Saheli is run by a dedicated team of staff, a Governing Board, an Advisory Committee, and community volunteers.


Rita Shah, MSW, LCSW
Family Services Coordinator

Rita Shah works  with Saheli clients, provides referrals and support, and connects clients to services. Rita has a Master’s degree in Social Work in Leadership and Management from Simmons College and 20 years of community organizing  experience.  She was the past president of India Association of Greater Boston, and a Vice President of Indian American Forum on Political Education. Rita has taught at Shishu Bharati Language School, organized ESOL and Citizenship classes in Burlington and Lowell for senior citizens, assisted in the cultural awareness training for police departments. She is an active member of the Satsang Center in Woburn and works at the Arlington Housing Authority. She participates actively in programs for South Asian elders at the Burlington Council on Aging.


Write to Rita at


Salita Mehta
Senior Domestic Violence Advocate

Salita Mehta is a domestic violence prevention advocate and coordinates Saheli’s activities in the cities and towns to the north and west of Boston. She supervises the Saheli 24 x 7 helpline.

Write to Salita at


Vandana Sharma, MS
Domestic Violence Advocate and South Shore Coordinator

Vandana is a domestic violence advocate and coordinates Saheli’s activities on the South Shore of Massachusetts. She has a Master’s degree in Psychology. In 2014, she became an entrepreneur when she opened her store in Medfield, MA. Vandana coordinates free computer literacy classes at Thomas Crane Library, Quincy Center.

Write to Vandana at

Katy Hurley, MSSW
Program Coordinator

Katy is the newest addition to the Saheli team. She coordinates our Domestic Violence, Economic Empowerment, and Emotional Well-Being and Mental Health programs. Katy has a background in refugee resettlement, and experience in programming (development, management, and evaluation); ESOL teaching; case management; and clinical counseling with immigrant survivors of torture, domestic violence, and human trafficking. She holds a Master of Science in Social Work from Columbia University, where she studied International Social Welfare and Services for Immigrants and Refugees.

Write to Katy at

Board of Directors

Usha Vakil
Board Member

Usha Vakil has been a board member of Saheli since its inception in August 1996 and served as the Chair of the Board of Saheli for 18 years. Usha co-founded Saheli in 1996. In 2015 she transitioned to the role of a board member leading the community fundraising efforts.   She has taken the Domestic Violence Training program and supports the Domestic Violence team, as needed. She is a Senior Project Manager at Iron Mountain.


Write to Usha at


Manish Patel
Treasurer, Governing Board Member

Manish is a finance professional with experience in Asset Management and Corporate Finance. He has a B.S. in Finance and Economics from Bentley University and currently works as a finance Manager at Iron Mountain. Manish brings his finance and strategic planning experience to help Saheli to help achieve its medium and long-term objectives.


Write to Manish at


Gouri Banerjee, Ph. D.
President, Governing Board Member

Gouri co-founded Saheli in 1996, and has served on the Saheli Board for many years. She  supervised the domestic violence portfolio and has successfully raised fund from many foundations to support Saheli’s work. Gouri took leadership in starting the computer literacy classes in Cambridge, Waltham, and Quincy and Saheli’s Support Group in Burlington. Over the years, she has done consistent work in outreach to universities, colleges and community organizations on behalf of Saheli and connected Saheli to student groups such as those at Harvard, Boston University, Northeastern University,  Brandeis University and Emmanuel College. Gouri is an Associate Professor Emeritus at Emmanuel College in Boston and holds a Ph.D from Boston University.


Write to Gouri at


Barinder Ahluwalia
Board Member

Barinder has a degree in Computer Science and was a substitute teacher until 2008.  She now works as a legal and medical interpreter in the Nashua, NH area.  Barinder has been the Chair Person for the Public Service of  the Indian Association of New Hampshire (IANH)  since 2003. As Public Service Chair she has helped expand the cooking and serving program at the homeless shelter to Manchester and Nashua. She had served on the YWCA-Manchester, NH board from 2008- 2012.  She has successfully launched a Saheli-New Hampshire Chapter under IANH to assist women survivors of violence in New Hampshire.

Write to barinder at

Mala Krishnamurthy
Board Member

Mala is a software engineer. She has been with Saheli since 2006. Mala co-ordinated the ESL program at Lowell till 2010. Student enrollment improved  in collaboration with the Lowell Adult Education Centre and diversified it, attracting people beyond the Indian community. She currently leads the Saheli-Shrewsbury, working on developing partnerships with ADVISE and the India Society of Worcester. Mala is keen on using social media and technology in improving Saheli’s community outreach and communication.

Write to at

Deepika Madan
Vice President, Governing Board Member

Deepika is a manager of Mediation Services, North Shore Community Mediation Center in Beverly, MA. She is also associated with Mediator, Mediation Works Inc., Boston , MA. Deepika leads the free computer literacy classes in Waltham, MA and overseas Saheli’s hiring decisions and appointments.

Write to Deepika at

Kumkum Malik, Psy. D.
Board Member

Kumkum joined the Saheli Board in 2014. She is a psychologist and has private practices in Wellesley & Norfolk. She chairs the Emotional Wellbeing programs of Saheli and organizes educational workshops and seminars.

Write to

Lata Parwani
Board Member

Pradip Tandon
Secretary, Governing Board Member

Tanvi Devimane
Board Member

Advisory Committee

Anu Chitrapu

Co-Chair of Saheli’s Annual Fundraiser

David Ludwig, Ph. D, MD

David is a physician at Boston Children’s Hospital. He is the Director of the New Balance Foundation Obesity Prevention Center, and the Director at the Optimal Weight for Life (OWL) Program. David is also the John Fielding Crigler, Jr. & Mary Adele Sippel Crigler Chair in Pediatric Endocrinology.

Jayashree Voruganti

Jayashri  is an Independent Consultant at Late Stage CMC Program Management at Biogen Idec. She is the current President of the India Association of Greater Boston in Burlington, Mass.

Lata Rao

Lata Rao is a domestic violence advocate and active in Saheli’s domestic violence program. She is a business owner and owns Kohinoor Collections a business for clothing and ethnic ware.

Manju Sheth, MD

Co-Chair of Saheli’s Annual Fundraiser. Manju is a physician associated with Lahey Hospital and Medical Center in Burlington, MA. She is also the director and producer at INE Media.

Neelam Wali

Neelam is the President & CEO Printing and Graphic Services. She is a business owner in printing and graphics services. She is also the President of the Billerica Adventure Series, a member of the Board of Directors at Billerica CARES, Billerica Partners for Education, Billerica Community Alliance and Billerica Lions Cub. She is also a member of the India Association of Greater Boston, IAFPE, ISW, United India, and the India Leadership Network.

Rajendra Trivedi, MD

Rajendra is a Psychiatrist at Baldpate Hospital. He is the Medical Director and CEO at CCA and The Pain Center. He is also a member of the Blind Peoples Association of India.

Ramesh Advani

Chair of Saheli’s Men’s Programs. He is an independent consultant with the State of Massachusetts.

Ranjani Saigal

Ranjani is a consultant at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the owner of She is a member of VisionAid, TIEBoston, Udavam Karangal, Boston Pledge and the Co-Chair of MITHAS. She is currently the President of Ekal Vidyalaya.

Sweta Mepani

Sweta is the Senior Director of North America Delivery at NTT DATA, Inc. She is a member of the Indian Circle of Caring,  LearnToLove Inc., JSNE, JCGB, and a Life Member of Gurjar.

Trupti Patel, Esq

Trupti is an Attorny at Trupti N. Patel & Associates in Burlington and Boston. Trupti specializes in immigration law, transnational cases, and H1 visa issues.