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Shailja began her working career in public relations with Procter and Gamble after completing Bachelors in Economics from St. Xavier's College, Mumbai and a Diploma in Social Communication Media from Sophia Polytechnic, Mumbai. She left her job in Media to following her instincts to become a part of the founding team at Aangan after her transformative experience as a volunteer in a Juvenile home at the age of 16. Since 2002, Shailja has been the force behind Aangan's expansion. She has successfully demonstrated models at the grassroots level and lobbied with the state to change policy across 9 states, reaching 38,000 children. With a firm belief that ground level staff motivation is crucial to improve conditions in children's institutions, Shailja conceived and demonstrated an innovative staff appreciation and motivation program now used across the country to train institutional staff. Her interest in child protection has led to her contributing to some of Aangan's action researches and she has co-authored 'Why Am I Here' a survey study to understand the profile of 379 institutionalized children across India, tracing their journeys from their home to a state run institution. She deeply believes in making the government deliver on its promise to India's most vulnerable children and steers the programs of the organization to ensuring that the voice of the child in heard by policy makers and the existing laws, mechanism and policies are effectively operationalized in the best interest of the child. As the Executive director at Aangan, apart from overseeing Aangan's operations and expansion, she is responsible for Aangan's financials and uses her broad knowledge and network for fundraising and creating awareness about the cause. She is a Ford Motor Company Fellow, 2012. She has a keen interest and actively participates in India's performance theatre world and has been practicing Indian classical dance Bharathnatyam for the last 22 years. She is a Fellow of the fourth class of Kamalnayan Bajaj FellowshipFellows and the Aspen Global Leadership Network.