Board of Directors
Neelam Wali, the owner of a successful Printing and Graphic Services in Billerica, was born and brought up in India. Neelam has been a social activist in her community.
In 2006 she was honored as Billerica’s Business Champion of the Year. Past President of The Friends of Council on Aging, Past President of Billerica Chamber of Commerce, Board Member of Billerica Partners for Education, Board Member of Billerica Lions Club International, Member of Billerica Plan, Member of Billerica Access Television, Life Member of India Society of Worcester, Life Member of Indian Association of Greater Boston, Life Member of United India, Member of Hadassah and serves on various Town Committees. She was nominated as the 1st Chair for the Asian American Commission, a body dedicated to political advocacy on behalf of the Asian American community in the State of Massachusetts.
She was honored as the Women of the Year 2007 by Boys and Girls Club of Greater Billerica.
Neelam’s association with Saheli these past 20 years has taught her the fragility of human beings. To quote her, “Domestic violence affects all sections of society equally, though it is much harder on the new immigrants with no social connections and Saheli services fill the cultural gap.” She has been a constant Saheli supporter and an advocate against domestic violence in the community. She has guided and supported Saheli during the fundraisers since 2010. She is the Chair of the Saheli Advisory Committee and chaired Saheli Biennial Nirbhaya Gala in 2019, providing leadership in the design, build and execution of the program.
Her dedication, passion and commitment are embraced by her husband Anupam and her three daughters who are also long-time Saheli volunteers and advocates.
Aditi is a scientist by profession, working as Director, Program and Alliance Management at Dyne Therapeutics. She is very passionate about helping patients with rare diseases. She is a mentor with Project management institute, Boston chapter. She is current president of United India Association of New England. She has collaborated with Saheli, during International Women’s Day celebration and Covid 19 relief fund organized by UIANE earlier this year.
Aditi is very passionate about women’s empowerment and women’s equality and inclusion initiatives. She has served as co-chair of ‘Cambridge Women Resource Group’ (an ERG with over 500 members) during her scientific tenure at Novartis.
N R Nirmala
N R Nirmala has had a career in the pharma industry for over 20 years. She is currently a Principal Investigator at the Tufts Medical Center as well as a co-Founder and CEO of Vindhya Data Science. Nirmala is very interested in contributing to the cause of supporting women to have enriching and healthy lives, which is why she is very honored to be on the board of directors of Saheli. which specializes in global cuisines.
Tanu Debasri Basu
Tanu Basu is an educator, social worker, creative artist and a senior recruiting/HR management professional and holds degrees in English, Education and Dance. She has always acted as an aide in achieving the desired goal of the people she works for, with pride and success. She firmly believes in discipline, orderliness, meticulousness, integrity, sincerity, loyalty, dynamism and above all, dedication, passion and love for her work and service to the community.
As a community facilitator, Tanu strives to “connect”. In addition to serving in Saheli board, she also serves in the board of directors for ace community organizations like IAGB & IAB. Tanu also volunteers in homeless shelters, retirement homes, hospice facilities and Emergency Departments of multiple hospitals in the Greater Boston area.
Tanu feels strongly about equity and inclusion for women and stands tall against domestic violence. She strives to address, assist, and achieve the safety, empowerment, and well-being of women through efficiency measures and effectiveness measures within the community at large.
Co-founder & Board Member
Usha Vakil co-founded Saheli in 1996. Usha has been a board member since its inception in August 1996 and served as the Chair of the Board of Saheli for 18 years. Under her leadership, Saheli grew from a small volunteer-run community organization into a multiservice agency serving a diverse statewide population.
In 2015 Usha transitioned to the role of a board member and leads 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.
Meenakshi Garodia is a member of the Board at Saheli where she has been involved with fundraising and youth programs.
Meenakshi has her MBA from the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore and has worked in manufacturing and finance.
She has always been passionate about women’s empowerment and is an appointed commissioner with the Brookline Commission of Women.
She is a ceramic artist, who highlights women’s issues through her art. She has also developed a vegetarian cooking show on YouTube which specializes in global cuisines.
Ms Yadav is a Chartered Accountant (CA) from ICAI (Institute of Chartered Accountants of India) and Certified Internal Auditor (CIA) from IIA (Institute of Internal Auditors) has a broad experience as a Finance Business partner in strategic risk mitigation, financial reporting, business controls design and SOX readiness.
Ms. Yadav has served as the Senior Director of internal controls at a public pharmaceuticals company, where she directed corporate finance and functional processes. Ms. Yadav also served as a Finance Director leading the finances and financial reporting of Industrial Business Unit. Ms. Yadav’s contributions include partnering with leaders of multiple therapeutic areas and cross functional teams to build and enhance oversight on key operational activities, partnering with the CFO on strategic projects with significant financial risks, and strengthening the controls and improving the accuracy of financial monitoring and market analyses.
Ms. Yadav has led IT Audits for SOX and non-SOX engagements, spearheaded the design and implementation of business process controls, implemented business controls for several ERP implementation projects, trained internal audit staff, and performed risk assessments.
Prior to her work in industry, Ms. Yadav worked at Deloitte, where she provided risk assurance services for healthcare clients and designed and implemented business process controls for a large ERP project. Ms. Yadav began her career at KMPG as an auditor in assurance, tax, and regulatory services.
Sumathi C Madhure
Sumathi is a single mom and an activist. She serves as Co-chair of Asian American & Pacific Islander caucus, NH, as well as State director for South Asians for America in New Hampshire. She works as a physical therapist. Sumathi earned her BA and MS from University of Lowell, MA.