Venkatash (Venky) Balakrishna
Venky joined the development sector in 1980, having worked in the corporate sector for seven years and in academia for one year and founded Action on Disability and Development India (ADD India) in 1989 managed by Indians with disabilities and is a member on its board. At the core of its values are self determination, self advocacy and inclusion. He pioneered mainstreaming disability into existing rural development initiatives in South India way back in 1987. ADD India developed a methodology of equipping NGOs to work with disabled people based on its core principles. To date, ADD India has partnered with about 180 NGOs to work with disabled people impacting the lives of over 100 thousand persons with different disabilities and their families in villages. This model has been replicated widely including the World Bank.
He also founded in 2009 a cross disability district federation in Anantapur district, Andhra Pradesh India with a total membership of 28000 persons with different disabilities. Each office in this federation is held by a person with different disabilities and well represented by women with or without disabilities.
From 1997, he is a consultant and trainer (disability rights, development and organisational development). In this capacity, he has made interventions in 30 countries with organisations like Save the children Fund, UK, Ethiopia, Intermediate Technology Development Group (ITDG), Sri Lanka, UNDP, Afghanistan, and The Coady International Institute for development, St. Francis Xavier University, Nova Scotia, Canada.
He is currently a trustee of Commitments, A Public Trust, Hon’ President of the CBR Global Network and was an advisor to W.H.O on INCLUDE, an on-line training program on how to use the CBR Guidelines.