically youth and adolescents have the right tools, they realize the power within themselves to transform their lives, their families, and their communities.
Cook, Operations Associate
Dharoni’s previously sought work in Mumbai but faced disappointment with unfulfilled promises from contractors. He was working at the local itta-bhatta (brick kiln) when he learned of an opportunity as a cook at eArthshala.
Today he manages all aspects of our kitchen and has taken full ownership of our waste management practices, ensuring that we have proper segregation and material recovery systems.
He enjoys volleyball and 90s Bollywood music.
Eureka found us (pun intended) on her self-designed learning journey in 2016. As an architect, inspired by eArthshala's vision she joined in envisioning, developing, and managing it. Her role has evolved into multiple aspects of our operations as she enjoys bringing in systems thinking and design thinking approaches to our processes.
She has been a Jagriti Yatri, an UnSchool Fellow, and has shared our journey at Tedx.
She believes that solutions lie in interdisciplinary zones and that architecture cannot work in isolation. She has been a local in Assam, Goa, and Kolkata and today lived for Bihar’s sattu paratha.
Program Manager (eArth Nirmaan)
Gokul is an architect with an interest in earthen habitat, sanitation, and waste management - while still in college his personal drive nudged him to built toilets in rural Tamil nadu using discarded styrofoam under Swachh bharat mission.
He has hands-on experience in sustainable construction practices and techniques such as vaults, domes, filler slabs, poured earth, and lime plasters; which is a great bonus to our construction management at eArthshala.
Gokul dreams to be a sage or monk at later stage of life.
Cook, Housekeeping Support
Kabita belongs to Chanabadi - a small village right besides our eArthshala campus in Bihar. She is currently working as a cook in eArthshala and overlooks housekeeping responsibilities in the campus. Prior to joining Project Potential, Kabita was working for 7 years in a tea garden.
Kabita thoroughly enjoys listening to Hindi songs of the 90s and keeps her infectious smile on at all times!
Master Trainer & Foreman:
Civil and Earth construction
Starting as a mason from Saharsa, Bihar Narayan ji has 3 decades of work experience behind him. In 2008 when the River Kosi submerged his village he was inducted into the rehabilitation efforts by Hunnarshala Foundation - paving the way for his expertise in sustainable building techniques.
His portfolio of work includes Muzaffarnagar (post-riot) rehabilitation at METI school, in Bangladesh.
With his conscious routine and mannerisms, knowledge of plant-based cures, and sage-like life advice - he is in many ways our north star!
Admin and Accountant
Raj Kishore is from Supaul, where his tight-knit family lives. His career began as a math and computer teacher at Pratham's CLC program from 2010-2013. He honed his skills as a trainer in their CAMaL method. and continued to nurture it with Project Potential thereafter
With a degree in Computer Application and DPCTT, he secured a data entry job in Pune but longed for family life and social action.
He has played a critical role in addressing our many evolving operational needs.
He's our Prince of hospitality and enjoys cricket, music, and movies.
Tea Plantation Supervisor
Sanjay started farming at 13 on his family farm in the same village as eArthshala. He moved to Delhi at 17 and worked in factories for six months. He returned home in 1996 to learn about tea plantations and learned the ropes of managing a 60-acre plantation. Fast forward two decades, he met us as part of the land he managed was set to be eArthshala. Sanjay is our living one-stop resource for local tea plantation history.
He also plays a key role in our community-based activities
When not busy caring for our farm, he enjoys interacting with people and always has stories to share.
Community Programs Associate
Savita is a key on-ground teammate of ours. A fellow in our street theatre, reaching out to more than 50,000 people and conducting theatre workshops school children and the overseeing the mobilization of 2.3L people through our covid response work - gaining creative and effective problem solving skills along the way.
Savita has lately been investing her time in self-learning English through online resources and also jumped on the bandwagon of youngsters who enjoy creating reels.
Saquib, who holds an engineering diploma, had to leave his hometown in Bihar in search of job opportunities and landed a job at L&T in Delhi, but his passion for socially contextual construction work brought him back to Bihar when he learned of the opportunity to join our team.
As a site engineer, he oversees our construction project at eArhtshala’ ensuring we meet targets, adhere to quality standards, and stay within budget.
Saquib enjoys learning new languages and watching movies in his free time.
Associate Program Manager - Youth Programs
Shubhangi, feel she is an ordinary girl on a journey of self-development and nation-building. As a Gandhi fellow, she delved into grassroots organizations in Bihar, enjoying the process of learning and unlearning.
With a Bachelors in Mathematics and Masters in Development Studies, Shubhangi puts academic theories to the test on-ground, contextualizing them to Bihar's unique needs. Her belief that actions speak louder than words drives her passion for effecting real change.
She finds joy in traveling and crowdsurfing, forming connections and creating families in every state she visits.
Sulendar is from a village neighboring eArthshala; but learned his driving skills in Jaipur, electrical wiring work in Delhi, and then also went on to learn mobile phone and laptop repairing and wedding videography!
At eArthshala he is able to bring all these skills into his role as a Maintenance Supervisor and also support Sanjay ji in managing our tea plantation and our sales
Speak to him and you’ll find a budding social entrepreneur in Sulendar.
Master Trainer: Carpentry and Bamboo
Surat ji is a master craftsman and lifelong learner who is the brain behind all our bamboo and woodwork. Despite farming being an important aspect of his life, he found his true calling in craftsmanship, honing his skills extensively with bamboo in Sikkim before returning to Bihar.
He is not only skilled, but also compassionate towards wildlife, creating intricate nests for birds, tending to his flourishing kitchen garden with care, and building his own house entirely on his own.
Without Surat ji, eArthshala would be a very different place.
Associate Manager - Youth Programs and Communications
Tonmoy joined us as an AIF Clinton Fellow, and coordinated our public health projects on TB along with Covid 19 relief, awareness and vaccination initiatives.
An Assamese at heart and an avid dreamer, Tonmoy was raised in a small oil refinery township in Assam, named Numaligarh Refinery Township.
A strong believer in equitable/sustainable policy making, Tonmoy is currently on his quest to find his definition of impact. His ultimate dream in life is to use his knowledge and experience to work towards the upliftment of his home state - Assam.
In his free time, Tonmoy enjoys watching cinema (especially documentaries), reading up on human psychology, and going for runs.
Zubin began his journey in Bihar in 2012 as a Pratham volunteer during a gap semester, where he met Abodh. He holds a BA in Pol. Sc. and SA Studies, an MS from UPenn and an MPP from Yale (on a full scholarship). He has been an Acumen Fellow, N/Core Incubatee, and Penn Social Impact House fellow, and has been invited to speak at various public events, including TEDx and Jagriti Yatra, and Babson India Symposium.
Born and brought up in New York, Zubin has spent nearly a decade of his early adult life in rural Bihar. He is dedicated to creating intellectual learning communities that are committed to the principles of self-determination, social justice, and environmental sustainability.
He makes sure to run each day, and can always pull out a basketball analogy for any life situation!
Meet Our Interns and Fellows
Exploring, inspiring, and driving positive change—they embody our values of lifelong learning, embracing opportunities, and on-ground action.
Youth Coordinator - RIYL
Akriti is a resident of Chhattergachh, a village in Kishanganj. An avid reader, she considers herself to be studious and gives immense credit to her parents for fostering an environment which encouraged curiosity. A B.Sc Zoology graduate, Akriti first associated with us as a Supervisor in our response to the pandemic.
Today she is as youth coordinator in our Rural India Youth Leadership program, and aspires to work on herself and explore her wishes and aspirations - both at a personal and professional level.
She is still not over Harry Potter and the brilliance of JK Rowling.
Youth Coordinator - RIYL
Bharti was born in Galgaliya village of Kishanganj. She completed her graduation from Thakurganj and then moved to Haridwar, Uttarakhand to complete her B.Ed in 2021. Being the eldest child in the house, Bharti is cognisant of the immense responsibilities being borne by her and thereby, wants to fulfil them in the best possible manner and set the right examples for her younger siblings.
Having had work experiences across different domains such as being a beautician, training women to become tailors, Aadhar operator, etc.; Bharti joined us as a supervisor in our Coronavirus Response Project.
Bharti considers issues of girl child and women extremely close to her heart. She aspires to inspire women to find their own voices, become independent and consider their own needs as well as the needs of others.
Youth Coordinator - RIYL
Madhumita was born and brought up in Thakurganj. Professionally, she has consistently been involved in the space of community engage and development work.
In her personal life, Madhumita is a mother, a sister, daughter and a wife. While being a part of the Project Potential family, Madhumita further aspires to strengthen her skills as a social worker and get better at her job.
For Madhumita, her happiness lies in assisting people in solving their problems and engaging in social work serves as a medium for her to achieve the same.
Youth Coordinator - RIYL
Born and brought up at a village in Thakurganj block, Rohit completed his bachelor’s degree in Geography from Kishanganj. His experience of working in Tribal Integrated Development and Education Trust (TIDE) - a subsidiary of the Adarsh Gramin Yojna gave Rohit a much needed and a life altering experience of experiencing the challenges being faced by communities in the grassroots, leading to his desire to work in the social sector.
Rohit believes in the power of stepping outside one’s comfort zone to achieve growth as a person. Filled with heaps of energy and liveliness, Rohit is supremely looking forward to being and working with us.
With a degree in Political Science, Dharmendar faced challenges in finding office jobs due to family preferences and lack of local opportunities. Undeterred, he embraced being an artisan and taking up jobs in the village, leading to joining in the making of eArthshala. He enjoys riding the bike on a rainy day!
Words from Our Past-Teammates
Hear from our past teammates who played a crucial role in shaping PP's culture, values and successes thus far.
To this very day, Project Potential Trust remains the best organization that I’ve worked for. I had the amazing opportunity to support PPT from 2017-2018 and together we held our first major celebration at eArthshalla. I learned far more from the PPT team than they might have learned from me. My small contribution was to begin thinking of the best organization practices (HR) for the growing PPT team; since then the PPT team has expanded significantly and grown their practices to fit their organization’s culture and style. Thankful for my time with Project Potential.