The Founders

Maja Koene, the Founder of CESCI


The CESCI centre was founded by Maja Koene from Switzerland. Regrettably, she died at the early age of 54 in autumn 1999. She was a qualified psychiatric nurse and a very gifted photographer. In the course of her travels to numerous developing countries, including India, she had become sensitive to the cause of the very poor. She was convinced that measures had to be taken to raise people’s awareness and to improve the quality of life for large segments of the population. In setting up the CESCI centre, she wanted to support and strengthen the efforts of the Ekta Parishad activists. The persistent struggle of the Ekta Parishad movement encouraged her to invest all her savings in developing this centre.

Rajagopal P.V is a Gandhian activist and the initiator of a social movement in India - Ekta Parishad. Inspired by Mahatma Gandhi, Rajagopal is committed to social change through nonviolent action. He founded Ekta Parishad based on the concept of barefoot social workers . He trained men and women in the villages in many states in India who were motivated to improve the lot of their own people using Gandhian methods.