Abhay is a Civil Engineer, working in infrastructure, real estate development under the banner of Prithvi Edifice. He has received Times Icon Award for 2016: Top Emerging Builder of Pune. He has developed a copyrighted concept of 1 BHK Duplex and has put up the theory of “Cubic Feet Living” before Real Estate Industry. He is also in the Business of Hospitality. Despite his hectic professional engagements, he finds time for Social Causes and supports SAA in multiple ways especially in developing infrastructure and amenities for service users and their families.
Amrit Kumar Bakhshy
Amrit, a banker and a management executive by profession, is a caregiver of his daughter living with schizophrenia since 1990. As SAA’s President since 2010, Amrit is involved full time in SAA’s day to day working and in various aspects of the organisation’s administration. During his tenure, SAA has recorded a phenomenal all round growth. Amrit served for 5 years on the Institutional Board of the National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences (NIMHANS) and was also Chairperson of the Hospital Management Committee of NIMHANS for over 3 years. He actively participated in regional and national consultations during drafting of the Mental Healthcare Bill and also made a presentation in this regard before the Standing Committee of the Parliament. He was appointed by the Government of India on the Expert Group to draft rules and regulations of the Mental Healthcare Act 2017, where his significant contribution in deliberations and drafting was acknowledged.
He was a collaborator of the Grand Challenges’ Quality Rights Project in Gujarat. He is currently the chairperson of the Ethics Committee of the ILS Law College Pune and a member, to represent Mental Illness, on the Advisory Committee constituted by Maharashtra Government under the Rights of Persons with Disability Act. He is also a member of the working group for psychotic disorders constituted by the International Consortium for Health Outcomes.
Amrit has authored a book for families of persons with mental illness, titled, “Mental Illness and Caregiving”. The book is available in English and Marathi. Amrit’s active involvement and contribution in mental health advocacy at state and national level, is well acknowledged by the mental health community.
Neelima holds Master’s degree in English and did Teachers’ Training for Handicapped Children. She worked as a teacher at Kamayani School for Mentally Handicapped. Neelima joined SAA in 1998 as a volunteer and in subsequent years held various positions of responsibility. She has been working as a facilitator for Care Givers’ and Service Users’ Group. She has participated in various seminars, conferences and programmes related to mental health including a conference hosted by WFSAD, International Leaders’ Training Program and Recovery Inc’s Annual Meet at Chicago, USA. Neelima is author of two books, one of which, Ata Ujadel, in Marathi is a novel on struggle of a caregiver mother to cope up with the family challenges.
Ravindranath has been associated as a volunteer with SAA for over 15 years. He is a person of diverse experiences and has seen a number of professions in his working career of over 50 years. He has been into journalism, materials management, public relations, sales and marketing, and hospital administration, among other pursuits. For the past 14 years, he has been working as a trainer on outbound training programs for corporate executives using the experiential learning methodology. He has also served as Trustee-Secretary of Pune Vipassana Samiti. Ravindranath believes he is a grass-root worker and avoids the limelight. Easily approachable, he is ready for any task.
Neeta, besides looking after her family, all of whom excel in vocal music, has a passion for social service. She takes daily yoga class of service users and also helps in other rehab activities and various awareness programmes. At her initiative SAA has made documentaries on its Rehab Centre and also one on Yoga activity. She is also actively involved in mobilising donations for SAA.
Sarika Chandak is a clinical and RCI registered rehabilitation psychologist. She is a gold medalist post-graduate in clinical psychology and in political science from Aurangbad university. She is involved in SAA’s day to day working in Dr. Jagannath Wani Rehabilitation center. She has conducted sessions in various training programs for students regarding mental health and makes presentation about SAA’s work to visiting students and in program arranged by other institutions. She has initiated concepts of 3 short films and written articles related to mental health. She is actively involved in mobilizing funds for SAA.
Dr. Anuradha Patil
Anuradha worked as Associate Professor, Department of Medical & Psychiatric Social Work, Karve Institute of Social Service, Pune. She is a master trainer of HIV/Aids counseling training and. a visiting faculty at Tilak Maharashtra Vidyapeeth. She is on ethics committee of B.J. Medical College. She has b
Dr. Pragathi Kaushal
Dr. Pragathi Kaushal, a doctor in medicine, provides Pro Bono professional services to the poor and elderly. She has been associated with NGOs, working for small peasants, pastoralists, tribes, Dalits, and women from marginalized communities, counseling and organizing health awareness programs on the ill-effects of usage of chemical pesticides on women’s reproductive organs and on their mental health, in rural areas of Maharashtra, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh
Pragathi has also been actively involved in AIDS awareness programs organized by different women’s groups, and Dalit Weavers’ Association in Andhra Pradesh, giving talks on general hygiene and simple remedies for minor ailments. She has also worked with cancer patients, instilling hope, providing guidance, support, and motivation to improve their psychological conditions.
From 2016 onwards till the pandemic, she was helping female patients in Regional Mental Hospital Yerwada through counseling, keeping them engaged into various activities including drawing, stitching, yoga, fun games etc.