The social scientist Smita S Pendharkar holds advanced degrees in Sociology, Social Policy, and International Development. Currently, she is Lead, Research & Documentation for CORO India’s Samata Fellowship Initiative. Smita works with grassroots activists in Maharashtra and Rajasthan to promote constitutional values. With over a decade of experience in the social sector, Smita has worked at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), the Women’s UN Report Network (WUNRN), and IIT Bombay.
Sociology of Religion, macro social work, agrarian and peasant studies, critical race theory, sex and gender-based violence, including sex trafficking, and the implications of development on tribal / indigenous communities are among her areas of interest. She received her PhD from IIT Bombay for research that focused on the agency of agrarian productive castes, their moral economy, and the claims to spiritually imbued ecological commons. She grew up in Tanzania (East Africa) and received her advanced education in the US (UPenn and Clark University). In addition to her experience in research and practice, Smita hopes to help Faith Foundation expand its programs to establish itself as a grassroots leader responding to women and children’s issues, as well as local gender dynamics.