Charudutta Panigrahi (born 10 August 1968), known as Ganjam Gaurav (pride of Ganjam, which is his birthplace), is an Indian thinker known for his highbrow articulation and influence as a social reformer.
A public speaker, a policy expert and an institution builder, Charudutta has been writing since the 1990s on various subjects ranging from soft skills, to economic growth to policies for progress. Charudutta’s voice has always been backed by evidence & data rather than the archetypal rhetoric of civil society rabble rousing in sensitive issues like socioeconomic impact of industrialization in India, and specifically of low income states with high levels of poverty and backwardness. He has been felicitated “Ganjam Gaurav”, the pride of Ganjam district in South Odisha. He wrote Vignettes which was launched at 3rd Kalinga Literary Festival on June 18, 2016. Charudutta has been writing poems actively since 1982 and his poems have been published widely including in various portals . FIDR, the non profit think tank, was founded by Charudutta Panigrahi in the late nineties and early 2000. Today alumnus of Harvard University, Columbia University, Cork University, IIT, IIM and UK educationists constitute the Board of FIDR. Many describe him as a social crusader of a different kind – one who brings rational and strategic approach to issues and he is credited to have opened the doors for the Age of Reason among the so called social activists in the country. Charudutta is from the distinguished Panigrahi family of Odisha, and was born to Pramod Panigrahi and Mandakini Panigrahi (Founder Secretary of Orissa Lekhika Samsad – Orissa women writers’ forum), illustrious parents, eminent in diverse fields like Judiciary, Literature & Culture. Charudutta has years of experience as an implementer, as an academician, as an ideologue, a public speaker, an author and a strategist to bring reason to issues like community displacement, natural resources management, industrial mining and community development & CSR. Charudutta has been working with the policymakers, the government and the bureaucracy in Public Policy initiatives in sustainable urban development (development of Smart Cities in India), infusion of technology in the development of hard-to-reach, primitive communities, making CSR more organised and inclusive (India’s first State CSR White Paper: , in the Public Private partnerships(PPP) in the management of Primary Health care affecting mother and child health, in developing and promulgating India’s first Port Sector Workplace HIV Policy and many others. His on-the-ground work has touched the lives of over a million of people in India, so far and significantly tribals and the marginalised sections. While his family was actively engaged in the formation of Odisha State, in the Home Rule League movement in India, in the Indian Independence drive, and the Bhoodan Movement, Charudutta is driving a more technology enabled, often disruptive, social transformation aimed at empowering youth & women and large scale change in the lives of people.
When he was conferred with the title of Ganjam Gaurav, the citation read out “Charudutta as a futurist, crusader & an intellectual who also works in the field. He brings in a rare combination of tactical and strategic depth. Possessing top quality education in Business management (first batch of XIM) , Law, Commerce and Public Policy from credible institutions, his stints at various international organisations both in India and outside has been marked by a strong connect with research, strategy and innovations. He quit lucrative employments to impact large number of lives, with innovative designs of interventions and tools (ICTs). Charudutta sits on the Board of Cognitive Exchange, a technology based leadership initiative in US for schools in India/Odisha, has conceptualised and aids the implementation of social programs in about 5 states of India, sits currently on the Board of Rotary in Gurgaon and has been in the past President too and is advisor to leading institutions in youth development, specifically in the areas of Sustainability, Leadership and Development Economics. He advises leading corporates in sustainability. Charudutta is the National President of Konark Suraksha Samiti, the civil society body crusading for the upkeep and development of Konark Sun Temple, UNESCO World Heritage Site. He is Trustee of SRP Foundation, Sanjukta & Raghunath, and Raghunath Panigrahi. Charudutta has harnessed Information & Communication technologies (ICTs), Solar energy technologies, low cost appropriate technologies, unique interventions in health & education which have catalyzed unprecedented, large scale and sustainable development in the lives of thousands underserved in Odisha and other backward economies. Setting up –
a) rural knowledge centers (IT based) in states including Odisha, federated and owned by the communities
b) village level enterprises in the tribal communities using solar technologies
c) adopted model GPs (Gram Panchayats) to usher in inclusive development
d) institution for public policy research, development and assistance to the government in policy solutions
e) Smart Odisha as a think tank to help the state design and deploy innovative and need based public programs
f) a platform to act as a clearing house of information and build up a data bank of technologies for rural areas
g) building the capacity of the Zilla Parishad leaders
i) helping NACs/ Self-governments develop their sustainability in ru-urban development.