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 proframme aimed at educating and generating livelihood for several girls and women in order ro 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 proframme aimed at educating and generating livelihood for several girls and women in order ro 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

Community Leaders

Farheen, Assistant Supervisor Extra Curricular Activity and Stocks

She joined Ek Tara as a student from the community and after completing class 9 from NIOS, she joined as an assistant teacher in Montessori and school support project at Ek Tara. With continuous effort and dedication she has earned herself the position of assistant supervisor for ECA and stocks.

Saba, Community Mobilser/ Receptionist

Saba is responsible for attending all the calls coming into Ek Tara. She always schedules all the community meetings and also plays an integral role in the outreach programme. She also conducts regular health and hygiene classes for the children enrolled in the Primary section at Ek Tara.

Saba, Community Mobilser/ Receptionist

Saba is responsible for attending all the calls coming into Ek Tara. She always schedules all the community meetings and also plays an integral role in the outreach programme. She also conducts regular health and hygiene classes for the children enrolled in the Primary section at Ek Tara.

Daraksha, Floor Supervisor

She was enrolled in Ek Tara as a student upon completion of the NIOS course she was appointed as a support teacher in the Montessori section. She is currently the floor supervisor of one of our education blocks. Her role includes supervision and monitoring of everyday activities and timely reporting to the department heads.

Razia, Nurse and Health Project supervisor

In the year 2014, she joined as a support staff and gradually become an assistant teacher in Montessori programme. While working in Ek Tara, she started taking training on nursing aid. Upon completion of the course she got the position of in house nurse in Ek Tara and the health project supervisor.

Razia, Nurse and Health Project supervisor

In the year 2014, she joined as a support staff and gradually become an assistant teacher in Montessori programme. While working in Ek Tara, she started taking training on nursing aid. Upon completion of the course she got the position of in house nurse in Ek Tara and the health project supervisor.

Marium, Assistant supervisor – Health and Hygiene Programme

She joined Ek Tara in 2011 as a student and now she is the assistant supervisor in Health and Hygiene projects. Her responsibilities include daily stock updates, project supervision, conduct workshops and campaigns to name a few.

Gulafsha, Assistant Supervisor ECA and Photographer

Gulafsha has joined Ek Tara in 2011 as a student in the school support programme. Over the years she has participated in a lot of workshop and training programmes through Ek Tara. After completing her training on photography, she is our in-house photographer, along with that she also assists in supervising extracurricular activities.

Gulafsha, Assistant Supervisor ECA and Photographer

Gulafsha has joined Ek Tara in 2011 as a student in the school support programme. Over the years she has participated in a lot of workshop and training programmes through Ek Tara. After completing her training on photography, she is our in-house photographer, along with that she also assists in supervising extracurricular activities.

Md Wazed, Security Head

MD Wazed is responsible for dispersal duties, stock supplies and he also overlooks the general security at Ek Tara. Over the years he has become one of our most valued and important member of our organisation.

Shontu Das, Kitchen Supervisor

Shontu joined Ek Tara in the year 2015. He is the kitchen head and also an integral part of the nutrition programme. He is responsible for the kitchen and as well as the stock pertaining to the nutrition programme.

Shontu Das, Kitchen Supervisor

Shontu joined Ek Tara in the year 2015. He is the kitchen head and also an integral part of the nutrition programme. He is responsible for the kitchen and as well as the stock pertaining to the nutrition programme.

Our Mentors

Alka Patodia

Education

Anita Kanoi

Health, Hygiene & Nutrition

Bela Saraf

Ek Tara Creates

Kusum Khemka

Ek Tara Creates

Malika Dutta

Education

Sangita Karnani

Ek Tara Creates

Sonam Bajoria

Education

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

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Covid-19 Relief

Donate Ration kit to an underprivileged family for 1 month

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Support Children in Mainstream Schools

Sponsor books and uniform for 30 mainstream children @ Rs.90,000/- for 1 year

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Relief & Rehabilitation Project

Support our Covid-19 Relief & Rehabilitation Project

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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

Latest Happenings

Events, workshops & festivities at ek tara

Relief Highlights

Relief Highlights

Ek Tara has started a 3 month relief and rehabilitation plan for its 800 families/5000 pax living in the slums of Topsia and Tiljala, a timeline for…

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Our Supporters

  • 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