WHEELS Water Council

WHEELS Water Council aspires to become ‘trusted partners’ to catalyze holistic rural resurgence through Collaborative Governance for rural infrastructure and, integrated water conservation and management with technology as the enabler.


Interventions for use of appropriate technology in the country at scale with collaborative multi stakeholder partnerships, leverage best practices spanning academia, scientific and research organizations, IITs, social enterprises, grassroots organizations, Industry, and others.

Team Leaders - WHEELS Water Council

Mrs. Gauri Kumar

IAS (Retd) & Former Secretary - Govt of India, Chairperson - WHEELS Water Council

Mr. Yogesh Andlay

Director - WGF India, Founder - Nucleus Software, Co-chair - WHEELS Water Council

Mr. Sushil Bhatia

Director - WGF, Founder & President - Infobrella Inc., Co-chair - WHEELS Water Council

Members - WHEELS Water Council

Ambassador Pradeep Kapur

Executive Director, Smart Village Development Framework (SVDF) - WGF, Former Ambassador of India & Secretary - Govt of India

Suresh Shenoy

President - WHEELS Global Foundation, President - Alyxtech Inc.

Ashank Desai

Chairperson - WGF India, Co-founder & Former Chairperson - Mastek

Smita Siddhanti

Program Director (Livelihood) - WHEELS Global Foundation, President - EnDyna Inc.

Prof. Ranjan Kumar Ghosh

Associate Professor, Center for Management in Agriculture - IIM Ahmedabad

Ratan Agarwal

Board Member - WGF, Co-founder & Managing Partner - Carbon Group Global

Pradeep Nadkarni

Secretary - WHEELS Global Foundation, Founder - Paradigm Inc.

Mentors - WHEELS Water Council

Dr Raj Shah

Chairman - HealthCare Council - WHEELS Global Foundation

Mrs Mansi Sharma

Research Associate - Mission Samriddhi

Mr Kewal Nohria

CEO & Co-Founder, World BPO/ITO Forum

Mr Shantilal Muttha

Founder, Shantilal Muttha Foundation

Prof Sudhir Jain

Vice-Chancellor, Banaras Hindu University

Mr Joseph Fernandes

President and Co-Founder - IIT-IIT.org

Mr Sundar Kamath

Senior VP (Technology), CTO - Sanmina Corporation

Mr Apoorva Oza

CEO - Aga Khan Rural Support Programme (AKRSP, India)

Prof Ajit Chaturvedi

Director - IIT-Roorkee

Dr Bhakti Devi

National President of Water Resources Council

Mr Kartik Kilachand

Executive Chairman - IITians Influencing India's Transformation

Dr Prakasam Tata

Executive Director - Center for the Transformation of Waste Technology

Mr Dunu Roy

Chemical Engineer, Social Scientist & Political Ecologist

Project - Water Security Pilot Project, Himachal Pradesh
  • A Pilot Project for Integrated Water Management, based on Scientific Data and Evidence-based Decision Support System.
  • A partnership between the state government of Himachal Pradesh and Wheels Global Foundation.
  • A model of convergence for water security at the village level.
  • Launch of a customized Portal for sustainable convergence at the state level- to be launched by AS, JJM.

Water is the most critical element, intimately impacting particularly rural lives, economy, health, and livelihoods, and with serious consequences if not addressed now. It is also intricately linked to the achievement of several Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).

WHEELS Water Council is working with the State Government of Himachal Pradesh for a scalable and replicable pilot project for water security, through integrated water management, based on scientific data and evidence-based decision support systems. This is being implemented in 22 selected villages of Bilaspur, Solan, Mandi, and Kangra districts.

WGF has signed a formal MoU with the State Government, to implement this Pilot Project for undertaking the works recommended by the Consortium of WGF Partners, spanning scientific research group (ACWADAM), academia (IIT Roorkee), social technology enterprise (PSI), and grassroots organizations (CORD, MVS, and RTDC), with proven capability in the domain.

Field visit at Kasba(Khidku) in Narwana Khas Panchayat of Kangra, Himachal Pradesh.

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Field visit to a village in Jhandutta and interaction with the community, Panchayat Reps and BDO Jhandutta

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Presentation & Demonstration of the Portal Mock-up to the Chief Secretary, Additional Chief Secretary, and Secretaries of the State Government; Additional District Collectors and Field Officers of the concerned Blocks of the Districts, 29th June.


Meeting with ACS RD in the presence of departmental Secretaries and Field officers during 3rd Visit to Himachal Pradesh


Detailed follow-up discussion with Director, Rural Development, Engineer-in-Chief and other officers including Prof. Ranjan of IIM-Ahmedabad also joined.

The Making of “Trusted Partnership”
  • Scientific Data and Evidence-based Recommendations for Source Augmentation, Water Infrastructure works, storage, etc. through PSI and ACWADAM
  • Technical capacity building through ACWADAM and PSI
  • Independent technical data monitoring with AWS through IIT Roorkee
  • Community Ownership and Community Institutions- through Grassroot Organizations Portal for convergence and sustainability
  • Third-party Socio-economic evaluation
  • Execution of the works through the convergence of various schemes across departments

Scope of Project

  • Water security, through integrated water management, is based on scientific data and evidence-based decision support systems.
  • Scientific Data and evidence-based decision support systems through IIT Roorkee and ACWADAM.
  • Engage user communities (PSI with DIAs) - the long-term conservation of water, resources, and their recharge areas, Demand Management, Grey/ Black Water Management, Paani Samiti
  • A Consortium of partners with proven capabilities in this domain led by the People’s Science Institute
  • Strong Focus on Third-party Monitoring and Evaluation, A unified Project Portal & dashboard


Natural resource productivity
Better water quality (Desirable/permissible values are given separately)

Soil erosion check – soil and water augmentation

Spring discharge and streamflow

Biomass productivity

Social Impact
Per capita water accessibility (to measure the equitable distribution systems)

Participation of weaker sections of society and women in institutions

Better health indicators due to better water quality

Reduction in the drudgery of women

Economic Impact
Fodder availability and increased production of livestock

Per capita increased availability of drinking water

Enhanced agriculture productivity

Sustainability of the program
No. of cadre trained in spring shed development and their knowledge level

Strong village level institutions – social actions, participation

Roadmap for future springshed development

Distinguishing Features

  • Close collaboration with the state govt, through all the concerned departments
  • Close collaboration with the state govt, through all the concerned departments
  • Association of multiple levels of organizations, from grassroots to a PMC NGO, to a scientific organization like Acwadam, to IIT R.
  • Each Village is a sub-project with convergence through Gram Panchayat Development Plan (GPDP) and Village Action Plan (VAP), its sub-plan.
  • A structured engagement with Outcomes
  • Convergence matrix- outcomes, milestones, activities, and tasks, mapped in the Portal
  • Pools in the village level data in one place, across agencies and departments
  • Scientific data and evidence-based support system for optimal water infrastructure
  • Convergence of various schemes of the departments, for holistic and integrated execution
  • Community mobilization and ownership for long-term sustainability.
  • Clear outcomes are identified and to be monitored through Automatic Weather Stations by IIT Roorkee. The socio-economic aspects would be through third-party evaluation.
  • IIM Ahmedabad is undertaking action research on ‘collaborative governance through convergence’, keeping the transformational potential of the Project for policy scholarship and replicability in view
Team Overview - WHEELS Water Council
Gauri Kumar Pic

Mrs. Gauri Kumar

Gauri Kumar is a retired member of the 1979 batch of Indian Administrative Services (IAS). She was Secretary (Coordination and Public Grievances), Cabinet Secretariat, and served as Member/Chairperson of the Public Enterprises Selection Board, post her retirement. In the course of her distinguished career, she served as Secretary in the Union Ministry of Labour & Employment and in the Ministry of Home Affairs (Border Management). She has served as Special/Additional Secretary, Ministry of Mines and Additional Secretary and Financial Advisor, Ministry of Environment and Forests. She has also been Principal Secretary, Urban Development; Principal Secretary, Industries & Mines, Industries Commissioner, and Secretary, Education Department in the Government of Gujarat. She also held the position of Director-General, National Institute of Fashion and Technology, Ministry of Textiles.

Gauri Kumar holds a degree of BSc in Physics, Mathematics, and Statistics from Allahabad University. She completed her MSc in Mathematics from Lucknow University and was awarded seven gold medals in the course of her studies, for exceptional academic distinction. She also holds a Master in Public Administration from the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University. She was awarded the Littauer Fellowship by Harvard University, for her commitment to excellence, academic achievement, and public service.

She is currently an Independent Director on the Boards of Gujarat State Fertilizers & Chemicals Limited (GSFC), Gujarat Narmada Valley Fertilizers and Chemicals Ltd (GNFC), TVS Supply chain Solutions, and Gujarat Mineral Development Corporation Ltd (GMDC). She is appointed by CVC as an Independent External Monitor for the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) and the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL).

She is the Founder of an Edu tech startup which has launched an integrated Learning Platform for the whole education eco-system, encompassing teachers, students, parents, and schools. It’s positioned as a medium for making quality education accessible at scale. She is a Special Invitee to the Management Committee of the Bangalore Chamber of Industry & Commerce (BCIC).

She is the Founder and Trustee of Vayah Vikas, an organization for the elderly, based in Bengaluru. She is on the Advisory Board of Pahle India Foundation. She is a Member of the Board of Governors of Sardar Patel Institute of Public Administration, Ahmedabad.

She is the Delhi Public School (DPS) Society nominee on the Management Committees of several DPS schools in Gujarat and UP. She has contributed a chapter on ‘Industry and Labour’ in the recently published book ‘Accelerating India: 7 Years of Modi Government’, edited by Shri K J Alphons, Member of Parliament, and a foreword by Shri Ajit Doval, National Security Adviser to the Prime Minister of India.
Sushil Bhatia Pic

Mr. Sushil Bhatia

Dr. Sushil Bhatia is the President of Anu Data Inc. He pursued his B.Tech. in Electrical Engineering from IIT Bombay in 1966 and later Ph.D. in Electrical and Electronics Engineering from Carnegie-Mellon University in 1972.

Recollecting memories associated with IIT Bombay, he said, “Those were the days. First time out of my parents’ house and living by myself. Making new friends, playing, teasing, bonding, having fun along with learning technical skills. Learning to learn technology as well as dealing with people”.
Yogesh Pic

Mr. Yogesh Andlay

Yogesh Andlay is a founding team member of several leading well-known companies in the IT, consultancy, and education fields. He is the Co-founder of Nucleus Software, Grows Talent Co Ltd., and School of Inspired Leadership. Yogesh, the alumnus of the IITD 1979 batch, was President of the IIT Delhi Alumni Association during the year 2006-07. He has also been an active participant in PanIIT Alumni activities. Yogesh serves on the board of SOIL – School of Inspired Leadership (www.soilindia.net). SOIL has been recognized as a pioneer in leadership education and has won laurels for its unique approach to leadership development. It is founded on five pillars of mindfulness, ethics, compassion, diversity, and sustainability. Yogesh has been an advisor to the Millennium Alliance program of FICCI. Millennium Alliance is a fund set up jointly by USAID, DST, DFID (UKAID), and several other organizations. In the last five years, Millennium Alliance has supported more than 120 social sector innovations impacting about 10 million people. These have been selected from amongst about 5,000 applicants who applied for this catalytic funding. These enterprises have been in the field of education, healthcare, agriculture, energy, water, sanitation, etc. In addition, he served as a Co-Chair of the Startup Committee of FICCI and a member of the Science and Technology Board of FICCI. He is a sought-after mentor by the entrepreneurs incubated at FICCI supported incubators and accelerators. Yogesh is an active participant in Mission Samriddhi. Mission Samriddhi is a Social Development and Acceleration project in India. Yogesh is a member of the Executive Council of Mission Samriddhi. Yogesh serves on the board of WHEELS Charitable Foundation. He is a member of the team working on the Pilot Project for Integrated Water Management based on Scientific Data and Evidence for Himachal Pradesh. Yogesh is a certified Executive Coach.
Mansi Pic

Mrs. Mansi Sharma

Mansi Sharma is a Research Associate at Mission Samriddhi, a social impact enterprise operating to build findings for the organization to achieve its goal of holistic human development at various levels. As a communications associate, she works to bridge the gap between people and the organization, both internally and externally. Building a structure were exchanging ideas is smooth and creates efficiency. She is an experienced project coordinator who has worked with Gandhi Smriti and Darshan Samiti, an autonomous body under the Ministry of Culture, Government of India with decent skills in the International Affairs Industry holding considerable knowledge about the theories of IR.

She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics Hons. from Delhi University and did her Masters in International Relations from Anglia Ruskin University, the UK.

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