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

Please click on the Team Member’s name to read their bio.


Gouri Banerjee, PhD
Executive Director & 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

Rita Shah, MSW, LCSW
Family Services Coordinator

Rita Shah works  with 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 senior 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, provides culturally responsive domestic violence prevention training to new staff and volunteers. and supports clients with referrals to attorneys, victim’s witness advocates, and state and federal benefit agencies.

Write to Salita at


Vandana Sharma, MS
South Shore Coordinator

Vandana is a domestic violence advocate and coordinates Saheli’s domestic violence prevention programs and computer literacy activities on the South Shore. She has a certificate in public policy from UMass Boston. 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

Jiya Nair

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.

Board of Directors

Tanvi Devimane
Vice President, Governing Board Member

Tanvi is Saheli’s Vice President. She is deeply committed to creating a safe environment for South Asian families and to empowering women. She has been an active volunteer with Saheli since 2012 and a board member since 2015. She manages the Volunteer Program and also co-teaches the Computer Literacy Class at Waltham Public Library. As the Vice President of Saheli, Tanvi assists the President in all administrative and management duties. Tanvi holds a MS in Electrical Engineering from Columbia University and BS in Computer Systems Engineering from University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Tanvi is also on the Executive Council of the Boston Chapter of the Society of Women Engineers.

Write to Tanvi at

Vacant Position
Treasurer, Governing Board Member

Pradip Tandon
Secretary, Governing Board Member

Pradip Tandon is a partner in Acorn Holdings LLC responsible for the general finance operations and investments of the holdings company and all its related business. Acorn Holdings LLC is in the business of developing apartment buildings in Cambridge and Boston, Massachusetts. Mr. Tandon has been working with Acorn and its predecessor Oaktree Development as CFO of various multi-family housing development projects since early 2002.

Mr. Tandon is a Chartered Accountant with 30+ years of accounting and finance experience. Previously, Mr. Tandon was Vice President of Finance with an early stage business venture, Autospace Corporation. Mr. Tandon earned an M.B.A. from Johnson & Wales University (Rhode Island) and a BS/BA in Accounting from St. Xavier’s College (Calcutta, India). Mr. Tandon is a Member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants

Write to Pradip at

Pooja Bakhai
Director, Board Member

Pooja Bakhai is a Saheli Board Member, with experience in the non-profit and intergovernmental sectors. She supports Saheli’s work in the areas of community outreach, educational programming and grant management. After working in the fields of education and gender inequality for over five years, she is currently is pursuing a PhD at Harvard University in Education Policy. She holds a BA from Stanford University, and a MA from Relay Graduate School of Education.

Write to Pooja at

Divya Chandra
Director, Board Member

Divya Chandra is a firm believer in women’s empowerment.  She is a Board Member and has been actively involved in Fund raising, Outreach events and Internal process reviews.  

She comes with 15 years of diverse experience in Financial Risk Management, Consulting and Auditing with organisations such as  KPMG, Standard & Poor’s and Barclays Bank.  She has lived and worked in India, Singapore, Dubai and Saudi Arabia. Divya is qualified Chartered Accountant from the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India and a Masters of Commerce from Mumbai University, India.

She has keenly balanced her professional and working life with community work so far.  Her previous experience includes working with “Hope for Exceptional Needs”, a school for children with special needs in Jeddah-Saudi Arabia; “Dream School Foundation”, an organization that follows an Integrated Education and Development Model for students in Bangalore India; “Social Service League”, an association mobilizing college students in community development work in Mumbai India.

Write to Divya at

Amrith Fernandes-Prabhu
Director, Board Member

Write to Amrith at

Supriya Saurabh
Director, Board Member

Supriya has been with Saheli for over 3 years and actively participated in Community outreach events, Support Groups, Computer Literacy Classes and Media Communications. She is a Biomedical Engineer by qualification and worked as Assistant Professor with SJPML Engineering College in India. She later collaborated with a professor at John Hopkins University to conduct research in the field of Neuroimaging and Neurospectroscopy. An advocate of of gender equality and women empowerment, she is an avid supporter of Saheli’s objectives and vision. Supriya works as Quality and Compliance leader in the medical device industry.

Write to Supriya at

Kiran Uppuluri
Director, Board Member

Write to Kiran at

Usha Vakil
Director, 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