Janodayam Social Education Centre

Chennai, India

For the last 18 years, Gollapalli Israel has practiced his Baptist faith while working among the Dalit caste in Chennai, India. The city is the sixth largest metropolitan area in the country, and nearly 600,000 members of the migrant caste in which Gollapalli was born live in the 132 identified slums.

Gollapalli leads Janodayam, an NGO working in the urban areas of Chennai, and his full-time staff of 50 shows commitment to human dignity and justice. They work in the urban areas of Chennai, strengthening communities through grassroots organizing, offering youth education and empowering and training women to manage businesses. They give voices to those who are all too often marginalized.

Gollapalli Israel is a transformational figure who engages and inspires, leading Janodayam with optimism and courage. He is an unrelenting advocate for his community whose faith is reflected every day in his actions.