Friends of Roshni UK

Friends of ROSHNI UK

Working together to support disabled children in India

Registered Charity Number 1117759

 
 
 

Meet The Team

ROSHNI have a very dedicated and skilled staff team. Here is a little bit of information about some of them, and how they came to be involved with the project.

Manjula Patankar, Director and Founder

Manjula Patankar, Director and Founder

Manjula trained and worked as a Special Educator in Delhi for almost 20 years before returning to her native Gwalior. She was approached by a group of parents in 1997, who wanted someone to help them start a centre for their children to attend. They all had learning disabilities. With a colleague from Delhi who had also moved to Gwalior, Priti Kapoor, Manjula started ROSHNI in 1998. She has been the Director of the centre ever since, and although most of her time is spent dealing with management issues, she still knows every child and family who attend ROSHNI, and takes a personal interest in their lives.

 

Priti Kapoor, Co-Founder of ROSHNI

Priti Kapoor, Co-Founder of ROSHNI

Priti is also a Special Educator who worked with Manjula in Delhi, at a centre formerly known as the Spastics Society of Northern India. She worked closely with Manjula to establish ROSHNI, and it was Priti who came up with the name and meaning of ROSHNI! Priti worked there as the school Principal until 2002, when she moved with her family back to Delhi. She is still very involved with ROSHNI, and visits regularly to help out.

 

Vivek Sharma, Therapy Team Supervisor and Early Intervention Project Coordinator

Vivek Sharma, Therapy Team Supervisor and Early Intervention Project Coordinator

Vivek was born and raised in Gwalior. He completed a short therapy course in Gwalior before starting work at ROSHNI in 2000. However, it soon became clear to him that if he was to make a difference to the children, he needed to do a more specialised course. So he went to Delhi for 18 months to complete a post-graduate course in Developmental Therapy. He returned to Gwalior in 2002 and joined the therapy team at ROSHNI, working with a physiotherapist from the UK for almost 2 years. He was promoted to Therapy Team Supervisor in 2004. In 2005, Vivek visited the UK for 2 months, working with therapists in a variety of settings to gain further experience.

Vivek is married to Ruchi, and they had a baby boy, Anant, in January 2007.

Vivek says: “I want to treat small children to reduce disability. I am interested in NGO management and have recently completed an NGO Management course in Delhi.”

 

Rakhi Asthana, School Principal

Rakhi Asthana, School Principal

Rakhi was born and raised in Gwalior and is married with one daughter, Aishwarya. She is a qualified social worker, and has worked for Roshni since 2002. She has recently completed a course in Special Education from Bhoj University, and since took on the role of Principal. She still has a role as the social worker though, providing support and counselling to families and students in many different ways. She is very involved with the Early Intervention group, as well as the Teachers Training/Inclusion programme.

Rakhi says: “I like being a social worker, especially the Early Intervention counselling. I like the fact my job is in the community helping parents. I also enjoy co-ordinating volunteers and arranging workshops.”

 

Shubha Kandha, Special Educator

Shubha Kandha, Special Educator

Shubha was born and raised in Gwalior. She is married to Sanjeev, and has a four year old daughter, Khushi. Shubha trained in Bhopal as a Special Educator, and she has worked at Roshni since 1999. She became involved with ROSHNI due to the fact that her younger brother, Atul, has Down Syndrome. Atul is a regular at ROSHNI, and is in the Pre-Vocational group.

Shubha says: “I like being a special educator and feel I understand the issues facing the parents and families of the children who come to Roshni. My brother has Down Syndrome and he is a student here. My brother and family’s experiences inspired me to train as a special educator.”

 

Renuka Shrivastava, Vocational Training Group Team Leader

Renuka Shrivastava, Vocational Training Group Team Leader

Renuka grew up in Nainpur, but now lives in Gwalior with her husband, his parents, and their son, Aman. Renuka used to play hockey for the Madhya Pradesh state team, and still has an interest in sports, which she encourages with the young people at ROSHNI.

Joining ROSHNI in 2003 as a therapy assistant, Renuka went on to train as a Special Educator, and is currently studying for a masters degree in social work. Renuka has great skill in working with young adults with learning disabilities, and she now leads the Vocational Training Project at ROSHNI, which she greatly enjoys.

 

Ram Sevak Bareiya, Developmental Therapist

Ram Sevak Bareiya, Developmental Therapist

Ram is from a village outside Gwalior called Rethoakalm. He has lived in Gwalior since 2000. Ram is married to Anita, and had his first baby boy in January 07, Hirdesh.

He has worked at ROSHNI since 2000, first as a volunteer, then an assistant teacher. After completing the 6 month National Trust Caregivers Course which ROSHNI ran in 2003, he joined the Therapy Team as an assistant. He really enjoyed the role, and in 2007 he went to Delhi for 18 months and trained to be a Developmental Therapist. Now qualified, he has returned to ROSHNI and is enjoying his new career. Throughout Ram’s time at ROSHNI, he has enjoyed and excelled at working with children with autism. He continues in this role now, and is using his new skills as a therapist to help the children develop new skills.

Ram says: “I really enjoy working with Autistic kids.”

 

Gaytri Bharadwai, Assistant Special Educator

Gaytri Bharadwai, Assistant Special Educator

Gaytri was born and raised in Gwalior. She is married and began working for Roshni in 2006. She originally worked in the Pre-Vocational group, but after working with Shubha in the primary section and learning many skills from her, she now has her own small class of children aged around 10-14 years.

Gaytri says: “I really enjoy crafts and love being with the children”.

 

Vegwati Dais, Therapy Assistant

Vegwati Dais, Therapy Assistant

Vegwati was born and raised in Gwalior. She is married and has one boy and one girl. She has worked at Roshni for 5 years. Vegwati joined the team at ROSHNI after completing the 6 month National Trust Caregivers course run by ROSHNI in 2003. Following the course, ROSHNI chose some of the most promising students to work at the centre as assistants – Vegwati was one of those chosen, and has enjoyed learning more about disability and therapy throughout her time at ROSHNI.

Vegwati says: “I like being involved in the therapy and teaching sessions. It is good to do a job where I work with children.”

 

Mumta Batham, Therapy Assistant

Mumta Batham, Therapy Assistant

Mumta was born and raised in Gwalior. She has been married for 11 years and has one boy and one girl. She has worked at Roshni since 2003. Mamta also did the Caregivers Course, like Vegwati and Ram, and joined as a Therapy Assistant soon afterwards. She works with all the students, but has shown particular skill in helping the girls and young ladies develop their daily living skills. She also helps with the sewing programme in the Pre-Vocational Group.

Mumta says: “I enjoy crafts, I like teaching the girls to stitch. I like working at ROSHNI.”

 

Pankaj Shrivastava, Office And Computer Assistant

Pankaj Shrivastava, Office And Computer Assistant

Pankaj was born in the village of Magroni, near Gwalior. after completing his schooling in Magroni, he studied short-hand in 2003 and then did a degree in Computer Science at Gwalior Science College, graduating in 2007. He is currently studying for an MSc in Computer Science.

Previously, Pankaj worked as a lab assistant at the English College in Gwalior, and then as a computer teacher at the Ramakrishna Ashrama school. He now works in the office at ROSHNI, which he thoroughly enjoys. Pankaj is also talented at painting and drawing. He has been really impressed with the children at ROSHNI. Pankaj says: "I feel happy working with such good people who work hard for the children with disabilities"

 

Meena Baii, Helper

Meena Baii, Helper

Meena was born in Gwalior. She is married with 2 boys and 2 girls, and has 3 grandchildren. She has worked as a helper at ROSHNI since its early days. She has a busy job, keeping the centre clean and tidy as well as helping out at mealtimes and with other day to day tasks with the children.

Meena says: “I like working with children.”

 

Sheru Khan, Helper

Sheru Khan, Helper

Sheru was born and raised in Gwalior. He began working at Roshni when his brother started coming to the school. Sheru came to Firoz’s therapy sessions so he could help Firoz with his exercises at home. He showed an interest in working at Roshni and he is now a helper. He is very enthusiastic, and enjoys being part of the ROSHNI team.