Our Team

Amita Deshpande

Founder & Director

Amita has worked extensively in sustainable development and corporate social responsibility since the past 8 years. An IT Engineer by basic education, she went on to do her Masters at Purdue University, the USA with a focus on Sustainability. Since then, she has worked with CSR teams of multinational corporations, consultancies, non-profits, and community-based organizations in the United States and India and eventually founded Aarohana EcoSocial Developments with the rich experience she gathered. She brings to the table proficiency in designing our EcoSocial projects, managing them at the grassroots and ensuring their transparent operations. With her boundless energy, she is also an asset to our ‘EcoSocial Awareness’ team and strives to motivate the participants to a more sustainable lifestyle for a better future for everyone! Amita’s long-standing dream is to develop a sustainable village and live in it herself, which she wishes to fulfill through Aarohana.

Nandan Bhat

Founder & Director

Nandan has over a decade of experience working in Business Development and Procurement sectors of reputed companies like Tata Telecom, Sony, Future Group and Sify. With profuse experience in managing projects, large teams and market relations, he has founded Aarohana with long-time friend, Amita. Nandan brings to the table expertise in relationship development, be it with the grassroots villagers or with clients, and in making our livelihood projects sustainable by building forward and backward market linkages. From his interest in outdoor activities and experience managing and mentoring large teams of employees, he brings added competence to our EcoSocial Awareness programs as well. Nandan is an extremely enthusiastic and cheerful person who promises a sustainable future to Aarohana

Jaee Garad

Chief Operations Officer

An IT Engineer by basic education, Jaee's love for art and craft always has had an upper hand. Hence she quit her corporate job and started working on Handmade Paper products since the past couple of years. 'It's my meditation' says Jaee. A beloved Customer of AAROHANA, Jaee wished always to someway contribute to the cause. And now feels fortunate to be part of our team! Jaee manages operations and marketing for Aarohana

 Sukanya Patil

Asso. Social Business Manager

Sukanya has completed her engineering and has 3 years of work experience in IT. She is a lover of nature and art enthusiastic person. She wanted to explore new avenues of work and joined Aarohana. She developed a hobby of making gifts for her friends using household waste, eventually which led her to know about up-cycling and whole new opportunities in managing waste. At Aarohana she is engaged in working with the customers offline and on online platforms. Creating a new product design and looking for a new audience to increase the reach of Aarohana is her task. She also works on our website and creates a relevant post on Facebook and Instagram.

Irshad Shaikh

Production Supervisor

Irshad completed her MSW(Master of Social Work) from Bharati Vidyapeeth, Pune. She has been working with Idea foundation an NGO which aim for education for all. She was a teacher and a motivator for the school dropouts to join the school again. At Aarohana she manages the product production. She feels fortunate to work with the team as it works towards the environment as well as helps in improving tribal life by providing job opportunities.

Shivalika Mohan

Communications

Shivalika Mohan is our latest joinee! She completed her Masters in International Studies and was looking for a job and jumped on the opportunity to work with her favorite brand, ‘Aarohana’. She helps with us in Communications and loves her job. She has been Aarohana Enthusiastic since 2017 and feels fortunate enough to be a part of a team that works towards conserving the environment and enable rural livelihoods and it resonates with her thinking as well.

 Muhammad Shaikh

Craftsman

Shaikh, a migrant from Eastern Maharashtra, heads his family of 4. With this responsibility, he learned the skill of bag making, to earn a living and support his family. After working for 30 years in this trade, he came across our work of making bags from upcycled-handwoven fabric. He loved the concept and joined Aarohana as a master craftsman. He enjoys his work as he gets to design and craft innovative products every day!

Vandana Vartha

Artisan

Vandana is a tribal youth, belonging to the Warli tribe of Western India. Due to the low educational standards of the local school, she dropped out of school after 9th grade. Being the eldest girl of her family, she started helping her mother with housework and stayed mostly at home in her village, with limited exposure to the outside world. When Aarohana came to her village with an opportunity to work, she immediately joined us. She joined as an assistant artisan and soon picked up weaving as well. She now does other processing work as well as weaves fabric. Despite her petite structure, she is a strong young woman and doesn't get tired with an all day’s work. She is always cheerful and given a chance, loves to design her own patterns in the fabric.

Kiran Baddha

Artisan

Kiran is a tribal youth, belonging to the Warli tribe of Western India. Due to the low educational standards of the local school, he dropped out of school after 9th grade. His 8 member-family is mostly dependent on rainfed agriculture, hence, being the eldest son, had to start earning to support the family income. Lack of employment options in his village, Kiran had to move his base to a nearby town in search of work, where he worked as a mere laborer at a snack selling hawker. When Aarohana came to his village with an opportunity to work, he immediately joined us and is now our lead weaver. He is a bright and funny young man, who loves to crack jokes and all the teammate's everyone laugh and have fun while working equally hard.

Jitesh

Artisan

Jitesh belongs to the Warli tribe and is mute and deaf by birth. Due to lack of special schools in the village, he remained illiterate, and hence never got a steady job. As he grew older, he started working as daily wage labor at construction sites in nearby towns. These jobs were never stable and sufficient to take care of his mute and deaf wife and two little daughters. He found Aarohana’s work in his own village and was delighted to start working with us! He is very focused and rarely gets distracted from his work!

Saraswati

Artisan

Saraswati is a Warli tribal and has completed her education till 10th. He father does a petty job in the village and mother stays home to take care of her 2 younger siblings. Being the eldest daughter in the family, Saraswati has taken up working with us responsibly, to support her family of 5 members.

Renuka

Artisan

Renuka is a Warli tribal living with her family of 5. Her father works in a nearby town to earn an income for their family, while her brothers are still studying. Renuka studied until 12th grade and now works with us to support her family's income. She wants to pursue her further education, in parallel to working with us!

Alka

Artisan

Alka stays with her husband and his family of 10 members. The family is mainly dependent on rainfed agriculture. In addition, most members of the family go to work in a nearby town. She has joined Aarohana to support her family's income as well as earn a reputation for herself in the family!

Suhana

Artisan

Suhana is a Warli tribal, living with her parents and two other siblings. Suhana has completed her education till 12th grade and now works with us to support her family income. Suhana is a smart girl, who has a very good eye for design. She has mastered the art of weaving very quickly and also supports office administration work on behalf of her team.

Asha

Artisan

Asha completed her 10th Grade and decided to join our village team to support her family's income. She has 3 siblings who go to school and lives with her parents and grandparents near our workshop. She quickly picked up the skill of weaving and understands that her work is helping solve the larger cause of conserving the environment.

Kapila

Artisan

Kapila just completed her 12th grade and joined our team for upcycling plastic waste. She is a bright girl and has been able to pick up the craft very quickly. She has two younger siblings, who are still in school. Her father works on daily wages in a nearby town and her mother works as a sweeper at the village school. Kapila is proud that, now, she will be able to contribute to her family income.

Savita

Artisan

Savita is a Warli tribal and is a mother of two smart children, one of them being our oldest employees Vandana. With children grown up now, Savita realized that she can start working to engage her time and hone her skills by learning our art of upcycling. She is very sincere and hardworking, and has already won the hearts of all other women in the team quickly!

Sumitra

Artisan

Sumitra is a Warli tribal, like all of her coworkers. She is a mother of four and lives with her eight-member family. Her family is engaged in rainfed agriculture and daily wage labor, which are both unreliable sources of consistent income. Hence, she is very proud to earn for her family and send all her four children to school. She works very hard and has learned the art of weaving quite quick to become one of our lead weavers in just 4 months.

Vanita

Artisan

Vanita, a Warli tribal and mother of five children. She lives with her family of 7 members very close to our workshop. She has one son and four daughters, Saraswati from our team being one of them. Her husband works as a helper at the village school and she and Saraswati work with us to support their family's income. She is very calm and quiet, and continues her work of cutting waste plastic persistently all day!

Gajri

Helper

Gajri is the grandmother of our team. Very hardworking and funny in her own way! Gajri is a Warli tribal. She lives with her husband and has no children or any relatives. She and her husband have been dependent on rainfed agriculture and daily wage labor to earn their living, but now with age, physical work has become too tedious for them. With Aarohana, Gajri has found work in her own village. She loves working with our team of young girls and boys, who are now like her grandchildren!

Fattu Ben

Helper

Fattu is the grandmother of our team! Having spent her entire life living in this village in the forest, she is very strong for her age! Fattu is a Warli tribal and lives with her husband and an adopted son and his family. Her husband has been an alcoholic for many years and doesn’t have any stable job, hence, Fattu is the one working hard and earning for her family. With Aarohana, Fattu is happy to have found work in her own village! She loves working with our team of young girls and boys, who are like her grandchildren!

Mumtaz Shaikh

Artisan

Mumtaz is a migrant from a nearby city, who lives with her husband and a son. She went to school till her 10th grade but developed an interest in art and craft. She enrolled herself in a tailoring and embroidery course and started working with her husband who is also a tailor. She has an experience of over 15 years and now works with Aarohana as a tailor. She is very creative and in free time, makes interesting designs for us!

Manasi

Artisan

Manasi is from Maharastra and she completed her studies still 10 std. Soon after that she started learning the art of stitching and worked with many private tailors. She was also working with EcoAd, a paper bag making organization for about 4 years. She is involved in making products as well as helping the other artisan in their work at Aarohana. She says that she is happy to be working with us.

Aalam

Artisan

Aalam who hails from Bihar has studied till 8th std. He was previously working in Hyderabad with a private tailor and learned to stitch. He has more than 5 years of experience in bag stitching and is very good at his skills. At Aarohana he is one among our tailors who makes our designed products to come alive. Now he lives in Pune with his joint family.

Manisha Kale

Office Assistant

Manisha belongs to a migrant family, who moved to the city of Pune in search of work. Her mother works as a housemaid in urban households and her father works as daily wage labor. She is the eldest of the 3 siblings, decided to pursue her education after 12th grade. Along with her college, she works with Aarohana managing her class timings. She is an all-rounder and supports all of our office work, be it assisting the sewing process, administration and even sales. She is a very honest young girl and has an eye for detail in all the work she does!

Pooja

Office Assistant

Pooja is a first-year student in Commerce. Along with her college, she works with Aarohana managing her class timings. She looks after the quality check of the finished products and assisting the sewing process. She is a very active young girl, some time does multitasking and prepares very good Chai!!

Vaishnavi Ravindra

Office Assistant

Vaishanavi is 19 years old and has completed her 12th Std. and has taken a year gap to get work experience. She is one of our very quiet and humble team members. Her work also involves in Quality check of the finished products and helping the tailors in their work.

Priyanka Vaidya

Office Assistant

Priyanka has been working with us for 4 months. She is a very humble team member. She had joined us to support her daughter's education and is mainly involved in doing a quality check of the finished products. She feels happy to be working with us.

Contributors

Prasanna Kulkarni

Digital Marketing Consultant

Prasanna looks after digital marketing at Aarohana. Prasanna is a Mechanical Engineer by education and has professional experience in web analytics. Currently working as a Analytics & Experience manger in Boston, USA,  he is engaged with Aarohana remotely and contributes by designing and implementing communications and online marketing strategy along with our digital marketing agency MangoBlogger.com. His passion for environment conservation and sustainable livelihoods makes him a good fit for the team.

Tanvi 

Content Writer

Tanvi has a Master Degree in Marketing Management and a Post Graduation Diploma in Digital Marketing. She has worked in Lila Poonawalla Foundation as a PR and Communication Executive Assistent to the Chairman for 2.5 years. She is a freelance content writer for the past 5 years. She is working in Aarohana as Asso- Communication. Her work includes writing blogs, creating content(blog post,videos etc) for Facebook and Instagram.

 

 

Saniya Shete

Design Intern

Saniya worked as an intern for Aarohana in June 2016. She supported our team in designing our brochure, new logo, innovative illustrations articulating Aarohana’s concept of upcycling. Saniya also conducted a photoshoot of Aarohana’s products. She is currently looking forward to her third year at the Srishti Institute of Art Design and Technology. She’s majoring in Visual Design and Strategic Branding.

Tanmayi Gidh

Communications Intern

Tanmayi is an Arts graduate from Fergusson College, Pune. Tanmayi is fond of writing and adventure. She is associated with team Aarohana as a content writer and hopes to make a difference to the community through “rural upliftment” and “sustainable and simple living”. Tanmayi also volunteers with us at exhibitions and other operations!

Sai Powar

Website Design intern

Sai is a student pursuing B.S. in Biology at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, USA. She supported Aarohana to develop and design our new e-commerce WordPress website and also assisted with certain social media management tasks. She is very passionate about environmental sustainability and environmental justice and wants to pursue her Masters in sustainable development.

Nikita Deshpande

Product Design Intern

Nikita is 2nd year student of Product Design, from Srishti Institute (Pune). Nikita is on our product design team and helps us design and implement new products. Nikita also looks after our product photography along with Tanmayi, and is our brand’s formal MODEL!

Tanvi Bamb

Product | Textile Design Intern

 

5 thoughts on “Our Team

  1. I spent a great deal of time to locate something like this

  2. Hi,

    Do you have stock of yoga bags? How are they priced please?

    Thanks,

    1. Hi Ramya, we have yogaMat bags. They are available at https://www.aarohana.org/product/go-yoga/ .Thanks.

  3. Fantastic initiative!

  4. Wow! I am blown by this website and how it showcases the important work that you are doing.
    I came across your booth at the Kala Ghoda Festival on Feb 3 2018. I really liked your products and loved chatting with Amita and Nandan.
    I am a retired neurologist living in USA, visiting India for 2 months every year.
    I don’t know how I can help you apart from buying your products and showing them to my friends and family, exhorting them to buy too.
    If I can help in any other way, I will be happy to do so.
    Wishing you luck and hope your example inspires others.
    Regards
    Meenal

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