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Our Team

is made of people from diverse backgrounds brought together by a common passion for reducing fish suffering as much as possible. Read on to get to know them.

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Karthik Pulugurtha

Managing Director, India

Karthik has a background in animal welfare and ethical livelihoods. He holds a masters degree in Diplomacy, Law & Business (MA DLB) from the Jindal School of International Affairs. He is a PhD scholar at the National Academy of Legal Studies and Research in India, and previously managed the university’s Animal Law Centre. While there, he took up research that shed light on the unethical practices associated with industrialized egg production in India. He has also worked as a research and livelihoods consultant for sixteen Members of Parliament from the Telugu Desam Party. Karthik is deeply committed to ending animal and human suffering and believes in the efficacy of bottom up approaches to change.   

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Aishwarya Nagula

Co-Director, India

Aishwarya has been actively involved in animal advocacy for several years and is extremely passionate about farm animal protection. She has conducted various workshops to educate the community on factory farming. Prior to FWI, she worked towards promoting higher welfare policies for farmed animals among institutions and corporations. She holds a law degree from Alliance School of Law, Bangalore. Aishwarya enjoys cooking, writing and spending time with her dog, Poha.

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Vivek Rachuri

Fish Welfare Expert

Vivek is a proud conservationist and aquaculturist with a background in coastal aquaculture and marine biotechnology. He has previously worked as a biological oceanographer with marine researches in the CSIR- National Institute of Oceanography, India. Being a true conservation enthusiast, Vivek participated in several organizations in Andhra Pradesh such as Fishing Cat Conservancy (FCC) and Hyderabad Tiger Conservation Society (HYTICOS), along with mangrove restoration activities. He has also been an active member of the East Coast Conservation Team (ECCT). In his free time, Vivek is a passionate beatboxer and a skilled photographer with a love for exploring nature and wildlife.

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N. Vankaiah

Data Collector

Vankaiah, affectionately called ‘Chandu’, is a social development professional and social mobiliser with experience working for several not-for-profit organizations. He has previously worked for child welfare and the upliftment of marginalized communities, including families affected by poverty. In his free time, he enjoys playing cricket and listening to beautiful Telugu film songs.

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Chaitanya Akula

Farmer Programs Manager

Chaitanya joins our team as a rural development professional, with a post-grad in social work. He has worked extensively with farmers in the areas of livelihood promotion, integrated natural resource management, and Zero Budget Natural Farming, as well as having worked in women’s empowerment. Additionally, he previously launched his own e-commerce business. During his free time, Chaitanya loves to explore nature, go for drives, and sharpen his cooking skills.

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Hanuman Ratish Nallamothu

Administrative Head

A native of Krishna District, Andhra Pradesh, Ratish completed his MBA from Nagarjuna University in 2013. He has over a decades' experience in sales and marketing in the Tiles and Sanitary Industry in Vijayawada. As an avid travel enthusiast who loves spending time in nature, Ratish was drawn to FWI's work after learning about its commitment to improve the lives of fish. He's a hardworking individual who ensures that everyone's work at FWI runs smoothly. In his free time, one can find him grooving to Maestro Illayaraja's classics and spending time with his family and friends.

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Ravi Teja Sangeetha

Research Consultant

Teja is a Kathak dancer and researcher who studied the welfare of egg-laying hens at The Animal Law Centre at NALSAR University of Law, Hyderabad. He holds a Master's in Sociology from University of Hyderabad and helps the standard-setting team strategize farmer engagement in Andhra Pradesh. He loves post-rock music, doing yoga on random rooftops, saying pss pss pss to street cats, and traveling.

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Nagaraju Pulicherla

Data Collector

Nagaraju works in the Sreeparru area of Eluru as a data collector. He engages with farmers and collects vital data on farming practices. He is passionate about animal equality and believes that all animals must be able to live freely and without pain.

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Rhiddhi Patel

Legal & Policy Consultant

Rhiddhi has a degree in Law from the University of Pune, along with past corporate experience. Guided by her interest in animal protection, she changed careers and wrote for Vegan First Daily and Veg Planet Magazine. She later received a Post-Graduate Diploma in Animal Protection Laws from the National Academy of Legal Studies and Research, India and holds a certification in "Wildlife Conservation and Management" from the College of Forestry, Akola. Currently, she is also part of a group of pro-bono lawyers for WCS, India's Counter Wildlife Trafficking Program. Outside of work she likes to explore nature, watch movies and documentaries, go for drives, and read.

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Upasana Sarraju

Communications Volunteer

Upasana is a molecular biologist-turned-science communicator with a background in ecology and conservation. She holds a master's degree in Science Writing from Johns Hopkins University and loves talking to animals in Telugu. She believes in democracy, freedom for non-human animals, and the power of semicolons.

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Subrata Deb

Corporate Outreach Manager

Subrata worked for 11 years at a leading agro-industrial and food conglomerate before making the switch to animal protection work. He brings with him extensive experience in the different sectors of integrated aquaculture business, for both fish and shrimp. He specializes in bringing solutions to multiple stakeholders across the aquaculture supply chain. Outside work, Subrata loves meeting new people, reading comics, watching movies, and exploring new waters.

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Abhishek Pandey

Associate Director

Abhishek is a public policy and development professional committed to enhancing the policy landscape of India. He has worked with several state governments in the livelihoods, entrepreneurship, education, public health, and WASH sectors, adopting gender-inclusive and intersectional approaches. He was involved in instituting India's first state-level Behavioural Insights Unit for resolving complex policy problems using behavioral science. In his free time, he enjoys watching movies, listening to podcasts, and catching up with friends.

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Manikanta Munganda

Field Manager

Mani has a background in fisheries and aquaculture, with a B.Sc. in Fisheries and an Aquaculture Diploma. His time as a Fish Welfare Initiative intern speaks to his genuine interest and commitment to the field. Mani also holds National Cadet Corps A, B, and C certificates. Outside work, he enjoys nature and is an avid traveller. As a Field Manager, Mani combines his adventurousness with a practical approach, helping us find success in the field.

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Durga Prasad

Data Collector

With a Bachelor's degree in aquaculture, Durga Prasad has technical expertise in microbiology and water quality analysis in shrimp hatcheries. He is also a passionate member of a Kolattam group, a traditional folk dance form from Andhra Pradesh, and has performed in renowned temples during local festivals.

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Narala Sanjay Kumar

Data Collector

Sanjay, a MSc Aquaculture graduate, has a year of experience in the field. Passionate about animals, particularly fishes, Sanjay is dedicated to their welfare and promotes sustainable aquaculture practices. In his leisure time, he finds solace and inspiration tending to his paddy fields and immersing himself in nature.

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Rohini Kalyani

Operation Assistant

Rohini is a Fish Nutrition and Feed Technology Post-graduate from ICAR, the Central Institute of Fisheries Education in Mumbai. She is originally from Hyderabad and joining the team in the role of Operations Assistant. During her free time, Rohini loves to explore new places and spend time with family.

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