MAYA (Movement for Alternatives and Youth Awareness)

Even before people could comprehend the possibilities of social incubation in India, MAYA had already supported programs into social enterprises in order to reach scale and impact almost 2 decades ago. We are a Karnataka-based Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) working for over 25 years in the space of social transformation. We began our journey by driving change in systemic issues of education, livelihoods and health. Of our programs, 3 have become independent organisations known as Prajayatna, Maya Organic and Labournet all of which have substantial impact on the ground as NGOs/ Social Enterprises.

MAYA is currently driving a health Initiative that focuses on promoting preventive healthcare amongst urban and rural poor/marginalised.

Who we are

We have been established formally under the Karnataka Societies Registration Act of 1960 as of 19th January 1991. Our approach over the decades has been to focus on systemic issues that needed our urgent attention.

We began by working closely with street children almost 2 decades ago where we campaigned against child labour and pioneered in the space of child rights advocacy, policy and training at the grass root level. In our attempt to get children out of the street we realised that education was crucial and we evolved to into community mobilizations and ownerships of local stakeholders of schools to reform the education system from the inside. This now is known as “Prajayatna”- or “Citizens Initiative for education”.

In the past we found that many children were still dropping out of school due to the lack of employability opportunities post schooling. Here we introduced many bridge schools, prevocational and vocational training centres for youth to support them get back into mainstream jobs. This evolved into what we know today as “Labournet”.

We also intervened in Chanapatna- Karnataka by reviving the local art of Lacware toy making and supporting local artisans by adding engineering designs to an old dying art. This unit today is known as MAYA organic catering to a large international and domestic market with their unique organic handmade toys and accessories.

Our past learnings have helped us understand that health is a critical parameter in an individual’s life. This is to say we realised that no matter how much we educate a child in schools or send people back to work, all is lost when a person falls ill and gets into a debt trap. We strongly believe that “without health there is no escape from poverty!” from here began our ongoing MAYAHealth Initiative which addresses key health care delivery challenges in our country.

Our Mission “Working to create an empowered and equitable society that systematically addresses livelihood, education and health.”




This is an intervention that is active in over 50,000 schools in 3 states in India. Post incubation with MAYA, this is now an independent program. The program is currently funded by the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation. For more details log on to


This is a skill development and livelihood initiative that has trained over 100,000 workers till date. LabourNet today is an independent for-profit social enterprise aspiring to train over 500,000 individuals. LabourNet is an NSDC partner with funding from Acumen Fund. For more details log on to

MAYA Organic

This is an initiative that is being run in Channapatna. The project is focused on skill development of artisans in traditional lacquer arts. The project today provides employment to 75 people. The key outcome of the project has been to ensure that traditional lacquer based arts can be sustained in a rapidly changing global economy. For more details log on to


Over the years we have learnt that health is critical to an individual’s life hence, MAYA is now driving a health program that focus on preventive and promotive health practises in rural and semi urban communities of Karnataka. In the first 2 years of pilot phase of the MAYA model we have established the importance of preventive health care, HN model development, a training model for health navigators mainly women as micro entrepreneurs,introduce services and products in preventive health care, initiate a collective enterprise model, mapped and tied with Primary Health Centre(PHCs) and other health care service providers.

We are now looking at a second phase of 2 years to consolidate the model and build the bases for scale and impact. We plan to cover the whole Channapatna taluk with additional 90 HNs and move into one more location during the project period. Next 7 years we are driven towards impacting over 1.5 million lives.

Join us in this movement of #inspiringhealth.

© 2016 MAYA India. Confidential & Proprietary

Alex Rodrigues

Alex Rodrigues


CEO and Co-Founder of MAYA & Founder Board Member DNA Alex has over 3 decades of experience in the Development sector and has strong expertise in the areas of child labor eradication, vocational training, and livelihoods. He also has extensive experience in the Rural Sector. He has been involved in the incubation of new ventures like Prajayatna, LabourNet & Maya Organic. He is also the Board member - Prajayatna, Chairperson - Social Education & Development Society (SEDS), Executive council member - Disability NGO Alliance (DNA) and Co-Founder & Director -Social Convergence- in 2014 with the purpose to bring greater engagement of the corporate sector in the Social Space and develop capacities of the NGOs for greater social impact. In his earlier days he worked with Rural Study & Transformation Centre (RUSTIC) in the year (1978-1980); a Goa based NGO and also as the Regional Coordinator for Asia, YSM/YCS. (1981-1985,Singapore). He has worked full -time with MAYA since 2005 and over the years has been instrumental in helping build MAYA. He presently heads MAYA and with his team is building a new initiative in the health sector with a focus of creating micro entrepreneurs who deliver affordable Preventive Health Care services to the community.

Rashmi Hegde

Rashmi Hegde

Social Development Head

Born and bought up in Mangalore, she has done her Masters in Social Work in Roshni Nilaya Mangalore and has been working in the development sector for the past 25 years. She has been involved in designing and implementing large scale developmental programs and has worked with not for profits, the government and also in the corporate sector. Her contributions have been in the areas of building support structures to address child rights, livelihoods, health, and empowerment of women for sustained change. Her passion is to contribute in making this world more equitable and socially just.

S J Chander

S J Chander

Program Director

With a Sociology and Community Health Management background he has over two and half decades of experience in training, advocacy networking, research and project implementation. He currently works as a program director with Maya Health. His area of interest in Community Health has been in Urban Health, TB control. Tobacco Control, Adolescent Health and qualitative research, He has also worked in the area of HIV and Reproductive & Child Health, child nutrition and disability. He has worked with organizations such Society for Community Health Awareness Research and Action (SOCHARA),Association of People with Disability, Child in Need Institute, Calcutta, Institute of Public Health, Bangalore and Hindustan Latex Family Planning Association, (HLFPPT), Noida

Jithin Chandran

Jithin Chandran

Program Co-ordinator

Jithin V Chandran, is program co-ordinator at MAYA, he drives product development, technology integration program and monitoring. He is a BCA graduate with more than 10 years experience in the development sector at planning and management level in the areas of institutional development, health and skills development. He is a striving entrepreneur passionate about technological advancements and its scope in social sector with respect to better planning executing, reach and sharing. Currently associated with MAYA in its Health project focussed on last mile connect for promoting health and wellbeing at the doorsteps of the community

Ronika Susan George

Ronika Susan George

Strategic Partnerships

A Business Studies Graduate from Christ University- Bangalore & a Post Graduate in Development from Azim Premji University – Bangalore. Ronika has over 4 years of diverse work experience in the field of interior design and social development. Her roles range from Marketing Manager for Middle East and Africa operations to Strategic Partnerships for MAYA India. She is driving communications, program support, fundraising, internships and other partnerships for the MAYAHealth program in its scale up phase. She is deeply passionate about programs that focus on choice over charity and that can be scaled for larger impact. Apart from women empowerment / reproductive rights and Institutional building at grass root level; road safety, public policy and governance are some of her other interest areas.

Rekha Arun

Rekha Arun

Administration and Finance

Rekha Arun, working in MAYA as administration and documentation in charge since Feb 2016.Born and brought up in Coorg, she has completed her undergraduate from Kavery Women's college and her M.A. from Mangalore university. In the past she has worked as a lecturer at AMC college, as a translator at Prajayatna(NGO) and has been the Center Head of Roots Montessori School. In addition to this as a freelance translator she has translated various contents for VSET, Ekstep and IL&FS. She finds MAYAHealth programs focus on preventive health awareness, empowering women and building healthy communities makes it a unique and really inspiring place to work.

Neeraj Aggarwal

Neeraj Aggarwal

Technology and Program Management

Neeraj has completed his M. Tech ( Computer Sciences) from JNU, Delhi and has over 25 years’ experience in IT domain with last 4 years in non-profit area, with expertise in Business analysis, Project planning & Execution, Functional designing, and Development. He has strong experience in program and project management with the ability to design & manage complicated processes. In the current role, Neeraj is working as the Technology and Program Management Lead for Maya India’s Health Project. Neeraj likes to teach about technology and computers to students. He also reads Science Fiction and Philosophy books and enjoys spending time with his son.

Our Advisors

Mr Kichu Krishnan
Mr Solomon J P
Mr. Karthik Ananth
Mr. Raj Chauhan

Field Partners and Coordinators

MAYA Organic

• Shahida
• Rammaka
• Nagarathna

Board Members

Mr. Muthu Krishnan –President

Mr. Alexander Joseph Rodrigues- Chief Functionary and Secretary

Mr. Joseph Gerard Rajesh-Treasurer

Mr. Vasudev Thimmaiah-Member

Mr. Gulur Doreswamy Badrinath- Member

Mr. Basavaraju V S- Member

Mr. Karthik Anant- Member

Registration Details

We are registered under “The Karnataka Societies Registration Act, 1960” Registration Number: 765/90-51 and are certified under the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act 1976

FCRA Notifications

Funds receIved under FCRA 2016

1.Technologia - Etisalat Software Solutions Pvt Ltd - 20,00,000 date - 18th April 2016

2.Zurich Community Trust UK Ltd - 10,83,000 date 27th June 2016