Team Ek Tara

Board of Trustees

Vinita Saraf, Founder & Managing Trustee

With a commitment to creating educated youths, from first generational learners, she has designed high quality, cost effective and comprehensive services for the community using an eclectic approach tailored to the unique needs of every individual. She has worked on enhancing self esteem via education among young adults in Eastern India’s largest slum area.
With a BSc from Calcutta University, a Degree in Interior Design from New York and a Degree in Spanish and German, she started her career as an Interior Designer. Later after having travelled extensively she started her own travel concern for women, ‘Creative Escapes’. Along with this, attending conferences, reading and real life experiences of daily interaction with different communities, Vinita started EkTara in the largest slum in Eastern India.

Namrata Sureka, Founder & Managing Trustee

A strong believer in women’s empowerment she has facilitated programme aimed at educating and generating livelihood for several girls and women in order to make them self-sufficient. She is the Former President of ‘Ladies Study Group’, the Ladies Wing of ‘Indian Chamber of Commerce’, an organization which focuses on women empowerment and entrepreneurship. Her motto in life is to ‘Look Beyond and be the Catalyst’. Namrata also has an avid interest in music, dance, theatre and the fine arts and considers culture and heritage to be an integral part of society.

Namrata Sureka, Founder & Managing Trustee

A strong believer in women’s empowerment she has facilitated programme aimed at educating and generating livelihood for several girls and women in order to make them self-sufficient. She is the Former President of ‘Ladies Study Group’, the Ladies Wing of ‘Indian Chamber of Commerce’, an organization which focuses on women empowerment and entrepreneurship. Her motto in life is to ‘Look Beyond and be the Catalyst’. Namrata also has an avid interest in music, dance, theatre and the fine arts and considers culture and heritage to be an integral part of society.

Kumud Agarwal, Trustee

With a BA in History Hons from Calcutta University, a degree in interior design and currently a businesswoman working in Kolkata, Kumud Agarwal has been associated with EkTara since its inception. She is involved in training community girls and mothers on work plans and bookkeeping, cost control, financial literacy and capacity building.

Nandita Palchoudhuri, Trustee

A social entrepreneur Curating and Consulting in Indian Folk Art Craft and Performance Practices ,internationally.Nandita is a Clore Chevening Scholar in Cultural Leadership UK, and has completed courses in Non-Profit Management from New York University and Advertising & Marketing from the Institute of Marketing & Management IMM.

Nandita Palchoudhuri, Trustee

A social entrepreneur Curating and Consulting in Indian Folk Art Craft and Performance Practices ,internationally.Nandita is a Clore Chevening Scholar in Cultural Leadership UK, and has completed courses in Non-Profit Management from New York University and Advertising & Marketing from the Institute of Marketing & Management IMM.

Arun Saraf, Trustee

A chartered accountant by qualification. He has been practising as a tax consultant for over 33 years. Currently he manages income-tax related matters for over 250 companies spread across Kolkata, Bangalore and Mumbai. It includes the likes of UCO bank, Indian Oil Petronas, RPG – Sanjiv Goenka group & Nusli Wadia group.

Advisory Circle

Amita Prasad

Amita Prasad is passionate about school teaching – which she has made her vocation for over 30 years. Her first love is teaching History but she has been involved in mentoring students in all aspects of school life – scholastic and co-scholastic. As Vice Principal of Modern High School for Girls, she played a pivotal role in school administration. She was appointed Dean, Research and Development at The Heritage School, Kolkata. At present she is Director, Indus Valley World School in Kolkata. Amita is co-author of three series of History and Civics textbooks for Classes 3 to 8 published by Oxford University Press. She is a member of the advisory Board of “PEACEWORKS” (an initiative of the Seagull Foundation for the Arts) and a member of the Governing Body of Manovikas Kendra.

Debjani Roychowdhury

Debjani Roychowdhury has over 45 years experience working in diverse positions, dealing with governments, corporate sector, civil society and nonprofits. She retired from the US Consulate Kolkata and thereafter did two 5-year stints establishing local chapters of American Chamber of Commerce and the nonprofit United Way Worldwide. Debjani was also the East India Consultant for United Way Bengaluru for its pan-India early childhood project. She is currently on the board of a Meghalaya based NGO.

Debjani Roychowdhury

Debjani Roychowdhury has over 45 years experience working in diverse positions, dealing with governments, corporate sector, civil society and nonprofits. She retired from the US Consulate Kolkata and thereafter did two 5-year stints establishing local chapters of American Chamber of Commerce and the nonprofit United Way Worldwide. Debjani was also the East India Consultant for United Way Bengaluru for its pan-India early childhood project. She is currently on the board of a Meghalaya based NGO.

Gopal Naredi

Gopal Kumar Naredi, Chairman & Managing Director, Industrial Safety Products (ISP) Pvt. Ltd., is a stalwart in Eastern India’s leather industry; many units of which were earlier located in Topsia/Tiljala, Ek Tara’s area of operation. His company is the largest exporter and award winner from ” Council of Leather Exports” for leather work gloves from India continuously since the last 10 years. His years of experience of working in this area has given him a deep understanding of the community and he is keenly interested in their welfare. As an individual he is committed to improving lives and infrastructure in this area and this has led to immense respect across all sections of society.

Hrithik Bansal

Hrithik Bansal is a Director at Ambootia Tea Group which is a pioneer in sustainable agriculture. Hrithik has varied experience of living and working across 4 continents in a variety of spheres. He has worked as a special advisor to the leadership of BRAC, a large global nonprofit working to eradicate poverty. He began his career as a Research Analyst at the Economic Growth Center at Yale University, and has worked as a Senior Economist at the National Treasury of the Government of South Africa. Hrithik has a B.A Honors in Economics & International Studies from Northwestern University, an M.Phil in Economics from the University of Oxford, and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

Hrithik Bansal

Hrithik Bansal is a Director at Ambootia Tea Group which is a pioneer in sustainable agriculture. Hrithik has varied experience of living and working across 4 continents in a variety of spheres. He has worked as a special advisor to the leadership of BRAC, a large global nonprofit working to eradicate poverty. He began his career as a Research Analyst at the Economic Growth Center at Yale University, and has worked as a Senior Economist at the National Treasury of the Government of South Africa. Hrithik has a B.A Honors in Economics & International Studies from Northwestern University, an M.Phil in Economics from the University of Oxford, and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

Matthew Fisher

Matthew Fisher has supported Ek Tara for several years, and believes passionately in its work. He has taken an interest in girls’ education for many years. He visits India a couple of times a year, to visit his wife’s family and to travel around the country. Originally from England, Matthew has lived most of his life in the U.S. He recently retired after 34 years at the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in Washington D.C. Before that he worked at H.M. Treasury in London. Matthew is an economist by training and his hobbies are cooking, travel and photography.

Samir Bhandari

Samir Bhandari, Co-Chair of Global Markets Sales Executive Committee, Head of Global Markets Sales, Asia ex-Japan. Prior to this, Mr. Bhandari held the role of Regional Head of Corporate Sales – Risk Solutions Group, Singapore and South-East Asia for Lehman Brothers. He joined Lehman Brothers in June 2008, and previously had spent nine years at JP Morgan (SEA) Ltd based in Singapore as Managing Director, Head of Sales responsible for Sales of FX and Derivatives products, South and SEA coverage. Prior to JP Morgan, Mr. Bhandari spent 3.5 years in UBS, Singapore and 7 years with bank of America in Mumbai and Hongkong. He holds an MBA (PGDM) from the Indian Institute of Management in Ahmedabad and is a Chartered Accountant from Institute of Chartered Accountants of India.

Samir Bhandari

Samir Bhandari, Co-Chair of Global Markets Sales Executive Committee, Head of Global Markets Sales, Asia ex-Japan. Prior to this, Mr. Bhandari held the role of Regional Head of Corporate Sales – Risk Solutions Group, Singapore and South-East Asia for Lehman Brothers. He joined Lehman Brothers in June 2008, and previously had spent nine years at JP Morgan (SEA) Ltd based in Singapore as Managing Director, Head of Sales responsible for Sales of FX and Derivatives products, South and SEA coverage. Prior to JP Morgan, Mr. Bhandari spent 3.5 years in UBS, Singapore and 7 years with bank of America in Mumbai and Hongkong. He holds an MBA (PGDM) from the Indian Institute of Management in Ahmedabad and is a Chartered Accountant from Institute of Chartered Accountants of India.

Samvit Kanoria

Samvit Kanoria is a Partner with McKinsey & Company based in the Middle East. He leads the Real Estate and Infrastructure practice in the EEMA region and works with several governmental and institutional investing clients. Samvit is passionate about contributing to EkTara, in his home city, Kolkata. Samvit has also worked with Temasek Holdings in Singapore, as a Mayfield Fellow in Silicon Valley, and as an Investment Banker in Goldman Sachs, San Francisco. He holds a BA (Hons) in Economics and MS in Management Science & Engineering from Stanford University.

Sangeeta Jatia

Sangeeta Jatia is an Economics Graduate from Calcutta University. She was drawn to volunteering in a service club organisation – Lions Clubs International where she served in various capacities; area, country and at the International level. She was elected the first woman from India to be part of the International Board of Directors of the organisation in 2012. Sangeeta has been involved in training programs and has held seminars and workshops on volunteer leadership in various parts of the world and setting up virtual platforms. She has worked with a large number of organisations to set up partnerships and collaborations for community development. Sangeeta also leads the organization’s women’s initiative aimed at gender parity. Her strengths lie in organisational skills and she has chaired many International forums.

Sangeeta Jatia

Sangeeta Jatia is an Economics Graduate from Calcutta University. She was drawn to volunteering in a service club organisation – Lions Clubs International where she served in various capacities; area, country and at the International level. She was elected the first woman from India to be part of the International Board of Directors of the organisation in 2012. Sangeeta has been involved in training programs and has held seminars and workshops on volunteer leadership in various parts of the world and setting up virtual platforms. She has worked with a large number of organisations to set up partnerships and collaborations for community development. Sangeeta also leads the organization’s women’s initiative aimed at gender parity. Her strengths lie in organisational skills and she has chaired many International forums.

Sarah Symons

Sarah Symons is the founder and director of Her Future Coalition, an international NGO based in the US, which works with survivors of gender violence and girls at high risk, offering shelter, education and employment to break the cycle of poverty and exploitation. She is a graduate from University of Pennsylvania. Her organisation has been recognized for its innovative work against trafficking by: Sam Walton Foundation, Humanity United, US State Department (Trafficking in Persons office), V Day foundation and the Governor of Massachusetts.

Sunita Poddar

Sunita Poddar is the CEO, Oakminster HealthCare Ltd, one of Scotland’s leading and award-winning providers and innovators in the specialised provision of care and rehabilitation services. Sunita is the first Scottish Asian Woman in Scotland to be honoured with the title of Honorary Consul General of Nepal (Glasgow – Scotland) in May 2013. Sunita was appointed as a Trustee and International Yoga Coordinator of Patanjali Yog Peeth (UK) Trust in October 2007. Since her appointment as a trustee, the achievement of PYP (UK) Trust within the UK and Worldwide is phenomenal. Her entrepreneurial spirit and desire to change society for the better has led her to take up charity work and earn a reputation as a leading philanthropist. Ek Tara is a cause close to her heart as Sunita believes the empowerment of women through education is key to address the inequalities women face. She has several awards to her credit, including — Entrepreneur of the Year 2013- Scottish Asian Business Award; Scottish Care “Outstanding Achievement Award” – 2018; and Scottish Care “Outstanding Achievement Award” – 2019

Sunita Poddar

Sunita Poddar is the CEO, Oakminster HealthCare Ltd, one of Scotland’s leading and award-winning providers and innovators in the specialised provision of care and rehabilitation services. Sunita is the first Scottish Asian Woman in Scotland to be honoured with the title of Honorary Consul General of Nepal (Glasgow – Scotland) in May 2013. Sunita was appointed as a Trustee and International Yoga Coordinator of Patanjali Yog Peeth (UK) Trust in October 2007. Since her appointment as a trustee, the achievement of PYP (UK) Trust within the UK and Worldwide is phenomenal. Her entrepreneurial spirit and desire to change society for the better has led her to take up charity work and earn a reputation as a leading philanthropist. Ek Tara is a cause close to her heart as Sunita believes the empowerment of women through education is key to address the inequalities women face. She has several awards to her credit, including — Entrepreneur of the Year 2013- Scottish Asian Business Award; Scottish Care “Outstanding Achievement Award” – 2018; and Scottish Care “Outstanding Achievement Award” – 2019

Young Professionals Board

Anandita Puri

After growing up in Dubai, and completing my undergraduate education in the US, I made me way to London, UK, where I have been living and working for the last 6 years. I started my career in Operations for Financial Services and now work in the Risk and Compliance Division covering Derivatives and Structured Lending products for the Investment Banking Division. Education and support for young women in India is a cause I am extremely passionate about, and have spent summers growing up working with girls in slums and villages in and around New Delhi. Joining Ek Tara’s YPB is an opportunity to take that passion forward at scale, at an organization that is doing fantastic work, and something I am extremely excited about.

Avinash Satish

Avinash works as a Senior Consultant with the Deloitte US-India practice supporting clients with organization separation and integration during Mergers & Acquisitions. In his spare time, he connects like-minded people in the social impact sector using past experiences of working with non-profits such as Ashoka Innovators of the Public, Make A Difference and a recycling startup called Paperman.

Avinash Satish

Avinash works as a Senior Consultant with the Deloitte US-India practice supporting clients with organization separation and integration during Mergers & Acquisitions. In his spare time, he connects like-minded people in the social impact sector using past experiences of working with non-profits such as Ashoka Innovators of the Public, Make A Difference and a recycling startup called Paperman.

Heena Arora

Heena Arora works in the Capital Planning Division at the Royal Bank of Canada. She is a General Director of the South Asian Bar Association- Chicago chapter, Special Projects Coordinator of the Chicago Bar Association-Young Lawyers Section, and an Affiliate Member of the New York City Bar Association’s Compliance Committee. She is admitted to practice law in Illinois and New York.

Paul Klahre

Paul, 23 year old represents Germany as a Youth Delegate to the UN and serves as the International Commissioner (thereby member of the national board) of the largest German Scout organization (85,000 members). He is the Founder of the Charity Root Foundation, Germany and did a year-long voluntary service and training – Root Foundation Rwanda, organization for marginalized children. He is studying International Relations with a focus on international law at the University of Dresden with a semester at Science po Lyon, France until April. He is a passionate (jazz-) pianist.

Paul Klahre

Paul, 23 year old represents Germany as a Youth Delegate to the UN and serves as the International Commissioner (thereby member of the national board) of the largest German Scout organization (85,000 members). He is the Founder of the Charity Root Foundation, Germany and did a year-long voluntary service and training – Root Foundation Rwanda, organization for marginalized children. He is studying International Relations with a focus on international law at the University of Dresden with a semester at Science po Lyon, France until April. He is a passionate (jazz-) pianist.

Pukhraj Ranjan

Pukhraj is the Founder and CEO of Finnish Social Enterprise, Moi Namaste, with an aim to connect the world with ethical and sustainable Indian craftsmanship. With a decade of experience in the education and development sector, she aims to educate and empower business owners on the triple-bottom-line focus of social businesses. She is a firm believer in breaking our own prejudices, surpassing geographical boundaries, weaving communities, and creating work that is meaningful.

Rhea Bhandari

Rhea Bhandari is a sophomore studying Neuroscience at Boston University and hopes to pursue a career as a surgeon. She conducted research under the supervision of a professor at the National University of Singapore, specifically focusing on drug treatments for COVID-19 and other infectious diseases.
She is also passionate about community service, and has been an active volunteer at Homes for the aged and children hospitals. Within Boston University, she is a member of the Mind and Brain Society and the Treasurer for Project Sunshine, an organization that works to provide an uplifting environment for pediatric patients. She is also a Research Assistant at a laboratory of Addiction Genetics at the BU School of Medicine.

Rhea Bhandari

Rhea Bhandari is a sophomore studying Neuroscience at Boston University and hopes to pursue a career as a surgeon. She conducted research under the supervision of a professor at the National University of Singapore, specifically focusing on drug treatments for COVID-19 and other infectious diseases.
She is also passionate about community service, and has been an active volunteer at Homes for the aged and children hospitals. Within Boston University, she is a member of the Mind and Brain Society and the Treasurer for Project Sunshine, an organization that works to provide an uplifting environment for pediatric patients. She is also a Research Assistant at a laboratory of Addiction Genetics at the BU School of Medicine.

Sonum Garg

Sonum is an internationally educated consultant, currently working for the Boston Consulting Group out of Chicago. She believes that education is a key to women’s’ empowerment and is passionate about using problem solving expertise to expand Ek Tara’s meaningful impact. As someone who grew up across three different continents with deeply rooted Indian heritage she brings a diverse perspective to globally applicable education.

Shubhangam Tekriwal

Shubhangam is based in Mumbai, working with Avaana Capital, a venture-growth investment firm. Besides his professional life, he works with DSO Global, offering pro-bono consulting services to international development non-profits.

Shubhangam Tekriwal

Shubhangam is based in Mumbai, working with Avaana Capital, a venture-growth investment firm. Besides his professional life, he works with DSO Global, offering pro-bono consulting services to international development non-profits.

Sunil Shah

Sunil is an anesthetic trainee currently based in Southend-On-Sea, UK.
Prior to university, he was a member of ‘Global Xchange’, a 6-month youth volunteering programme, where he worked and lived in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and Hartlepool, UK.

Our Team

Anupriya Moitra

Executive Programme Manager

Manjusmita Bagchi

Associate Director

Mitali Bose

Executive Programme Manager

Sharbani Das

Executive Programme Manager

Shuvasree Biswas

Associate Manager-Communications

Sudipto Chowdhury

Accounts Manager

Aditi Banerjee

Project Assistant – Education

Jamila Khatun

Project Assistant – Community Engagement

Puja Chatterjee

Program Assistant – Education & Administration

Dipon Deb

Curriculum Head – Curriculum Development and Partnerships (Education)

Community Leaders

Sultana Khatoon

A Community Leader, besides an active Floor Supervisor, participates in various art workshops and has keen interest in photography.

Nilufar Ezaz

A Community Leader, takes responsibility of keeping the Learning Center spotlessly clean.

Nilufar Ezaz

A Community Leader, takes responsibility of keeping the Learning Center spotlessly clean.

Surendra Jha

An All rounder of Ek Tara as he takes care of the entire Learning Centre from ground to terrace, starting from gate keeping to monitoring the entire space.

Shamima Khatoon

A diligent and responsible leader who takes care of the accounts of the “Ektara Creates” and the Community Kitchen.

Shamima Khatoon

A diligent and responsible leader who takes care of the accounts of the “Ektara Creates” and the Community Kitchen.

MD Athar Nawab

The “runner” of the organization, as he takes care of the car logistics and ensuring his car wheels are always running.

Mehenaj Khatoon

A Community Leader who is also a Floor Supervisor, looks after every need of the teachers and students of the floor to ensure that classes run smoothly.

Mehenaj Khatoon

A Community Leader who is also a Floor Supervisor, looks after every need of the teachers and students of the floor to ensure that classes run smoothly.

Soma Sardar

The Chef of our “Community Kitchen” who cooks delicious meals for our students, the staff members and other community members.

Our Mentors

Alka Patodia

Education

Anita Kanoi

Health, Hygiene & Nutrition

Bela Saraf

Ek Tara Creates

Kusum Khemka

Ek Tara Creates

Sangita Karnani

Ek Tara Creates

Sonam Bajoria

Education

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Help a lot.

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Covid-19 Relief

Donate Ration kit to an underprivileged family for 1 month

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Donate Towards General Funds

We urge everyone to help us cover general expenses vital to the running of the organisation.

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Relief & Rehabilitation Project

Support our Covid-19 Relief & Rehabilitation Project

Give a Little

Sponsor Tele-classes for children

Donate to support tele-classes for children for Covid-19 Project

Give a Little

Relief & Rehabilitation Project

Support our Covid-19 Relief & Rehabilitation Project

Give a Little

Sponsor Tele-classes for children

Donate to support tele-classes for children for Covid-19 Project

Give a Little

Donate Towards General Funds

We urge everyone to help us cover general expenses vital to the running of the organisation.

Latest Happenings

Events, workshops & festivities at ek tara

Block Printing Activity

Block Printing Activity

Young Indians Kolkata organized a block printing workshop. Our kids mixed colours and painted using ornate wooden blocks. With…

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Plastics for Pads

Plastics for Pads

We asked our adolescent girls and community women to bring in single use plastics, which they were able to exchange for sanitary pads, all…

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Our Supporters

  • Strive2Thrive

    Strive2Thrive

  • Development Solutions Organization

    Development Solutions Organization

  • Lions Club International

    Lions Club International

  • The Burlap People

    The Burlap People

  • Indigo Paints

    Indigo Paints

  • Bata

    Bata

  • Hyatt Regency Kolkata

    Hyatt Regency Kolkata

  • Kolkata Foundation

    Kolkata Foundation

  • Birla Academy Of Art & Culture

    Birla Academy Of Art & Culture

  • Bombay Gow Rakshak Trust

    Bombay Gow Rakshak Trust

  • Her Future Coalition

    Her Future Coalition

  • Indian Political Action Committee

    Indian Political Action Committee

  • Indian Oil Petronas Private Limited

    Indian Oil Petronas Private Limited

  • Indus Valley World School

    Indus Valley World School

  • Kajaria Ceramics

    Kajaria Ceramics

  • Modern High School for Girls

    Modern High School for Girls

  • Slum Jam

    Slum Jam

  • West Bengal Industrial Development Corporation

    West Bengal Industrial Development Corporation

  • Kathleen Confectioners

    Kathleen Confectioners

  • Keventer

    Keventer

  • Mobile School

    Mobile School

  • 300 million challenge A Katha-led initiative

    300 million challenge
    A Katha-led initiative

  • Connect For

    Connect For

  • Urbana

    Urbana

  • Bathwal Corporation

    Bathwal Corporation

  • B. P. Poddar Hospital Medical Research

    B. P. Poddar Hospital Medical Research

  • Buildwell Group

    Buildwell Group

  • Camp K12

    Camp K12

  • Infinity

    Infinity

  • Industrial Safety Products

    Industrial Safety Products

  • Kolkata Sanved

    Kolkata Sanved

  • Leader's Quest

    Leader's Quest

  • PCT

    PCT

  • Tata Steel

    Tata Steel

  • Talk to a Scientist

    Talk to a Scientist