Sujata Sahu nee Seshan is a senior corporate professional turned Social Entrepreneur with a multi sectoral career spanning over 32 years. Having worked in various large multinational firms across India and America to lead their large technology systems, she gave up her corporate job to move back to India and spearhead a movement to advocate the cause for equal opportunities for the invisible people of the remote and inaccessible Himalayas. A particularly life threatening solo trek into the Himalayas brought her face to face with the challenges faced by the tribal communities living in tiny settlements there. Her experiences led her to found 17000 ft Foundation, a non-profit organization focused on transforming the lives of tribal communities living in the harsh and geographically challenging Indian Himalayan Region.
As Founder and CEO, Sujata led 17000 ft Foundation to its current presence across 350 remote villages in the states of Ladakh & Sikkim, benefiting over 75,000 children with better education and helping to reduce the desperate migration of young families to faraway towns. Having grown the organization significantly in reach and impact, Sujata stepped down from her role as CEO in 2023, to pursue her vision of a just and equitable world to more marginalized communities across the country.
Highly passionate and mission driven, Sujata led 17000ft from the front, motivating and inspiring communities, volunteers and employees alike to achieve a common goal. She brings on board a strong experience of having designed, implemented and scaled highly impactful and innovative solutions to some of the most challenging of problems and has been highly successful in mobilizing funds and support towards a highly ignored geography.
Frequently mentioned in the media for her work, Sujata has been recognized for her work and efforts by the Govt. of India. She is a recipient of the prestigious Nari Shakti Puraskar(2015), presented to her from the then President of India, Late Shri PranabMukherjee, as well as a recipient of the Women Transforming India Award by the NitiAayog in 2019.