Trustees & Governing Board

Dr. Abhay Bang received schooling in the Nai Taleem school at Mahatma Gandhi’s Sevagram Ashram, his MBBS and MD (Medicine) degrees in Nagpur and his Masters in Public Health from Johns Hopkins University. Taking into consideration the needs of health in rural India, he started SEARCH (Society for Education, Action and Research in Community Health) with Dr. Rani Bang, in Gadchiroli. Their program for reducing Infant Mortality Rate has proven to be groundbreaking and 77 countries implement it today. The scaled up version of ‘Home Based Newborn Care’ program that he designed is implemented across India as ‘Asha’ and it was based on his study that the state has implemented a minimum wage policy based on nutrition for farm laborers. He and Dr. Rani Bang also initiated a people’s movement to reduce tobacco and alcohol consumption in Gadchiroli and the ‘Muktipath’ program now continues that mission.

Dr. Abhay Bang is a recipient of over 60 awards, including Padmashree, ‘Society of Scholar’ award of Johns Hopkins University, ‘Public Health Champion’ award from WHO, the McArthur Award, Mahatma Gandhi Award, Maharashtra’s state government’s ‘Adivasi Sevak’ award, etc. His book ‘Maza Sakshatkari Hridayrog’ (My Enlightening Heart-disease) is very popular in Maharashtra.

Dr. Rani Bang completed her MBBS and MD (Gynecology) from Government Medical College, Nagpur with a gold medal and also obtained a Masters in Public Health from Johns Hopkins University. In 1986 she, along with Dr. Abhay Bang, started SEARCH and it was in 1986 that Dr. Rani Bang did the first ever cesarean in Gadchiroli. She has provided health care to the women of Gadchirli district for the past 32 years. She has conducted over 7000 operations with the help of over 50 surgeons in the service of the rural and adivasi patients. Her seminal research on women’s health in Gadchiroli district, which proved to the world the depth of the issue, has been published in the renowned journal ‘Lancet’. in 1990 she started a program called ‘Tarunyabhan’ that aims at providing comprehensive sex education to the young. She was involved in the movement to reduce tobacco and alcohol consumption and inspired thousands of other women to join. She is a member of the National Commission on Population and National Nutrition Commission and is also a part of many international committees.

Dr. Rani Bang is the recipient of over 50 awards including, Padmashree, Maharashtra Bhushan, McArthur Award, WHO’s ‘Public Health Champion’ award, Johns Hopkins University’s ‘Society of Scholar’ award, Stree Shakti Puraskar, and many others. She has also published books like Goin, Kanosa and Putting Women First.

Dr. Upendra Vedpathak is a specialist in children health, TB and chest ailments who provides health care to the rural and adivasi population of Pandharkawada in Yavatmal district of Maharashtra. He completed his MBBS, DSH and DTDC from Government Medical College, Nagpur where he was college-mate of  Dr. Abhay and Dr. Rani Bang. He runs the ‘Shrikrishna Clinic and X-ray’ since 1977, in the small town of Pandharkawada. He is also a musician and plays tabla well.


Dr. Shekhar Bhojaraj is well known as one of the topmost spine surgeons in India. He completed his MBBS and MS (Orthopedics) from Mumbai University. He completed for fellowships from around the world, including USA, France, Switzerland and UK. He has taught Orthopedics at KEM Hospital and St. G. S. Medical College. He currently works as a Spine Consultant at V. N. Desai Municipal Hospital, Lilavati Hospital, and Breach Candy Hospital in Mumbai. He also is a Chairman at Spine Foundation, Mumbai and through it, he has been involved in SEARCH for many years and has treated many patients in Gadchiroli district. Many Backache clinics and surgeries on serious spinal problems have been completed successfully in SEARCH under his guidance. He has received many awards, like, Young Surgeon Forum Award, Prof. Durai Swami Memorial Oration Award, etc. His wide, Dr. Shilpa Bhojaraj and his sister Dr. Sheila Telang have also provided health care service in SEARCH.

Well known across Maharashtra for propagating understanding of computers in the most accessible way, Vivek Sawant serves as the Director of Maharashtra Knowledge Corporation (MKCL). He was involved, through C-DAC, along with Dr. Vijay Bhatkar, in the making of India’s supercomputer, ‘Param’. To promote people-centered e-governance, Vivek Sawant has been involved in improving computer literacy with the government of Maharashtra through MKCL and well-known programs like MSCIT. He has also been a member of many committees like Prime Minister’s IT Task Force, National Rural Road Development Committee, National Board of Apprenticeship, etc. For his work in the fields of computer science and education, he has been presented with many awards, such as IT Icon Award, Dnyanasurya Puraskar, Yashokirti Puraskar, Pune Pride Award, etc. He and MKCL have been involved with NIRMAN, the youth education program of SEARCH from 2008.

Shre Hiraman Warkhade is a senior social worker and adivasi political leader of Gadchiroli area and has spent his life working towards the development of adivase communities. He has obtained his B.Sc. in Agriculture from Agriculture College, Nagpur.  He was a member of Pachyayat Samiti of Dhanora and Chandrapur multiple times. From 1984 to 1989 he was involved in bringing together the Adivasi communities under the movement ‘Jangle Bahao, Manav Bachao’ (Save the jungles, save the humans). In in 1985, he was elected as a member of the Gadchirli Vidhan Sabha. He was also actively involved, even as an MLA, in the district-wide movement by Dr. Abhay and Rani Bang to reduce alcohol consumption. He played a vital role in bringing about the PESA Act. He has been a member of the General Body of SEARCH since 1995 and is now also a member of the Governing Council.

Senior Legal scholar Ashutosh Dharmadikari is the grandson of Acharya Dada Dharmadikari and the son the Justice Chandrashekhar Dharmadikari. He completed his BA in Sociology and an LLB from Mumbai and has been practicing as an advocate since 1988. He also obtained an MSW in Criminology and Correctional Administration from TISS in 1994. In his professional career, he has performed multiple roles and worked on various cases in Bombay Sessions Court, Bombay High Court, Nagpur High Court and District Court, etc. He has also appeared in behalf of petitioners in various Public interest Litigation cases before the High Court of Judicature both Bombay and Nagpur Bench. He was nominated as a member of the Jury for the public hearing held on the behalf of National Commission for Protection of Child Rights, held at Madras. He holds important positions in different institutions. He is the VP of ‘Vardaan’ a chapter of IPAA, a social organization for the promotion of adoption. He is the member of the advisory committee of the Family and Counselling Center, Dhantoli Police Station. He is a member of the governing body of SEARCH.

Executive Committee

Click to See List of Apex Coordination Team (ACT)


  • Mr. Amrut Bang –  Joint Director | Program Lead, NIRMAN
  • Dr. Anand Bang – Joint Director | In-Charge, Resource Mobilization & External Partnerships
  • Mr. Tushar Khorgade – Joint Director | Program Lead, Administration
  • Mr. Mahesh Deshmukh – Joint Director | Program Lead, Statistics & IT, Monitoring & Evaluation