South Asia Foundation

South Asia Foundation

Founded by UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador Madanjeet Singh, South Asia Foundation is a secular, no-profit and non-political Youth movement for promoting regional cooperation at all levels of the society in SAARC countries: Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. SAF's activities are in conformity with the spirit, purpose and principles of the SAARC charter.

South Asia Foundation's seven parallel, autonomous Chapters are registered in each SAARC country. They are guided by SAF Chairpersons who, in consultation with their respective Advisory Boards, determine and extend the needed support to SAARC governments, NGOs, institutions and individuals working for regional cooperation through education and development.

The seven SAF Chairpersons identify national projects annually. They qualify for SAF support provided they are
(a) linked with similar educational and development projects in at least two other SAARC countries and
(b) the country proposing the project makes a matching contribution to equalize with SAF's support and financial assistance.

As the computer is rapidly becoming a part of the young people's life and culture, SAF's interactive website ( provides wide-ranging in-depth information about its own IT related educational and development projects as well as those undertaken by other NGOs and research institutions in SAARC countries. SAF portal will soon be employed for imparting distant education and skills, especially among the poorer sections of SAARC communities.



Madanjeet Singh, MSc. graduate from the Honours School of Chemistry, Government College, Lahore, the Goodwill Ambassador of UNESCO is an outstanding artist and internationally known author of several books. As a young student activist, he was imprisoned during Mahatma Gandhi's non-violent "Quit India" movement against British colonial rule. He joined the Indian Foreign Service in 1953 and has served in a number of countries in Asia, South America, Africa and Europe, before his assignment to UNESCO in 1982. In recognition of his life-long devotion to the cause of communal harmony and peace, a biannual "UNESCO-Madanjeet Singh Prize for the Promotion of Tolerance and Non-Violence" was established by UNESCO Executive Board in 1995. Madanjeet Singh founded South Asia Foundation (2000) as he ardently believes that like groups of other countries worldwide, South Asia's survival entirely depends on regional cooperation.

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SAF Advisory Boards















Sri Lanka


Kamal Hossain
Former Minister of Foreign Affairs; Minister of Petroleum; and Minister of Justice

Lyonpo Sangay
Minister of Health and Education; Former Prime Minister

Inder Kumar Gujral
Former Prime Minister of the Republic of India

Ibrahim Hussain Zaki
Minister of Planning and National Development

Bhekh B. Thapa Royal Napalese Ambassador to the Republic of India

Salima Hashmi Artist and Women empowerment activist

Lakshman Kadirgamar
Former Minister of Foreign Affairs

Farhad Mahmud
Farooq Sobhan
Jamilur Reza Choudhury
Khushi Kabir
Mahfuz Anam
Muhammad Yunus
Rehman Sobhan
Dawa Dem
Kelzang Thinley
Kinley Dorji
Kinley Dorji
Pema Thinley
Yangki T Wangchuk
A. M. Khusro
B. G. Verghese
H. P. Dikshit
Kapil Sibal
Mahendra P. Lama
M. S. Swaminathan
Muchkund Dubey
N. Ram
Nareshwar Dayal
Sydney Rebeiro
Syeda Saiyidain Hameed
Asima Mohamed
Lucia Moosa
Mohamed Amir
Mohamed Farooq
Mohamed Shaugee
Moosa Imran Zaki
Sheena Moosa
Meena Acharya
Mohan Man Sainju
Mohan Prasad Lohani
Nishchal Pandey
Surya Prasad Shrestha
Beena Sarwar
Ghazala Aziz
I. A. Rahman
Qadim Mossarat
Shahtaj Quizilbash
Zaheer Alam Kidvai
Carlo Fonseka
James Mather
Lucien Rajakarunanayake
M.D.D. Pieris
Roland Silva
S.K. Wickremasinghe
Srinath Sinha Basnayake
Swinitha Perera
U.L. Kadurugamuwa
Kamal Hossain is a Senior Advocate of the Supreme Court of Bangladesh. He was Chairmen of the Constitution Drafting Committee of Bangladesh (1972), Member of Parliament (1973- 1975), Minister of Law (1972-1973), Minister of Foreign Affairs (1973-1975), He is currently United Nations Special Rapporteur on Afghanistan, and Chairman of a Panel of the United Nations Compensation Commissions. He is Vice-Chairman, International Law Association and Chairman Advisory Council of Transparency International, and of the Bangladesh Legal Aid & Services Trust.

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Lyonpo Sangay Ngedup, Minister for Health and Education, Royal Government of Bhutan, Lyonpo Sangay Ngedup is an alumnus of St. Stephen's College and Jawaharlal Nehru University.  Starting his career as a career diplomat he rose to the position of a Cabinet Minister in 1998.  He also became the Chairman of the Council of Minister for one year, under rotation, from July 1999 to July 2000.

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Inder Kumar Gujral, former Prime Minister of India. Born Dec. 4, 1919, s/o activists Pushpa & Avtar Narain Gujral, imprisoned as student leader. Speaks Urdu fluently. Wife, Shiela poet/author. Two sons. Brother Satish prominent artist. Awarded Hony. Doctrates from Soka University Tokyo, St. Rose College New York, Panjab University Chandigarh, Jamia Urdu Aligarh, GuruNanak Dev University Amritsar, "Order of Friendship" by President of Russia, "St. Andrew International Award - Dialogue of Civilizations", Russia, "Maharaja Ranjit Singh" Panjabi University Patiala. Presently Chancellor Maulana Azad National Urdu University. Formerly Chancellor Vishwa Bharati. Member Trustees Board - ICG/International AIDS Trust. Co-Chair of South Asians for Human Rights, Chairperson, Citizens Commission South Asia.

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Ibrahim Hussain Zaki, Minister of Planning and National Development, Government of Maldives, has been closely associated with the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) from its inception. He was the Secretary General to SAARC from January 1992 to December 1993. He has attended numerous meetings of the SAARC, the UN General Assembly, Commonwealth, NAM and the OIC. In his long career with the Government, he has served the maximum number of years in the Foreign Ministry, rising up to Deputy Minister level. He served as the Minister of Tourism from 1993 to 1998. Mr. Zaki has travelled extensively and has undertaken bilateral visits. He is actively involved with national, regional and international NGOs. He is also a Member of Parliament.

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Bhekh Bahadur Thapa, Royal Nepalese Ambassador to India, is a well-known intellectual. A US-trained economist who has held various positions including minister of finance and ambassador to the United States, Dr Thapa is about to complete his four-year term as ambassador to India. In the past he has been a Minister of Finance, Governor of Nepal Rastra Bank, Vice President of IDRC, Resident , Representative of UNDP to Sri Lanka and Ambassador to the USA.

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Salima Hashmi Professor Mrs. Salima Hashmi is a painter, art educationist, writer and curator from Lahore, Pakistan. She was educated at the National College of Arts, Lahore, the Bath Academy of Art, UK; and the Rhode Island School of Design, USA. She taught for thirty years at NCA, Pakistan's premier art institution, and retired as its Principal. She has exhibited her own work, travelled and lectured extensively all over the world, and has curated, or co-curated about a dozen international art shows in the UK, Europe, the USA, Australia, Japan and India. She is a recipient of The President's Award for Pride of Performance, Pakistan.

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Lakshman Kadirgamar, Sri Lanka's former minister of Foreign Affairs was born on 12th April, 1932. He was educated at Trinity College, Kandy and the University of Ceylon. He was admitted to the Ceylon Bar in 1955. He was the President of the Oxford Union in 1959. He functioned as a Consultant to the International Labour organization (ILO) in Geneva in 1974. In 1976 he joined the World Intellectual property Organization (WIPO) and served as a Director until 1988. Mr. Kadirgamar served as a member of the Advisory Committee on Intellectual Property for the Government of Sri Lanka and the Foreign Affairs Study He is the author of a number of articles published in international legal journals.

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