Prerana owes its success to the tireless efforts of its team members. Here is a brief introduction to the people that make it all happen.
Priti Patkar – Co-Founder & Executive Secretary
Priti Patkar fondly known as ‘Priti tai’ is the founder and Executive Secretary of Prerana. Originating from Mumbai, she obtained her ‘Bachelors in Social Work’ from Nirmala Niketan College and her ‘Masters in Social Work’ from Tata Institute of Social Science. In the year 1986, she along with her husband Prof. (Dr) Pravin Patkar began their work along with Nirmala Niketan College of Social Work in Kamathipura, the then largest red-light area in Asia. It was there that Prerana was born – to break this cycle of exploitation and inter- generational trafficking. Prerana conceptualized the first Night Care Center for the children of the women living in the red-light areas. Today Prerana’s work models are being replicated not only in India but across the world. Prerana has been recognized by both the Government of India and internationally for its work and has been invited to present as well as attend many international conferences. It has received the largest number of land mark orders from the High Court for giving justice to the rescued girls. Priti Patkar continues to encourage and support several social organizations to take up similar programs. She has worked towards advocating for minimum standards of care and protection in Shelter homes and Child Care Institutions.
Dr. Pravin Patkar – Co-Founder & Director
Dr. Patkar co-founded Prerana in the year 1986 and later founded Asia’s first Anti-Human Trafficking resource center in the year 1999 supported by the US Government. He has also served as an expert on several national and international agencies working in the anti-human trafficking sector. Aside from his commendable work in the anti-trafficking sector, Dr. Patkar is an academician and has been in the teaching profession for over forty years.
Kashina Kareem – Assistant Director
Kashina has been a part of Prerana since January 2016. A fresh graduate of financial markets, she fought much judgment from the world when she decided to opt for the Gandhi fellowship. She started as one of the few members in Prerana’s Post Rescue Operations team and is now leading the team. Her unwavering commitment to strengthening the post-rescue operations model at Prerana is visible in everything she does, be it on-field interactions or monitoring the project. She enjoys a good cuppa tea, reading, meaningful conversations; and will enjoy these more than anything if her lovely cats are in the picture! From working in the stock market to taking stock of Prerana’s various projects, our thoughtful Assistant Director has time and again shown that her heart and head are in the right place.
Archana Shinde – Head of Accounts
Archana joined Prerana in 2012 as an Accountant. She has completed Master’s in Commerce from Shivaji University, Kolhapur. Archana is a soft-spoken and meticulous worker. She keeps all of us on our toes when getting our accounts approved.
NIGHT CARE CENTER PROGRAMS
Mugdha Dandekar – Project Head
Mugdha started working with Prerana in 2001. She has been placed in several projects and at different locations. In each of her assignments she proved her value. Mugdha took two breaks each one of two years duration - the first from 2006 to 2008 to complete a Masters in Social Work from Nirmala Niketan School of Social Work and the second one from 2009 to 2011 which was a maternity break. She returned in June 2011 and was placed as a Project Manager in the Kamathipura center. Mugdha is sharp and quick to grasp the hidden nuances within projects. She was promoted to the post of Project Manager in the year 2015 and in 2018 she was promoted to Project Head. She pursues Prerana’s child tracking exercise with a fire and vigor that defies all the Olympians who compete for medals. Her joyous celebration at the successful completion of individual case reports is a sight to see. Mugdha has assessed Virar train timings to the T and actually strategizes her journeys before setting out.
Aruna Katkar – Project Manager
Aruna began her journey with Prerana in 2004 as an Outreach Worker within the Night Care Centre project in Kamathipura. She later moved to the Falkland Road center and handled the project there. She completed her Masters in Social Work in 2010 and was promoted to the position of Project Coordinator of the NCC project in Falkland Road. In June 2014, she was promoted to the post of a Project Manager. Additionally, she provides inputs to other projects in Prerana. Her strength lies in the fact that she is a doer and she silently manage people as well as projects in the most efficient manner. Aruna is the accounts wizard and is never to be found without her magic wand, the calculator.
Chhaya Jagtap – Senior Project Co-ordinator, Kamathipura + Child Protection Officer
Chhaya has been associated with Prerana since 2000. She has been placed in several projects at Prerana and in several locations. Chhaya is a warrior and is afraid of nothing and no one. She can handle rough weather and rough people alike. She is result oriented and dependable. She has completed a Para Professional Course and is a graduate in Sociology from the SNDT Women’s University. She is a serious individual who at times gives in to loud laughter that is quite infectious. In 2015, Chaya was promoted to the post of Assistant Project Co-ordinator and in 2018 she was promoted to Senior Project Co-ordinator of the Kamathipura Center. She has completed her Masters in Social Work from Tilak Maharashra Vidyapeeth. Chaya claims to do all her Diwali shopping in the Virar local trains.
Sheetal Jadhav – Outreach Co-ordinator, Kamathipura
Sheetal has been associated with Prerana since 2003. She started as a teacher within the Education Support project at Kamathipura and was eventually promoted her to the position of Outreach Co-ordinator in 2015. Sheetal has completed a Para Professional Course and is simultaneously pursuing a graduation course in Sociology from Yashwantrao Chawan Mukta Vidyapeeth. She cannot get over the fact that despite living in Kamathipura she was not aware about the pain and suffering that prostituted women and their children were going through. She always maintains that Prerana opened her eyes to reality.
Vaishali Karande – Senior Outreach Coordinator, Falkland Road
Vaishali can only be described as mini dynamite. She started working with Prerana in 2001. She took a 4-year break during her tenure and returned full throttle. Vaishali is a Senior Outreach Co-ordinator at the Falkland Road NCC. She began her journey with Prerana as a part time teacher. Vaishali knows the ins and outs of the Falkland Road red light area as well as each and every woman and child living there. She is famous for her booming voice that reverberates through the brothels in Falkland Road and through the corridors of the night care center. She claims to be soft but her voice betrays her every single time. Children alternatively adore and fear her. Vaishali is all for the kids and gives her 100% to the organization the second she steps in to work every single day.
Reehan Mirza - Outreach Coordinator, Falkland Road
Reehan has been associated with Prerana since 2005. Reehan is currently an Outreach Co-ordinator within the Education Support project in Falkland Road. He has completed a Para Professional Course. Reehan is a very creative individual and tends to bring this quality within the existing activities of the organization. Reehan claims that dance is his passion and he hopes to be a choreographer and set up his own Dance School.
Neelima Wakchuare - Outreach Co-ordinator, Falkland Road
Neelima has been associated with Prerana since 2003. She is currently placed as an Outreach Co-ordinator within the Night Care Centre project in Falkland Road. Neelima handles the nutrition component, outreach and medical follow-ups within the project and she enjoys the responsibility. She can be seen trying out English with the other team members and is able to maintain a good conversation. Neelima has completed her graduation from Yashwantrao Chawan Mukta Vidyapeeth and is currently pursuing a Master’s in Social Work from Tilak Maharashtra Vidyapeeth.
Mamta Halwai – Outreach Co-ordinator, Vashi-Turbhe
Jyoti Sasane – Social Worker, Kamathipura
INSTITUTIONAL PLACEMENT PROGRAM
Prachi Naik – Project Manager
Madhuri Shinde – Superintendent
Madhuri joined Prerana in 2013. She holds a graduate degree in Commerce and a postgraduate degree in Sanskrit. She is currently pursuing Masters in Social Work from Indira Gandhi National Open University. Madhuri has a varied work experience which includes a three-year stint in e-Broking and teaching. As a person she describes herself as honest, loyal and caring. She values truth and is attracted towards spiritual thoughts. She believes that learning to experience empathy in a balanced way can make life more complete. She respects nature and loves animals. She strongly feels that human beings are here to protect and preserve the beauty of Earth by all means.
Kavita Thorat – Child Welfare Officer
Sairabanu Ansari – Social Worker
Aaheli Gupta – Senior Project Co-ordinator
Aaheli Gupta joined Prerana in May 2017. She is a graduate in Political Science from St Xavier’s College, Mumbai. During her college years, she was a part of the Social Service League group where her interest in working in the social sector began to develop. She has been a part of Prerana’s Post Rescue operation team since her joining. Through her work, Aaheli tries to ensure victim friendly interventions which include constructive and participative rehabilitation processes for minors who have been rescued from the sex trade. Besides being a diligent social worker, Aaheli believes in looking at the bright side of things, which is often reflected in her hearty contagious smile.
Azra Qaisar – Senior Project Co-ordinator
Azra is a Journalism graduate from Lady Shri Ram College and holds a Master's degree in Mass Communication from AJK MCRC, Jamia Milia Islamia. She has also been associated with the social justice platform, Youth Ki Awaaz as the Editor-in-Chief of their campus section. Azra is a woman of few words who prefers that her writing speaks for her. She joined Prerana in December 2018 and works with the communications team while coordinating documentation for the Post Rescue Operation’s Sentinel project. Having a tough academic background, Azra is assertive and believes in bringing theory and logic to the practical work that the team executes on the field.
Jyoti Jangir – Project Co-ordinator
Her keen interest in social work compelled Jyoti to pursue her Bachelor’s degree in Social Work from Indira Gandhi National Open University. She joined Prerana in 2018 after working for a year with the prevention and awareness of HIV and AIDS among migrant communities. At Prerana, she works as the Project Co-ordinator and coordinates the work under Post Rescue Operations along with Naunihal and facilitating the Life Skill Education sessions at Prerana’s NCCs. She aspires to grow and expand her knowledge in the field of anti-trafficking and assimilate it for her future endeavors.
Rashmi Taylor – Project Co-ordinator
Rashmi has completed her Bachelors with honors in English from Delhi University and later completed her Masters of Social Work from Banasthali University Rajasthan. She was first associated with Prerana as an intern in 2016, later joining the Prerana family in 2017 and began working with the Institutional Placement Program and Post Rescue Operations team. She took an educational break in 2018 and re-joined Prerana in 2019 once again working with the Institutional Placement Program, Post Rescue Operations and After care projects.
Priya Ahluwalia – Counselor
Priya joined the Post Rescue Operations team as a Counselor. She recently completed her Masters in Clinical Psychology from Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai. Priya has always taken a special interest in working with women and the ways they interact with different structures such as families and institutions. A resilient spirit much like the women she finds herself working with, Priya is always determined to find solutions suited to everyone's welfare. She also manages to combine work with fun and incorporates her creative streak in everything she does.
Amrapali Mukherjee – Senior Program Manager
Amrapali has completed her M.Sc in Geography from the University of Calcutta, Masters in Population Studies from the International Institute for Population Sciences and is currently pursuing her Ph.D from Institute of Development Studies, Kolkata. She has had 4 years of experience in the Social Sector and joined the Prerana family in January 2019 and has been working with the Sanmaan team as its Senior Program Manager.
Deepali Mistry – Project Manager
Deepali has been completed her Master in Social Worker from the Tata Institute of Social Sciences and has worked in the social sector for the last 5 years. She joined the Prerana family in 2016.
Hasina Shaikh – Project Coordinator
Hasina has completed her Masters of Social Work from S.N.D.T University and has been working in the social sector for the last 4 years and joined the Prerana family in 2016.
Sandhya Katkar – Project-Coordinator
Sandhya has completed her Masters of Social Work from Indira Gandhi Open University and has worked in the social sector for the last 2 and a half years. She is the newest member of the Sanmaan team and joined the Prerana family in November 2019.