Board of Trustees
Founder & Chairperson
With a Masters in Special Education from University of Manchester, Brinda Crishna has a monumental 35 years of experience in the disability and development sectors. She has worked with a multitude of international and bilateral agencies and NGOs, including ADB in Vietnam and Cambodia, UNICEF in India and the West Indies, DFID, IFC, World Bank, British Council, Cheshire International, Handicap International, and Save the Children. Her approach to social development is based on a deep commitment to human rights and equality and she has worked with various populations including displaced and migrant groups, poor and exploited women and children, non-literate communities living below the poverty line, from various countries, cultures, and conflict zones in rural and urban areas. She was a part of the pioneering team that initiated services for disability in Eastern India, helped in building an institution from a small special school to an organization of national and international repute – Indian Institute for Cerebral Palsy. She established the first NGO in Assam to provide services to multiple-disabled people in Northeast India – Shishu Sarothi, Center for Rehabilitation and Training for Multiple Disability. With this extensive experience in the disability area she founded VAANI, a national level NGO working for the empowerment of deaf children and their families and is presently the Chairperson of the Board of Trustees.
Akhil S Paul
Akhil S. Paul is the Director and Founder member of Sense International India. He is also the Founder Member of the Board of the National Trust for Welfare of People with Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Mental Retardation and Multiple disabilities. He is also the recipient of HSBC-Indo British Award – 2003 for outstanding services to deafblind people in India.
Indrani Roy is M.A. in English from Calcutta University. She was Secretary and Head of Administration, Institute of Cerebral Palsy ( IICP) from 1987 to 2002 . Mrs. Indrani Roy is Peace Works Co-ordinator, Seagull Foundation for the Arts from 2003. She is also Member, Managing Committee of International Institute for Poverty Awareness & Education
Asyha Sreekanth has over 15 years of experience in the Development Sector in helping organisations adopt technology, database applications, and websites-based services. She is currently the Head of Client Relations at Mahiti Infotech Pvt. Ltd. and has been instrumental in developing large portals for the White Swan Foundation, Sama Foundation, Every Child India, and many more.
Sriparna Chaudhuri has over 20 years of experience in the Development and Corporate sectors and has worked extensively on poverty alleviation, gender, governance, livelihoods, sexual and reproductive health, education, community mobilization, empowerment of women and children, leadership building of political practitioners, and policy advocacy.
Our Core Team
Vinod Pandey is a development sector professional with several years of experience working with companies such as Charities Aid Foundation India, Oxfam India, Caritas India, and the Foundation for Ecological Security(FES). He has also led various departments of programmes, resource development, advocacy and livelihood. In 2014, he won the Millennium Alliance Award by FICCI and the Govt. of India for his model on “Hamari Paathshala- a Collective Action for Education” which endeavours to promote education and learning opportunities for 3 to19-year-old girls in marginalised communities of Mushahars in Bihar. Vinod Pandey has a Post Graduate Diploma in Development Management from Tata Dhan Academy and SP Jain, Mumbai, and also has master’s degree in Commerce. He has co-authored ‘Sitaram Rao National Livelihood Case Study’, an award-winning book on ‘Enhancing Livelihoods of the Poorest of the Poor’.
Deputy Director – Training
Inky comes with 12 years of experience as a practicing lawyer in the Guwahati and Kolkata High Courts. She has worked as a Legal Advisor and Public Relations Officer with the Sarbanand Group of Companies in Kolkata, and the Himatsingka Group in Assam. She ran a Disability Law Unit for Shishu Sarothi in Northeast India, and worked towards advocacy and raising awareness about education, accessibility, laws surrounding the rights of differently-abled people. She has been working with VAANI for the last decade in various capacities ranging from Administrative Officer to Manager of Resource Mobilisation. Inky has immense knowledge and experience of the issues surrounding childhood deafness and the needs of families, and she directs all work in this area as Deputy Director – Training.
Deputy Director – Programmes
Ajita is a Graduate in Maths from the Guwahati University. She has over 10 years of experience working with organisations such as Tata Tea Social Welfare, Raksha Society for Children, and Shishu Sarothi. She began working with VAANI as a State Programme Officer – Assam, and has worked hard to grow our footprint across the North East. She is now Deputy Director – Programmes (North East) handling VAANI’s most unique programme that brings together ground level workers of the Government of Assam, technical trainers from VAANI and donors from the corporate sector.
Manager – Communications
Shashank is a Graduate in Business Administration from Madras University. He quickly strayed away from all things business and gravitated towards his love for the technology and the arts. Shashank is a self-taught website developer, social media marketer, and a documentary photography/filmmaker. He began his career selling computer games and developing websites for Sify Technologies. He then pursued a career in photography and went on to work in the development sector with UNDP India and the Institute for Financial Management and Research covering topics ranging from Bio-diversity conservation to micro-finance. He is also an amateur birdwatcher and has spent a year in the forests of Masinagudi documenting the birds of the Nilgiris. He is now combining his various skills sets as Manager – Communications at VAANI.