Joe Madiath

Executive Director, Gram Vikas

Mr Madiath has been the Executive Director of Gram Vikas since it was founded in 1979. Gram Vikas, today, is one of the largest NGOs in Orissa, reaching out to over 60,000 indigenous and poor families living in over 1200 rural habitations and has been active in promotion of biogas use, drinking water and sanitation, community forestry, rural habitat development and education. Mr Madiath is a founder of the Voluntary Association Network of India and the Orissa Development Action Forum, and along with Gram Vikas, has been the recipient of several national and international awards, including Allan Shawn Feinstein World Hunger Award for 1995-96 from Brown University, USA; the Dr K.S. Rao Memorial National Award, 1998 for Outstanding Lifetime Contribution to the development of new and renewable sources of energy from the Solar Energy Society of India, etc.

He is part of the group of Outstanding Social Entrepreneurs selected by the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship, Geneva and Skoll Foundation, USA, and was educated at Madras University, in India.

Gram Vikas has also received several international awards in recognition of its work, such as Most Innovative Development Project Award, 2001 (awarded by the Global Development Network), the World Habitat Award, 2003 (awarded by the Building and Social Housing Foundation, UK), Kyoto World Water Grand Prize, 2006 at the 4th World Water Forum (awarded by the Kyoto Municipality and the Soroptimist International) and Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurs 2006 (awarded by the Skoll Foundation).