Dr. Manas Kumar Raha (b. 1937) graduated from the University of Calcutta and obtained his M.Sc (1960) and PhD (1971) degrees in Anthropology from the same university. He also completed a certificate course, Management Development Programme for Educational Administrators from Indian Institute of Management Joka, Kolkata in 1981. After passing M.Sc examination, he undertook research work in different research projects under Professor K.P Chattopadhyay, the then Head of Department of Anthropology, University of Calcutta. He joined Cultural Research Institute, Govt. of West Bengal in May 1962 and served there as Research Assistant and thereafter as Cultural Research Officer. In this Institute he undertook research work among Sch. Tribes, Sch. Castes and other groups in different districts of West Bengal. In 1970, he joined North – Western Regional office of Anthropological Survey of India, Govt. of India in Dehradun as an Anthropologist and undertook research works in different areas of Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and U.P Hill districts (now Uttarakhand). He also served Andaman and Nicobar Regional Office, Port Blair, Central India Regional office, Nagpur, Eastern Regional Office, Kolkata and finally Head Quarters of Anthropological Survey of India as Anthropologist in March 1970 and retired as Joint Director in January 1995. After retirement he was also involved in different research programmes under the Institute of Psychiatry, Govt. of West Bengal and also Netaji Institute for Asian Studies, Govt. of West Bengal.
Dr. Raha was the examiner, paper setter and Moderator of Post-graduate examinations and also Paper setter and Examiner of M-Phil examination of different Universities of India. He was also Ph.D guide and examiner of different universities. He was a member of Under-graduate Board of Studies, Calcutta University, Ph.D committee and Post-graduate Board of Studies, Vidyasagar University and Member, Research Advisory Committee, Cultural Research Institute, Backward classes Welfare, Govt. of West Bengal.
He became President, Anthropology and Archaeology Section, in Indian Science Congress (83rd Session 1996) held in Patiala, Punjab. He was a visiting Fellow of the Department of anthropology, Arunachal University (now Rajib Gandhi University, Itanagar) and also Dibrugarh University, Dibrugarh, Assam. He is the Life member of Different Academic and Research Organisation s and also of Asiatic Society and Indian Science Congress. He was the editor of two scientific journals and also editorial board of different other journals of India and U.S.A.
Dr. Raha has written and/or edited 38 books and also has about 180 scientific and 200 book reviews in his credit. Out of 38 books he has written or edited, five books are on the Himalayas, three on environment, one on Rabindranath Tagore , another one on Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose , a book on folk songs , one on photography and a Bengali short story. Even at the age over 80 he is still writing books articles and also Bengali short stories. Dr. M.K. Raha is presently NISHTHA's President and is actively involved in many programmes. Dr. Raha regularly attends community events and activities to share from his long years of experience.
Krishna Banerjee was born and brought up in an educated and exceptionally liberal family in the Ranigunge coalfields area where she was much influenced by her parents’ social work amongst the colliery staff members and workers.
Krishna Banerjee had her schooling at Gokhale Memorial Girls’ School. She graduated from Lady Brabourne College, Kolkata and also in Philosophy from University College, London under the famous Positivist Philosopher Professor A. J. Ayer.
She married Dr. Prabhatendu Banerjee at the early age of eighteen. During one of the several assignments of Dr. Banerjee at Kalla near Asansol city, Krishna joined a women’s organization as a volunteer and spent as much time as she could spare after looking after two very young children by helping in the welfare work of that agency.
Back in Kolkata Krishna gradually became associated with various aspects of Community Health. She underwent trainings in Participatory Training Methods from various centres like PRIA and Siddhartha Village in Odhisa.
Deeply interested in the development of girls and women since a very early age Krishna also trained herself as a promoter as well as a trainer in Gender issues and their history through the ages.
Krishna Banerjee was Former Director, CINI Chetana Resource Centre with special responsibility for training, networking and material development; Former Secretary, Calcutta Social Project, an integrated Development Project for the urban poor in South Kolkata and the Dhapa dumping grounds; Action Research in Women's Felt Health Needs in Khidirpur slums with School of Women’s Studies, Jadavpur University and York University, Canada.
At present, Vice President, NISHTHA, Krishna Banerjee is actively involved in coordinating and day to day guidance in various programme for empowerment of girls/women from the rural poor families in various blocks in South 24 Parganas and Malda Districts. Specially responsible for conceptualization, development and implementation of ADARINI, a special replicable program for total development of adolescent girls in the entire block of Mograhat II in S.24 Parganas comprising 14 GPs with a population of almost 3 lakhs.
Krishna Banerjee also is Consultant with ICCO-Cebemo, Netherlands, in their sponsored health organisations all over India and also in Bangladesh; With Il Melograno, Verona, Italy in Natural Childbirth; With LWS, Action Aid, Save The Children, Oxfam International, ODI/DFID, Groupe Developmente, GTZ, SAHAY, Mass Education, CINI, CINI Asha.
Krishna Banerjee has published two editions of Bengali adaptation of Where There Is No Doctor, by David Werener; Sishu Vikash sahayika, a comprehensive book on child care; Sushtha Jiban Chakra, A comprehensive book on RCH; Swashther Adhikar, a handbook for adolescents. She has also written various numbers of books, booklets, other IEC and training materials in English and Bengali on health, gender, and other issues especially for neo-literates and for pre-school learning and teaching; Bengali versions of a number of publications on women’s empowerment, environmental issues and significant laws on human rights, rights of specially able persons and rights of forest dwellers.