Personal profile

Research overview

Bhakti's research seeks to inquire into the epistemic and normative presumptions of contemporary philanthropy, with a particular focus on strategic giving in India. Drawing on Mohandas Gandhi’s moral and conceptual universe, it seeks to evolve a knowledge-critique of contemporary philanthropic thought and practice, and the growing epistemic closure that circumscribes ways of thinking about and doing ‘giving’. Her Ph.D project will re-read and engage with Gandhi’s ideas of Ahimsā (non-violence, or non-dualism) and Swarāj (freedom, or rule of the self) as theoretical and methodological categories to explore the possibilities of a democratised and plural philanthropic discourse.

Bhakti holds a Master’s and M.Phil degree in Sociology from Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), New Delhi, India. She has spent the last eight years working with think tanks and CSOs in India across organisational development and strategy, fundraising, strategic partnerships, and grant management. She has served served as Guest Faculty/Mentor with the Indian School of Public Policy (2020-2022) and with the Global Policy, Diplomacy, and Sustainability (GPODS) Fellowship (2021-22), coaching students and young professionals in fundraising and grant management 

She has been a DAAD Research Fellow (Germany) and a graduate of the Asia Institute of Political Economy (The Fund for American Studies/George Mason University, USA).

Her research interests include Gandhian thought, non-eurocentric knowledge systems, non-profit leadership, and ethics and alterity in contemporary philanthropy.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions