To keep our programs running, AIC relies on a core group of dedicated professionals both at the onsite level (including our hardworking volunteers) as well as a global volunteer board of directors.

On-site Team

bharatiBharati Kewalramani

Executive Director

Bharati joined the AIC team in May 2015 after having worked with multinational companies for over 16 years. She has held various senior management roles at HSBC and also worked closely with various NGOs in her role as Head of the CSR Committee. Bharati will be responsible for developing and leading AIC’s operations in Pune and collaborate with the community to produce positive, shared outcomes for children and families.

buntyBunty Ashok Pai

Director, Education Outreach Program

Bunty joined the AIC team in 2012 following extensive experience in the fields of media, business communication, and education. Because of her experience in the Indian education system, Bunty understands the needs of the children in the Education Outreach Program and tries to find the right balance between fulfilling the demands of the local school and more in-depth learning at AIC.

IMG-20151123-WA0002Natasha Choudhary

Director, Residential Program

Natasha is a social worker with 6 years of experience working with children in need of care and protection and children in conflict with law. Prior to joining AIC, she was an Associate Director at Freedom Firm. During this period, Natasha was involved in the rescue,restoration and justice of minor victims of human trafficking.

mariaMaria Charles

Director, Ashraya Foundation for Children (AFC)

Maria heads the Advancement Office at UWC Mahindra College in Pune, which is the high school where the idea for AIC was first conceived. Her interest in AIC dates back to 2004 during visits in the earliest stages of setting up of the Residential Program. More recently she has been working to strengthen ties between AIC and UWC.

vikasVikas Atri

Director, Ashraya Foundation for Children (AFC)

Vikas is a sports enthusiast working at a professional football club in Pune. He volunteered with AIC for a couple of years before formally joining as a founding director for the Ashraya Foundation for Children in 2013.

 

Standing (L-R) Bunty AshoK Pai, Director, Education Program, Anuradha Deshpande, Teacher, Poonam Nikambe, Co-ordinator, Health Program, Smita Jagriya, Intern, Administration, Greeshma Vijayan, Counselor, Chethana Gadiyar, Co-ordinator, Education Program, Kunal Deshmukh, Computer Teacher, Kirandeep Kaur, Teacher, Rebecca Sachin Kedari, Assistant Teacher, Indu Sethi, Teacher, Vaishali Gunjal, Assistant Teacher, Deepa Devendra Watkar, Teacher, Vinita Kohinkar, Teacher, Suchitra Memane, Counselor, Natasha Choudhary, Director, Residential Program, Neha Waghri, Intern, Administration and Sonali Patil, Director, Health Program. Sitting (L-R) Lakshmi Waghri, Assistant, Health Program, Arti Narayan Nigde, Teacher, Swati Kamble, Teacher, Shweta Sridhar Punwatkar, Teacher, Vidya Ram Dalvi, Office Assistant and Bharati Kewalramani, Executive Director.

Standing (L-R) Bunty AshoK Pai, Director, Education Program, Anuradha Deshpande, Teacher, Poonam Nikambe, Co-ordinator, Health Program, Smita Jagriya, Intern, Administration, Greeshma Vijayan, Counselor, Chethana Gadiyar, Co-ordinator, Education Program, Kunal Deshmukh, Computer Teacher, Kirandeep Kaur, Teacher, Rebecca Sachin Kedari, Assistant Teacher, Indu Sethi, Teacher, Vaishali Gunjal, Assistant Teacher, Deepa Devendra Watkar, Teacher, Vinita Kohinkar, Teacher, Suchitra Memane, Counselor, Natasha Choudhary, Director, Residential Program, Neha Waghri, Intern, Administration and Sonali Patil, Director, Health Program. Sitting (L-R) Lakshmi Waghri, Assistant, Health Program, Arti Narayan Nigde, Teacher, Swati Kamble, Teacher, Shweta Sridhar Punwatkar, Teacher, Vidya Ram Dalvi, Office Assistant, Pooja Punwatkar, Intern Administration and Bharati Kewalramani, Executive Director.

AIC’s strong on-site administrative team ensures that all programs function in a highly organized manner. This team understands that a holistic approach works best for success and provides necessary administrative and supervisory support to on-site staff members as well as feedback and updates to the international team.
AIC’s teaching staff, the lifeline of the Education Outreach Program, is a highly motivated group that teaches AIC’s pre-primary school students and also provides daily tuition support (English and Marathi) to students in grades 1 to 10.

Board of Directors

Liz Sholtys

Director of Programming & Grants, Co-Founder

After studying in Pune, India for two years at an international high school, Liz co-founded the Ashraya Initiative for Children in 2004 and spent much of the next seven years in Pune helping to establish AIC’s programs. Liz now lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where she divides her time chasing after her two young children and working on AIC projects. (read more about Liz…)

julia Julia Neubauer-Babu

Director of Finances & HR, Co-Founder

Julia Neubauer-Babu is one of the co-founders of the Ashraya Initiative for Children. She has served in multiple roles since the organization’s early days, including CFO, Head of Fundraising, Branch Manager and On-Site Director in India. Julia currently lives in Zurich with her family & dedicates her time to recruiting volunteers, building donor relationships & fundraising. (read more about Julia…)

Judith Eckl

Director of European Development and Operations, Chairperson

Judith is an architect and currently lives and works in Austria. After spending one year in Norway, she decided to go to India to volunteer at AIC. Judith is now the President of AIC Austria and other then her work as a Director of Development and Operations is working on many design-related and marketing tasks.

vinod1Vinod Krishnan

Director of Strategy & IT

Originally from Mysore, Vinod was keen to provide strategic input to an organization dedicated to helping underprivileged communities in India. Based in London, Vinod helps AIC remotely by managing AIC’s website while initiating ideas for fund raising campaigns, frequently finding ways to partner with companies or other NGOs in order to increase AIC’s visibility.

marykay1Mary Kay Hazel

Director of North American Development and Operations

After nearly 3 years as an on-site director in India, Mary Kay recently returned to the US to join the international Board. She focuses on US-based fundraising, donor management, and campaign strategy. Prior to joining AIC, Mary Kay was a Woodruff Scholar at Emory University, where her extensive work with refugee children shaped her commitment to advocating for socially marginalized populations.

mithunMithun Mukherjee
Director, Ashraya Foundation for Children (AFC)
Originally from Pune and currently based in upstate New York, Mithun serves AIC’s mission remotely by managing AIC’s website and donor communication and management tools. He is also one of the founding directors of AFC and has a keen interest in building a long-term, sustainable organizational structure for AIC.