Ashraf has played a key role in shaping the youth work field over two decades as co founder of Pravah and ComMutiny - The Youth Collective. She is a passionate advocate of inside-out youth leadership and committed to strengthening youth-centric development and societal well-being based on values of justice, equality, liberty and fraternity. Towards this aim she is currently part of co-creating vartaLeap Coalition, a cross-sectoral community with 180 leading organisations, policymakers and key stakeholders who intend to scale the mission ‘Every youth a Jagrik, Every space nurturingJagriks’ (Jagrik means a self-awakened, active citizen) while keeping alive its soul.
Ashraf has contributed significantly to framing policy and practice on adolescent and youth development at National and International levels. She has co-authored a number of learning resources and a field resource book 'Ocean in a Drop – Inside Out Youth Leadership' (Sage 2013). She is an Ashoka Fellow and the Social Entrepreneur of the Year (SEOY 2020). She is co-chair of the Commonwealth Alliance of youth workers association and a member of the International Forum for Volunteering Development, The Wellbeing Ecosystem and Catalyst 2030 A graduate in Physics from Delhi University and a post-graduate in PM&IR from XLRI, Jamshedpur, Ashraf began her professional life in the profession of HR and Organisation Development in the corporate sector but soon realised her passion lay in adding value to the collective wellbeing of society. She quit the corporate world to set up Pravah in 1993 with her close friends and professional colleagues Meenu Venkateswaran and Arjun Shekhar who bring outstanding experience of the corporate and the development sector to the field. All the three co founders continue to guide the mission of Pravah and ComMutiny, both organisations currently being steered by two courageous and amazing young women leader Ritikaa Khunnah and Kanika Sinha respectively.
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- Areas of Impact
- South Asia
Pravah and ComMutiny - The Youth Collective
Pravah has been a pioneer in shaping the field of youth development in India and is best known for its transformative self to society journeys with young people and youth workers. Pravah’s work on youth leadership is a preventive and systemic response to bring about social change by nurturing quality leaders in all sections of society. ComMutiny - The Youth Collective (incubated by Pravah in 2008) is a community of practice of over 100 leading youth engaging organisations that are working towards accelerating and amplifying the agency of young people through world-class collaborative public initiatives and award-winning media resources on issues of inclusion and democratic participation.
Pravah and ComMutiny have actively engaged over 1200 youth organizations, supported the learning and leadership of 700,000+ young people and have had an estimated outreach through on-ground and online campaigns of over 6.5 Million young people. In order to co-create systemic, sustainable population-scale change across all youth engaging sectors, ComMutiny initiated the vartaLeapCoalition, a vibrant emerging eco-system of 250 leading cross-sectoral members. With the mission of ‘Every Youth a Jagrik, and EverySpace nurturing Jagriks’, (‘Jagrik’ is a self-awakened active citizen) it has launched many collaborative innovations towards shifting norms on identity-based discrimination along with being at the forefront of COVID response through its public initiative #SaathNirbhar: WellbeingTogether. The relief & recovery initiative for creating resilient communities was recognised by the World Economic Forum's COVID Response Alliance for Social Entrepreneurs as among the top 50 last-mile response initiatives in India. ‘Be a Jagrik’, a powerful constitution leadership game is being digitised for scale by UNICEF and YuWaah and adapted for the NYKS, one of the largest Government youth programs in the world.