Mr. Banshidhar Behera is a social visionary and a champion of change who has dedicated his life to the cause of empowering the poor and marginalized communities of Odisha. With over four decades of experience in the social development sector, he is the founder and secretary of AJSA (Anchalik Jana Seva Anusthan), a grassroots organization that has been working tirelessly for the last 33 years to bring about holistic transformation in the lives of thousands of people across western Odisha. He has also been instrumental in leading various humanitarian interventions during the drought crisis in the 90s as part of Oxfam India.
Mr. Behera’s work has earned him accolades and appreciation from various quarters, including the state government, the media, and international agencies. He has been awarded by the M.S Swaminathan Foundation for his innovative initiatives in promoting organic farming and livelihood security among rural communities. He has also received the social change maker award in 2017 for his remarkable achievements in the field of social work. He is an active member of several national and international organizations and networks that work on diverse issues such as global development, disaster risk reduction, water and sanitation, child rights, climate change, and civic engagement including Global Development Network (GDN), ALNAP, GNDR, WSSCC Geneva, End water Poverty and UN Global Compact etc.
Mr. Behera is not only a leader but also a writer and a poet who has expressed his passion and compassion through his words. He has written hundreds of articles, features, and poems on the plight of the people and the socio-economic, political, and developmental challenges facing Odisha. He has also authored several books on the development sector, sharing his insights and learnings from his rich experience.