Ms. Bharati Chakra
State Head- Odisha State Office, HelpAge India
Area of Expertise- Child & Elderly Protection, Health and DRR
Bharati Chakra is a social development professional who has been making a difference in the lives of marginalized and excluded communities in Odisha for over 23 years. She has a postgraduate degree in Rural Development and in Public Administration, a passion for working on various thematic issues such as elderly rights, women’s rights, child rights, climate change, community forestry, migrant workers’ rights, disability rights, and disaster risk reduction. She is currently the Joint Director and State Head of HelpAge India, an organization that works for the rights and welfare of the elderly population. She leads various initiatives such as advocacy, awareness, health care, livelihood, and disaster response for the senior citizens in Odisha.
She started her career with ActionAid India, where she participated in the long-term rehabilitation of the Super Cyclone survivors in Jagatsinghpur district in 2000. Since then, she has worked with reputed organizations such as Vasundhara and Save the Children and has represented them in various national and international forums. She has played an active role in disaster response in Odisha since 2000 in various roles in her respective organizations. She is also the vice-chairperson of the Inter-Agency Group, a humanitarian coalition of 30 UN agencies and INGOs. She is also an Executive Committee Member of Sphere India, a national-level humanitarian coalition that promotes quality and accountability in humanitarian response.
Bharati Chakra was a key member of the drafting committee of the State Policy for Senior Citizens in Odisha, which was launched by the Chief Minister in 2016. She has also been involved in articulating the issues of the youth, women, old age persons and urban poor through active participation in various state-level bodies.
She has been recognized for her outstanding work on disaster risk reduction (DRR) and elderly people. She has been instrumental in building resilience and preparedness among the vulnerable communities and ensuring their participation and inclusion in DRR planning and implementation. She has also been advocating for the rights and dignity of the elderly people and ensuring their access to quality health care, social security, legal aid, and livelihood opportunities. She has been a voice for the voiceless and a champion for the cause of humanity.
Bharati Chakra is a woman of vision, leadership and dedication who believes that women have to be the change agents for a better world. She is the recipient of the Women Achiever Award of Odisha 2018.