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 currently on the Board of leading organisations like Oxfam India, PHIA Foundation, IBTADA, Commonwealth Alliance of Youth WorkAssociations, International Forum for Volunteering in Development (IVCO) and a member of Vikalp Sangam, Catalyst 2030 and The WellbeingEcosystem. 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.