Our Team

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Trustees

Suparna Gupta

Founder Director

In 2002 Suparna founded Aangan, with the commitment to protecting the most excluded, isolated, vulnerable groups of children. In 2006, she developed a unique model to partner with state governments across the country making Aangan the first non-profit to access hundreds of state-run institutional facilities for rescued, trafficked and other vulnerable children all over India.

In 2009, Suparna extended the organisation's work to identify children in dangerous situations with a view to preventing occurrence and recurrence of serious child harm.

By 2014, this had been developed into an integrated model for child harm prevention and is currently implemented in 39 locations across the country. She has co-authored reports (Changing Spaces 2006, See You Again if I Survive 2007, A Real Opportunity for Change 2010) and led the development of training/empowerment tools for parent/caregivers and children.

Suparna's work has been recognised – she was awarded the Ashoka fellowship for leading social entrepreneurs (2009), selected an Asia 21 Young Leader (2011), the Edward S. Mason Fellowship from Harvard Kennedy School of Government (2012), Ash Centre Fellowship for I Democratic Governance and Innovation (2012). Recently she was a finalist, Jubilant Bhartia Schwab Foundation India's Social Entrepreneur of the Year 2015, on CNBC TV 18's Young Business Women 2016 list of 20 women entrepreneurs pushing boundaries, and winner of the L'Oreal NDTV Women of Worth Award, Social Impact 2016.

Shailja Mehta

Trustee

Shailja began her working career in public relations with Procter and Gamble after completing a 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. Shailja currently works as a consultant with Dasra. She is a Dasra Social Impact Fellow, 2012, Ford Motor Company Fellow, 2012 and an Aspen India Initiative Fellow 2013.

Governing Board (In alphabetical order)

Ajit Mahadevan

Country Director, Acumen

Ajit Mahadevan joined Acumen as Country Director in 2014, from Ernst & Young, where he served as Advisory Partner & Leader (Life Sciences) for six years. At EY, he was a strategic advisor to the leaders of prominent Indian and global life science and healthcare companies. Prior to his time at E&Y, Ajit was President of Piramal Healthcare, where he built its international business from inception. Ajit has held multiple leadership roles across sectors like strategy, M&A and business leadership. During his tenure at Accenture’s Strategic Services practice in UK and India, he led the development of one of the firm’s largest and most successful internal projects - the Offshore Development Centre in 2001, which has now grown to about 100,000 people across multiple cities in India.

Ajit holds an undergraduate degree in Computer Sciences from PSG College of Technology, India and a Masters of Business Administration from Carnegie Mellon University (Tepper School of Business).

Dr Gayatri Menon

Sociologist, Azim Premji University

Bangalore, India

Gayatri is a sociologist who teaches on the faculty of the School of Development at Azim Premji University. Previously, she taught in the sociology departments at Franklin and Marshall College and Cornell University. She is a co-editor of Accumulating Insecurity: Violence and Dispossession in the Making of Everyday Life (University of Georgia Press, 2011). Gayatri has worked for several years in India on issues related to livelihood challenges facing the rural poor in Maharashtra and on biodiversity and agricultural practices in Garhwal. She received her PhD in 2009 from Cornell University. She also holds a BA in Development Studies from Mount Holyoke College (USA). Her association with Aangan dates back to 2002.

Geeta Goel

Mission Director

Micheal & Susan Dell Foundation

Geeta is Mission Director at the Micheal & Susan Dell Foundation, and is responsible for leading the foundation’s global Mission Investing function. The foundation has made catalytic program-related investments across its India-based microfinance, health and education initiatives, and its U.S. based education initiatives. The foundation supports four early-stage funds and incubators in India and the U.S. to accelerate the funding of mission aligned companies in the areas of education and skill training.

Prior to this role, Geeta led the foundation’s Family Economic Stability initiative. She has represented the foundation on several investee boards, including that of Janalakshmi, Ujjivan, Micro Housing Finance Corporation and Swadhaar.
Before joining the foundation, Geeta spent more than 12 years with the corporate finance group of PricewaterhouseCoopers in India, advising large Indian and multinational clients on joint ventures, mergers and acquisitions, business plans, and valuations. She is an alumni of the Indian Institute of Management (Ahmedabad) and Lady Shri Ram College (Delhi).


Miel Sahgal

Director, Sanctuary Asia

Miel Sahgal is a Director at Sanctuary Asia, an organisation committed to communicating the rationale for wilderness protection. She has worn many hats at Sanctuary over the past two decades, including writer, editor, manager, event planner, strategist and general go-to person. She also worked closely on the initial setup and operations of Kids for Tigers, a nationwide conservation campaign in schools. Her current area of interest is the quality of urban childhood, with a focus on reconnecting children with nature. She has a BA in Environmental Science from Bryn Mawr College.

Minal Vazirani

Co-founder, Saffronart

Minal is the Co-founder of Saffronart a leading global corporation which is a proponent of Indian art internationally. It hosts a series of critically-acclaimed exhibitions, events and auctionsthat provide buyers with a transparent and professional environment to transact with each other.

Minal has been instrumental in growing Saffronart's business from a startup to its current position. She has provided leadership in every area of the company from strategy and business development, to technology and finance. She was instrumental in establishing and expanding Saffronart's presence internationally, and has driven the company's foray into new businesses, including jewellery.

Minal is a regular panelist and guest speaker at Indian contemporary art events as an industry expert.She is on the board of advisors panel to the Friends of Sir JJ School of Art Trust and Time Out Magazine India.

Prior to founding Saffronart, Minal was a management consultant with Booz, Allen & Hamilton in Mumbai where she worked across several industries globally. Minal received her MBA from INSEAD in France, where she received the Sasakawa Fellowship, and her B.S. in Chemical Engineering & Bio-engineering with a minor in art history & Indian history from the University of California, Los Angeles.

Mustafa Doctor

Advocate, Bombay High Court

Mumbai

Mustafa Doctor is an advocate practicing in the Bombay High Court. He specializes in civil litigation, and over the last 20 years, has represented NGO's such as the Bombay Environmental Group and SPAARC, as also various citizen groups and bodies in a number of cases pertaining to environmental, forest and urban town planning issues, and issues pertaining to human and civil rights. He has also been appointed as amicus curiae by the Bombay High Court on several occasions to assist the court in cases relating to the administration of BMC schools, river water pollution, urban noise pollution and town planning. Mustafa is also a member of the board of the Praja Foundation, an NGO involved in the work of establishing accountability and transparency in governance.

Dr Priyamvada Narayanan

Resident board-certified general and forensic Psychiatrist

New York, USA

Board-certified in General and Forensic Psychiatry, Priyamvada earned her MD from McGill University. She completed her residency training at the New York University Medical Center in addition to completing her fellowship training in Forensic Psychiatry at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, New York. Furthermore, Dr Narayanan has been an attending psychiatrist at Riker's Island Correctional Facility - the Comprehensive Psychiatry Emergency Program - and has assisted the Outpatient Program at the Bellevue Hospital Center, New York. She has been a part of Aangan's Advisory Board since 2010.

Rajnish Dhall

Founder & CEO,

Micro Housing Finance Corporation
Mumbai, India

Rajnish completed his P.G.D.M from IIM (Ahmedabad), after which he worked with American Express Bank in a variety of roles and locations (Mumbai, Singapore, London) for 15 years. He left the Bank as a Senior Director in 2006 and returned to Mumbai to work in the social sector and initially joined Aangan, looking after its financial, administrative, fundraising, legal and accountancy matters. In 2008, he set up Micro Housing Finance Corporation www.mhfcindia.com , an organization dedicated to providing housing loans to urban low income families - especially those from the informal sector - who are excluded by the mainstream financial system. He is also on the Justice Dhanuka court appointed committee to look into the infrastructure of Mumbai municipal schools, and on the Board of Ummeed (an NGO which helps children with development disabilities).

Executive Committee


Aangan's Executive Committee (EC), chaired by the Executive Director, is entrusted with the administration and management of program implementation. This includes day-to-day operations, certain budgetary decisions, personnel management, the internal complaints mechanism, coordinating and planning for teams and theirdevelopment. Keeping alive the organizational culture that promotes innovation and finding solutions from the ground, the EC is also tasked with mentoring, supporting and encouraging field teams to bring ideas, suggestions and opportunities to management for adoption and development.

Atiya Bose

Executive Director

Chaitali Sheth

Director

Ankit Macwan

Head, Training

Dr. Smita Dharmamer

Head, Community Strategy

Divya Salins

Head, Curriculum Development

Deepika Khatri

Head, Government Partnership

Neeti Daftari

Head, Knowledge and Impact

Head Office

Tushita Dabir

Head, Finance and Resource Mobilisation

Suparna Gupta

Founder Director

In 2002 Suparna founded Aangan, with the commitment to protecting the most excluded, isolated, vulnerable groups of children. In 2006, she developed a unique model to partner with state governments across the country making Aangan the first non-profit to access hundreds of state-run institutional facilities for rescued, trafficked and other vulnerable children all over India.

In 2009, Suparna extended the organisation's work to identify children in dangerous situations with a view to preventing occurrence and recurrence of serious child harm.

By 2014, this had been developed into an integrated model for child harm prevention and is currently implemented in 39 locations across the country. She has co-authored reports (Changing Spaces 2006, See You Again if I Survive 2007, A Real Opportunity for Change 2010) and led the development of training/empowerment tools for parent/caregivers and children.

Suparna's work has been recognised – she was awarded the Ashoka fellowship for leading social entrepreneurs (2009), selected an Asia 21 Young Leader (2011), the Edward S. Mason Fellowship from Harvard Kennedy School of Government (2012), Ash Centre Fellowship for I Democratic Governance and Innovation (2012). Recently she was a finalist, Jubilant Bhartia Schwab Foundation India's Social Entrepreneur of the Year 2015, on CNBC TV 18's Young Business Women 2016 list of 20 women entrepreneurs pushing boundaries, and winner of the L'Oreal NDTV Women of Worth Award, Social Impact 2016.

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Atiya Bose

Executive Director

Atiya has worked for over fifteen years with marginalized populations both in the US and India on securing human rights focusing on access to justice and opportunity. Her current preoccupation is making child protection everyone's business. Atiya focuses on engaging government and the law for the advancement of children's rights and protection, and demonstrating the power of the 'non-expert' in a community-based prevention model to combat serious child harm.

Atiya's policy advocacy work includes serving on governmental committees including the Ministry of Women and Child Development 's Working Group for Child Rights (Twelfth Five Year Plan); the Juvenile Justice Act Review Committee; and Convenor of the expert committee on Model Homes for children. In 2009 she led Aangan's partnership with UNICEF in the creation of a Standards of Care Tool for children's institutions in the juvenile justice system. She has engaged in national advocacy and training on issues of youth offending and rehabilitation and establishing standards of care for children living in institutions and other alternative care settings. Her research and publications include studies of probation in India and due process within the juvenile justice system.

Prior to joining Aangan in 2007, Atiya worked in the criminal justice system in California as a sentence mitigation specialist advocating for rehabilitative sentences for women, youth and immigrant defendants. Her work included death penalty mitigation as well as extensive work with young offenders and their families.

At other times Atiya has been a journalist, a filmmaker, and a private investigator. She has a Bachelors degree in History and a Masters in Film. Atiya lives in New Delhi.

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Chaitali Sheth

Director

Chaitali oversees and provides direction to overall operations and program at Aangan. She is responsible for the smooth running of the organisation and ensures that the strategic vision and program outcomes are achieved. In conjunction with the senior team, she supports the implementation of all programs across States and ensures that systems and processes are in place to capture the impact of our work. She also manages funder relationships, supports in government partnerships and HR and admin functions.


Chaitali graduated from Sophia College with an undergraduate degree in Psychology and Political Science. She then pursued her post-graduate diploma at the University of Edinburgh and has a Masters in the Management of Training and Development. She has been involved in the development sector since 2000 with organisations like the Akanksha Foundation and Teach for India. Her work has largely been around teacher training, general operations and leading expansion and growth for the organisations.

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Ankit Macwan

Head, Training

Ankit heads the Training Team ensuring the delivery of Aangan’s PACT curriculum on child protection to community-based child protection volunteers as well as to frontline government functionaries and partner organizations.

Ankit has a Master’s degree in Social Work from the College of Social Work, Nirmala Niketan, Mumbai. In the early years of his career in India, he has worked with organisations that focused on child rights and HIV /AIDS awareness and prevention.

He then moved to the UK and worked with the London Borough of Ealing as a Senior Child Protection Practitioner for seven years. This involved undertaking assessments of children and young people who were experiencing harm. Ankit has also played the role of a leading professional in planning and implementing short-term and long-term support packages for children and families in need of care and protection.

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Dr. Smita Dharmamer

Head, Community Strategy

Smita leads community strategy initiatives through the mentoring and on-ground coaching of community-based child protection volunteers – women from far flung bastis and villages. Smita focuses on planning and training on community interventions to prevent child harm as well as on linking these to formal protection systems.


In 2005 Smita gave up a career as a practicing Homeopath, to pursue her interest in human psychology. She completed a post graduate diploma in counseling, and joined Aangan in 2006 as a counselor. Here she claims she found her true calling, and over the years she’s worn many different hats in supporting Aangan in its work to strengthen child protection systems in communities and institutions.


In November 2016, Smita received the prestigious Rex Karmaveer Global Fellowship (RKGF) Award which ‘recognises people who have the courage of conviction to think differently and walk the path less trodden and to act on alternative / innovative ideas which makes a difference in the world.’ The RKGF Award recognises Smita’s passionate commitment to safeguarding the vulnerable child's right to safety, protection and development.

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Divya Salins

Head, Curriculum Development

Through insights gained from her personal work in communities with adolescent boys and girls in some of the most high risk communities, Divya helps to translate the lived experience of these young girls and boys into tools for their own safety and empowerment. Divya facilitates the discussion of issues that arise when adolescent girls and boys start to experience and articulate their empowerment and to fashion appropriate responses at the community level.

Divya has completed her Master’s in Social Work (MSW) from the College of Social Work, Nirmala Niketan, and a PG Diploma in Counseling Psychology from Xavier Institute of Counseling Psychology. Before joining Aangan she worked towards rescuing and rehabilitating young girls, who were victims of trafficking, and sold into the sex trade, ensuring that these girls receive care and support post rescue and are reintegrated back into the community safely.

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Deepika Khatri

Head, Government Partnership

Deepika is responsible for building and strengthening Aangan's engagement with Government departments, focusing specifically on embedding preventive community-based child protection models into existing systems. She works with team members across six states to strategize on engaging with local and district-level government officials and linking them to community child protection volunteers so that formal systems are active and responsive, and children are safer. She also documents and communicates insights from ground-level work in building safe communities for children. She is part of the national advocacy group, ProChild, and the Mumbai Working Group on Juvenile Justice to engage with the Ministry of Women and Child Development on amendments to the Juvenile Justice Act.

Deepika has a Master’sdegree in Development Studies from the Institute of Development Studies, based at the University of Sussex, UK. She also studied Social Communications Media from Sophia College, Mumbai, and has a Bachelor's degree in History from Lady Shriram College, New Delhi. Prior to joining Aangan, she worked as a journalist with India Today before deciding to join the development sector. Since then, she has worked as a researcher with IT for Change, a Bangalore-based NGO, on issues of governance and accountability. She also worked as a research assistant with the Institute of Development Studies and has co-authored two papers. Her research interests include child rights, gender and empowerment, and conflict and poverty.

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Neeti Daftari

Head, Knowledge and Impact

Neeti has been associated with Aangan since 2004 in various capacities. She has a Master’s degree in Social Policy and Development from the London School of Economics and is a qualified Clinical Psychologist and Commonwealth Scholar. Neeti’s experience spans program design, project management, monitoring and evaluation, advocacy, and program scale-up.


Neeti currently ensures an evidence-based and data-driven approach to on-ground action. She collaborates with teams across 6 states to develop solution-focused insights and policy recommendations, and to bring robustness to impact measurement and its dissemination through compelling narratives.


Neeti has undertaken significant national-level social policy and programmatic research for statutory bodies, national and international NGOs in Mumbai, Delhi and London. Recent research papers authored by her include Minor Issues in Major Cities: Child Vulnerabilities in Urban Slums, 2015 (Aangan Trust); Protecting the Rights of Children: The Role of the Media – Lessons from Brazil, India and Kenya, 2013 (Internews Europe: co-authored); Status Report on Child Rights in India: An Overview of the Past Decade, 2013 (CRY); Child Welfare Committees in India: A comprehensive analysis aimed at strengthening the Juvenile Justice System for Children in Need of Care and Protection, 2013 (NCPCR). She has been awarded numerous international fellowships, and is an international trainer and facilitator in human rights.

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Tushita Dabir

Head Finance and Resource Mobilization

Tushita has a Bachelor’s degree in Commerce from Mount Carmel College, Bangalore, and has done her MBA in Finance from K. J. Somaiya Institute of Management Studies and Research, Mumbai. She joined Aangan in 2015 eager to work in the area of child protection. She assists the organization with financial planning, projections, budgeting and reporting. She is especially interested in analyzing and implementing uniform budgeting systems across the board and making financial systems an integral part of the organization's ethos, both on the micro and macro level. With an integrated budgeting and accounting system, she helps to manage the spending, payment processing and reporting to funders, thereby helping to increase decision making efficiency. Tushita also plays an important role by assisting with fund raising and resource mobilization for Aangan.


Tushita has over five years of experience in the financial sector having interned with Citibank and then spent five years at MATA Securities where she was dealing in Fixed Income Securities. Her job included brokering government bond deals with the treasuries of India's leading banks and financial institutions. She was also responsible for business development for the firm.

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