Class XI (2013-2014)

11. Shruti Upadhyay

Sponsor Club: Bhuj Rotary Club, India. District 3050

Host Club: Brisbane Planetarium Rotary Club, District 9600

Shruti Upadhyay comes from Bhuj, India. She is a trained social worker and a development professional with twelve years’ experience in international aid. Through gender and empowerment programming, Shruti has contributed to changes in policies and practice in the areas of gender justice, protection, inclusive development and livelihoods in South Asia, especially in India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Nepal.

Shruti has worked with diverse stakeholders including the government, community based organizations, national and international organizations. She initiated her work with community based organizations, where she believes to have built her understanding of politics of development. She has worked with organizations like Christian Aid, Oxfam GB, Utthan, Kutch Mahila Vikas Sangthan. During her past decade, Shruti has been instrumental in establishing communitybased federations, and CBOs led by women and socially excluded communities. Shruti worked with the community to establish an alternative pedagogical model to address peace building through creating a shared space model, called ‘Urja ghar’ (Energy House). Shruti forged partnerships with police and government departments to establish a single window redressal system for the women survivors of violence in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand states, which has one of the highest rates of crimes against women.

Shruti also forged effective partnerships with the private sector in Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and India to create inclusive business models. Shruti is also a cultural activist and has keen interest in using cultural mediums for change. Besides being a Rotary Peace Fellow, Shruti was also awarded Chevening Fellow, Foreign Commonwealth Office, UK; and Global Change Leader Fellow at Coady International Institute, Canada. Imbibing the values of friendship and fellowship of Rotary, Shruti believes that global human rights only have a meaning when each person on the planet is able to enjoy it. She is an ardent believer that peace through practice will be a reality if all of us start working towards this change from within, and beyond.