Amit Misra has practiced as an attorney in Houston for nearly 25 years with a specialization in labor and employment law, representing employers of all sizes, from mom-and-pop businesses to the Fortune 10. He has degrees in international affairs and public affairs. Amit has also held volunteer leadership positions with Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh USA, the country’s largest Hindu-American organization, at local, regional, and national levels. Through his volunteer work with HSS and other Hindu organizations, Amit has worked intimately with the issue of Hindu education for second and third generation Hindu-Americans for over 30 years.
Shalini Bhalla, from Hanover, Maryland, was born and brought up in New Delhi, Bharat. She has double Master’s degrees in Electronics and in Curriculum and educational leadership. She has been an educator for the past 25 years, and is currently working for Anne Arundel county public schools in Maryland as a school performance coach and school testing coordinator. Shalini is passionate about education and has also taught high school physics and chemistry in India (12 years) and the United States (13 years).
Maulik Shukla is a software engineer with 20 years of professional experience and currently works as a Senior Director at Microsoft. He is associated as a volunteer with Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh for over 20 years, handling multiple leadership roles, and is known for his organizational skills. He loves Sanskrit and Hindustani Classical Music, and finds them as ways to stay connected with the Hindu culture. Maulik is deeply passionate about bringing today’s generation closer to their cultural roots. He is originally from Mumbai, Maharashtra and lives with his family in Cupertino, California.
Formerly a software engineer in Silicon Valley, Manisha Kand is the founder of a college admission consultation company – SecureCollegeAdmission – where she currently guides high school students in getting into their dream colleges. She has also been an active volunteer of Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh for the past 25 years, in which she has assumed various leadership roles. Manisha is also an active volunteer of the non-profit organization – Global Indian Technology Professionals Association (GITPRO) – where she leads women’s entrepreneurship events.
Bhausaheb Patil has an MBA in computer systems and has over 25 years of experience in accounts, finance, and systems. He is an active volunteer for Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh and has been associated with the organization since his childhood. Originally from Mumbai, Maharashtra, he currently resides in Long Island, New York, with his family.
Board of Advisors
Rakhi Israni is an attorney by profession with an MBA from Rice University. Before she started law school in 1995, she graduated from the Houston Police Academy. She worked for TestMasters, a family-owned educational company in Houston, since 1991. In 2003, she moved to California to set up educational courses at the request of a community center. In the process, she founded an educational company called Excel Test, which she has been managing ever since. Rakhi is a second-generation Indian American and currently lives with her family in Fremont, CA.
Dr. Darshan Thakkar
Dr. Darshan Thakkar is an Assistant Superintendent and General Counsel of Lawrence Family Development Charter School in Massachusetts. He supports the superintendent on charter school administration, school law, curriculum standards alignment, and educator licensure & evaluation. He has a JD in law and a PhD in education. He has consulted as an online instructional designer for seven law school courses. Dr. Darshan Thakkar lives in Burlington, Massachusetts.
Shirin Kulkarni is the Research Director and co-founder of the Council for Creative Education (CCE) Finland. She is an entrepreneur, researcher, teacher trainer, and writer in the field of educational creativity and psychology. With her expertise in pedagogy and creative education, she has trained teachers and principals to develop their school learning environment using innovative methods based on the Finnish education system, which is known to be the best in the world. She is the winner of the Golden Women’s Award 2015 in the Science and Innovation category and a recipient of the University of Tampere Foundation’s Research Grant.
Pratibha Goyal is an entrepreneur, educator, and the founder and director of the Lotus Learners Group of Schools. Additionally, she is the Pacific Region President and Director of the Ekal Vidyalaya Foundation USA. She is also a volunteer for Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh (HSS) and for Sewa International. Pratibha currently resides in San Diego, California.
Padma Kuppa is a mom, an engineer, an immigrant, a civic leader, automotive and finance professional, and most recently, a two-term State Representative. She is known for her interfaith bridge building efforts and founding of the Troy Area Interfaith Group, which led to her leadership at the Hindu American Foundation and other Hindu, Indian American, South Asian and interfaith organizations across the state and the country. Active in her local temple, including teaching youth about their Hindu heritage and supporting the start of a Montessori school at the mandir, she has presented at HMEC on a wide range of topics. In 2021, she helped found the Hindu Community Relations Council of Michigan, and inaugurated their youth advocacy bootcamp. She is a fierce, lifelong advocate for public education, and works to ensure all children have access to opportunity.
Vaidehi Shukla - Virtual School Childcare Director
Vaidehi Shukla has a master’s degree in Samskrit and a bachelor’s degree in education and arts. She has been in the education field for the past 15 years. Vaidehi is associated with Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh, Hindi Pathashala – San Antonio, and is the coordinator for the San Antonio chapter of Samskrita Bharati. Before assuming her current role, she was Director of Aum School San Antonio Child Care Center/Preschool. She is originally from Gujarat and Rajasthan in Bharat, and currently resides in San Antonio, Texas with her family.
Smitha Karthik -Fundraising Manager
Smitha Karthik holds a master’s degree in computer science and currently works as a computer engineer for Intel, with over 15 years of technological experience. She has been a volunteer for Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh since her childhood and has held multiple responsibilities in the organization. She has led the marketing effort for Aum School in the past. Growing up in a household involved in building an educational organization, she has a natural passion for creating a strong Hindu education institution. Smitha is originally from Bengaluru, Karnataka, and currently resides in San Jose, California.
Shubhangi Kadhe - Marketing Manager
Shubhangi Kadhe is originally from Maharashtra and has a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Sir J.J. School of Art, Mumbai and MFA (Interior Architecture) from Academy of Art University, San Francisco. She also has a Design Communication Arts degree from UCLA Extension, Los Angeles. Her professional experience includes working for Interior design studios, architectural firms and landscape design firms. Currently, she is a graphic design consultant. Shubhangi is an active volunteer for Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh and has been associated with the organization since her childhood.
Ram Agarwal - Accounting Manager
Originally from Pune, Maharashtra, Ram Agarwal has been an IT professional since the early ‘70s. He graduated from the Illinois Institute of Technology – Chicago and worked for Hewlett Packard (HP) for a long time. In addition to being associated with Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh since his childhood, Ram is an active volunteer in several other notable organizations, such as Shiv Durga Mandir – Sunnyvale and the American Association of Retired Persons.
Sai Tenneti - Technology Manager
Sai Tenneti is a hardware engineer and has been working in the aerospace industry for the past seven years. His professional background is in electrical engineering, with degrees from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and Ohio State University. Sai is a second-generation Hindu-American born and raised in Massachusetts, and has been associated with Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh since childhood. He and his family currently reside in Boston.
Dr. Srinivas Khedam
Srinivas Khedam is an Assistant Principal and Asian Indian Coordinator in the Northshore School District. He has been an educator for the past 35 years, teaching in India, New Zealand, and in the USA for the past 20 years. He has a Master’s Degree in English Literature, Education, Educational Administration, and doctorate in Educational Leadership. He is a member of the WASP Equity Committee and the World Language Advisory Committee. He has been a guest speaker in schools, colleges, and Universities, and has also been leading and serving non-profit organizations such as VT Seva, JET Seattle, and Sri Parakala Mutt. Srinivas also serves the greater Seattle area as a Hindu priest, promoting the values and practices of Sanatana Dharma through religious programs, lectures, discussions and QA sessions.
(Dharma & Heritage)
Varsha Chauhan holds a Gold Medal for her Master’s degree in Science from the University of Delhi as well as a Bachelor’s degree in Education. She has had experience as an educator in Delhi Public School in India and has been a core curriculum developer for Dharma and Heritage at Aum School. Her insight into the mind of a child as a teacher at DPS and Hindi Pathshala as well as a Bala Pramukh in Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh has allowed her to create a curriculum that facilitates the holistic growth of the students, she enjoys spending time with her family, undertaking new hobbies, and taking part in outdoor activities.
(Dharma & Heritage)
Ambika Natarajan originally from Tamil Nadu, has a Bachelor’s degree in Home Science from Chennai, India. She is now retired after working in the medical field as a referral coordinator, currently residing in Richmond, Texas. A firm believer in educating children with a solid moral foundation, she had been an administrator and volunteer teacher in Bal Vikas program in the Hindu Temple of San Antonio for many years and volunteered at Aum School San Antonio.
Sabitha Hebbar has 13 years of experience teaching preschool, and 10 years as a director of a Montessori school. She has an advanced degree in electrical and computer engineering and Montessori methodology from University of California, Irvine. She currently lives in Thousand Oaks, California with her family.
(Preschool Content Developer)
Anila has a Master’s degree in Biotechnology from the Florida Institute of Technology. She also has a background as a graphic designer for over 12 years. She has worked as an early childhood educator and is passionate about the whole child development model. She believes every child can reach their fullest potential when all their developmental needs are met. This also includes affirming their cultural background, so they can learn and thrive. She has been actively associated with Balagokulam for the past 15 years and has coordinated several activities across her community. She loves spending time hiking with her family and is an avid gardener.
Harini Srinivasan has a Master’s in Microbiology with advanced certification in bioinformatics and healthcare informatics. She is also a certified yoga therapist. She currently teaches at yoga studios for group and private clients. She has been an active volunteer for Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh for past 9 years. She has been teaching yoga for the past 8 years from 3-70 years old. Originally from Chennai, Tamil Nadu, she currently resides with her family in San Antonio, Texas.
Manasi Palkar holds masters of Arts in political Science and Bachelors of Education in Marathi and Hindi. Manasi worked as a primary and middle school teacher in Bharat for 11 years. She also Worked as professor in junior college for 2 yrs. Manasi worked as a consultant Translator and lecturer for small businesses in Maharashtra. In the USA, she spent 6 years developing Marathi curriculum from level 1- 6 with worksheets. She also developed a summer workbook for all 5 years. She completed the child development course and worked in Synergy school as non teaching staff for 1.5+ years.
Kirti Joshi (Language)
Kirti Joshi has a Bachelors Degree in Physics from Mumbai. She has completed the “Know Your Child” course through CCE Finland. In Bharat, she has tutored elementary and middle school kids for 5 years in various school subjects. She volunteers as a teacher at Balagokulam and loves interacting with kids. She is associated with Aum School since 2020 and teaching Samskritam, Marathi, and Vedic Ganit in virtual school, along with summer camps. Currently she is also acting as virtual school co-ordinator for Aum school.
Geetanjali Dhir has done BA in Fashion Designing (NIFT) from Delhi University. She has volunteered in elementary and middle school for 8+ years.