Service before Self

Our Story

The thought of setting up an institution that nurtures young people for politics was first kindled in 2013.


Over the years, in our journeys in the learning and development space, we learned that it is possible to set people on the path of personal transformation for service. 

We asked ourselves, why not do the same for politics and democracy?


In 2018,  we laid the seeds for the foundation for Indian School of Democracy to become an institution for nurturing principled leaders. 


The people at Indian School of Democracy come from diverse backgrounds, but we share the same unwavering principles, vision, and values that reside in the idea of sarvodaya.


We are passionate about nation building and carry an unflinching dedication to India and its people


Our Team


Prakhar Bhartiya

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An engineer and a Teach for India 2011 Fellow, Prakhar is the founder of the grassroots leadership organization Youth Alliance (YA).


Over the past seven years, Prakhar built YA from ground up and created immersion journeys into rural India for the youth. A mentor to multiple social entrepreneurs, Prakhar also serves on the board of Kat Katha and Shikshartha.


In 2018, Prakhar moved to Columbia University, New York to pursue his Masters in Public Administration where he also engages in building the academic depth and network required to make Indian School of Democracy a success.


Prakhar makes work fun for himself and for those around him. Conversations over coffee are his food for thought. Inspired by Vinobha, he wants to walk across India and commit his life towards connecting hearts.


Anita Manoharan

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Anita Manoharan, recently completed her Masters in Public Administration & International Development, from the London School of Economics. Anita is a 2010 Teach For India fellow, and has worked with the Program Team in Delhi for many years. Anita’s core experience is in program design, coaching and training, but her passion is people development and building enduring relationships.


Anita also holds a Masters in English Literature from Lady Shri Ram College for Women, Delhi University, specialising in post-colonial literature and gender.


Anita is an environmentalist and wants to open animal rehabilitation centres across the country in the future.

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Hemakshi Meghani

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Hemakshi Meghani graduated from Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) with a Master’s in Public Policy as a World Bank Graduate Scholar. She started her journey as a Teach For India fellow in 2011, has worked with Boston Consulting Group (BCG), and was a part of two start-ups in education and socio-political consulting space.


Hemakshi has attended and facilitated various leadership forums across the world, and is a trained coach in adaptive leadership. She is very passionate about politics, bottom-up social reform and making democracy work for every citizen of the country. 


She enjoys travelling to remote parts of the country, and going on outer and inner journeys. Hemakshi’s dream is to become a farmer someday.


Kailas Gite

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Kailas comes from hinterlands of India, and has been working towards rural development for five years. He has grown to become a researcher discussing public policy, governance and leadership.


Kailas did his post graduation in Economics from the Fergusson College, Pune and founded a non profit organisation by the name of Praas Development Foundation and Sarpanch Leadership. He has rich work experience with the Youth Welfare Office, Government of Uttar Pradesh. Kailas is also a poet, painter and an author.

It’s a humble, incredibly rewarding, and challenging mission to build the India we dream of.


Exciting challenges lie ahead—new regions, people, and problems to solve.


Join us If you believe you can make a difference!

Our Mentors

Indian School of Democracy is advised by mentors with a diverse and long-standing set of experiences.


This collaborative leadership sets us apart and reflects our core principles.


They guide us with independent expert advice on research, organizational structure, and policy matters.

Prof. Ashutosh Varshney

Professor, Brown University

Author & Expert-Indian Democracy

Anurag Behar

Azim Premji University,

and APPI

Arun Maira

Ex Planning Commission,

BCG India Chairman, TAS

Irfan Nooruddin

Director, India Initiative,

Professor - Georgetown

Milan Vaishnav

Director & Sr. Fellow, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

Preeta Bansal

MIT Media Lab,

Sr. Lawyer-Obama Administration

Dr. Simon Chauchard

Asst. Professor, Leiden University

Tara Krishnaswamy


Shakti - Political power to Women

CC BY-SA2020 Indian School of Democracy | Proudly created by Content Conspiracy

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