Harsh Mander worked for almost two decades in the Indian Administrative Service in both Madhya Pradesh and Chattisgarh. Mander has been a lifelong activist working to secure the right to food, land, and housing rights, as well as the right to health. He is currently the director of the Centre for Equity Studies, a research center focused on social and economic justice. Mander also currently acts as the special commissioner to the Supreme Court of India in the Right to Food case. He is a founder of the campaigns Aman Biradari, for secularism, peace, and justice; Nyayagrah, for legal justice and reconciliation for the survivors of communal violence; Dil Se, for street children, and Hausla for urban homeless people.
Mander is a founding member of the National Campaign for the People’s Right to Information. He was a member of the Core Groups on Bonded Labour and Mental Hospitals of the statutory National Human Rights Commission; and also on various official national committees such as on social protection. Mander has received a number of awards including the Rajiv Gandhi National Sadbhavana Award for peace work, the M.A. Thomas National Human Rights Award 2002, the South Asian Minority Lawyers Harmony Award 2012, and the Chisthi Harmony Award 2012.