The General Body (GB) is the supreme authority deciding the organisation's governance policies and comprises 31 members who share our mission. Every two years, it elects seven members to form the Managing Committee.
Important decisions, for example to amend the Society's rules and regulations, are taken based on consensus or majority voting during the annual General Body meeting. In addition, the GB assesses and adopt the annual auditor's statement of accounts and the annual report.
DR AMIT DIAS
Dr Amit Dias is an epidemiologist who has also specialised in geriatrics and infectious disease. He works as a lecturer in the Department of Preventive and Social Medicine at the Goa Medical College.
He has received the prestigious Fondation Médéric Alzheimer and Alzheimer Disease International award for the best evidence-based research on interventions for people with dementia. He is the Chairperson of Sangath.
Anita has a masters degree in English specialising in Linguistics. She also received a MPhil in English from Goa University. She is an English teacher for all classes and an active Joseph Conrad scholar. When her husband retired from the Indian Navy and they settled in Goa, she began her extensive work in NGOs focusing on human trafficking, children’s rights and gender issues.
She continues to research, teach and lead workshops. She believes in active participation in areas where change is needed, and her work continues to reflect this.
Ashwin Tombat is a journalist, researcher and writer with a background in student activism, street theatre and outdoor pursuits. He has been editor of two major English dailies and a monthly magazine in Goa over the last 20 years.
He is an office bearer on the managing committee of Children's Rights in Goa (CRG), as well as the Goa Yachting Association (GYA) and the Goa state unit of the Youth Hostels Association of India (YHAI). He was elected to Sangath's managing committee in 2008.
Anant Bhan is a physician with a masters in health science in bioethics from University of Toronto in Canada. He works as a researcher and trainer in the field of public health/ global health and bioethics, and is based in Pune. He has published in both national and international journals and is the associate editor for Public Health Ethics, an Oxford University Publication.
EDNA MIRANDA SOUZA
Trained in microbiology and chemistry, Edna works as the Social Secretary at the Embassy of Brazil, and as a Portuguese translator and interpreter for the Ministry of External Affairs in New Delhi. She is the founder of the Special Olympics (Bharat Goa Trust) and of the Disha Charitable Trust for Special Children.
She is a member of the Managing Committee of SFAL School of Peoples Educational Trust. Edna has pioneered a number of programmes for differently-abled persons.
Gracy, a clinical psychologist by profession, has been associated with Sangath since 1997. She has worked extensively in the area of adolescent mental health and was the moving force behind setting up Sangath’s centre in Raia, South Goa.
She has previously served as secretary and chairperson of Sangath’s Managing Committee and until recently was the Executive Director of Sangath. At present she works as country manager for CorStone, an organisation that has developed a children’s resilience programme for girls that is being spread to various parts of India through partner organisations.
She continues to provide consultancy services to Sangath. As the mother of two growing adolescents, Gracy claims motherhood to be the most exciting and challenging of all her roles.
DR GAURI DIVAN
Gauri (MRCPCH) is a paediatrician who has been working for Sangath since 2005. She works as a developmental and behavioural specialist, guiding parents and families on the best management strategies for their children.
She was also the clinical consultant on the ARTI project and now works with the PASS project. Having contributed to the health promotion in school programmes, Gauri also participates in a number of training initiatives in Sangath directed at teachers, counsellors, parents and professionals.
DR HAMID DABHOLKAR
Hamid is a psychiatrist, consulting at various hospitals. He is in charge of the mental health and de-addiction unit at Parivartan, a community-based NGO. He works on treatment of substance dependence and runs a project at the Regional Mental Health Hospital, Pune. Besides coordinating the youth organisation called Vivek Vahini, Hamid is a regular contributor to Marathi publications on issues related to mental health.
ISABEL SANTA RITA VAS
Isabel was a reader at Dhempe College of Arts & science, Miramar. She has a PhD in English Literature and is a founder member of The Mustard Seed Art Company, an amateur theater group. She is also the Secretary of Positive People, an NGO in Goa.
Kalpana is a graduate of home science and has a masters in social work specialising in family and child welfare. She has worked at the family court in Mumbai, the Association of Promotion of Adoption, and as a consultant.
Her work at Sangath has included coordinating projects such as the SMIPS project and individual clinical work. She has also helped design and conduct workshops and trainings. Since 2007, she worked as a special educator and spent time with her family. She is an appointed member of the State Level Inspection Committee constituted under the Juvenile Justice Act.
KETKI M KHANOLKAR
Ketki has a bachelors degree in home science and has worked as a dietician in Gokuldas Tejpal Hospital for 2 months. She also worked in a travel company for five years where she conducted tours in different parts of India.
She is also a founder member of Keshav Seva Sadhana's school for special children in Bicholim and is its administrator since 2005 on voluntary basis. She is the main link between parents, teachers and students.
DR MRINALINI SAHASRABHOJANEE
A gynaecologist practising at the Goa Medical College Hospital, Dr Mrinalini Sahasrabhojanee is also a lecturer in the department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at the same college.
Nazneen is a founder member of Sangath who started her career here as a speech and language therapist, working with children with speech and language delays and in particular Autism. Although no longer practicing as a therapist, she continues to serve on the Managing Committee.
Nishtha holds a doctorate in Sociology. She is the director of Children’s Rights in Goa (CRG), an NGO involved in Child Protection and Advocacy, since 2001. She has been involved with the various publications and has worked with the Goa government on childrens issues.
In 2010, she was appointed on the North Goa District Inspection Team under the Juvenile Justice (Care & Protection of Children) Act by Department of Women and Child Development. She has regularly conducted training courses on children’s issues for the tourism industry, Goa police and teachers’ workshops from 2001 onwards.
DR NEERJA CHOWDHURY
Neerja, a psychiatrist at Sangath, was involved in a randomised controlled trial integrating the treatment of depression in primary care in Goa. She has also been involved in a community-based programme providing mental health support to people with HIV and their caregivers. She is now programme director for Sangath's PREMIUM project and co-investigator on our VISHRAM study.
Through her work, she has gained experience in planning programmes to improve access to mental health care in low resource settings as well as in developing and conducting training for lay health counsellors in the delivery of mental health interventions. Her experience in humanitarian settings includes coordinating the IMC psychosocial programme in Chad and the training of MOH doctors in Kabul.
Percy has completed her masters in psychology with a BEd and was the coordinator of the PRAYAS project. She loves working with children and is especially interested in understanding children's learning disabilities.
Percy enjoys collaborating with groups or individuals involved in improving children's lives.
Prachi has a masters in clinical psychology from Pune University and is currently the coordinator of the SHAPE project. She has been with Sangath for more than a decade and is also a member on the Juvenile Justice Board, North Goa.
DR PRADEEP PADWAL
Pradeep has been an officer in the Public Health Department of the Government of Goa for the last 32 years. He is the project director of the Goa State AIDS Control Society in Panaji. He is a medical graduate with a post-graduate diploma in occupational industrial health and a recipient of WHO fellowship for a post graduate diploma in STDs/AIDS.
He is a life member of the Indian Medical Association, Indian Public Health Association, Indian Association of Occupational Health, and the Green Triangle Society.
DR PRASAD R NEVREKAR
Prasad was formerly a professor and head of the department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at Goa Medical College. His work has included research on human reproduction, Anti-Retroviral Therapy (ART) and prevention of parent to child transmission of HIV.
He has worked as a research project coordinator and consultant on various programs at Sangath. He is a special consultant in AIDS and ART at the Goa Medical College.
Prashanti is an associate professor at DM's College, Assagaon, Mapusa. She is also an accomplished radio, TV, theatre and film artist. This versatile member of our board also writes children's stories in Konkani.
Dr RAHUL SHIDHAYE
Rahul is a clinical psychiatrist with a keen interest in community mental health. He completed his undergraduate medical education from Seth GS Medical College and KEM Hospital, Mumbai and has a MD (Psychiatry) from BJ Medical College, Ahmedabad.
He has also completed a masters in Health Science (Mental Health) from John Hopkins School of Public Health, Baltimore, with a special focus in psychiatric epidemiology. He works with the Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI) and is a psychiatric epidemiologist. He closely works with Sangath (Dr Vikram Patel) on some of the community mental health projects related to integration of mental health in primary care.
DR RAJENDRA HEGDE
Dr Rajendra Hegde has been practicing psychiatry in Margao, Goa since 1982 after obtaining his MD from Bombay University. He is a life fellow of the Indian Psychiatric Society, founder member of Indian Medical Association & Psychiatric Society in Goa, and also been its president.
He has organised several conferences. He takes keen interest in mental health and child education and promotion of mother tongue Konkani. He was a part of COPSI project.
DR S RAMASWAMY
Dr S Ramaswamy, having attained an MBBS from the Government Medical College in Bellary, Karnataka, has been serving the medical fraternity since 1982. Discharging his duties as a medical officer in Goa at various places, he has also been the President, Association of Government Doctors of Goa from 2005 to 2006.
DR SHEELA GUPTE
Dr Sheela Gupte is a senior consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist with a special interest in fetal medicine - a super speciality that endeavors to prevent and manage birth defects in unborn babies. A graduate in Medicine and Surgery from Nagpur, she earned her MD in the year 1983.
In 2003, she earned the Ian Donald Diploma in Obstetric and Gynaecological Ultrasound. She has the distinction of being certified by the Fetal Medicine Foundation, UK, for early screening of chromosomal defects like Down's syndrome. Her name figures in the list of sonographers certified for performing the Nuchal Translucency Scan on www.fetalmedicine.com
Smita has a bachelors degree in home science. Through her years of experience in Sangath, she has gained immense knowledge in the research field and is now Sangath's Data Manager. She coordinated the COPSI project and managed the Global Mental Health website.
DR ABHIJIT NADKARNI
Abhijit is a Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Fellow at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, UK and is currently based in Sangath. He qualified as a psychiatrist, first in Goa and then in the prestigious South London and Maudsley training scheme in the UK.
After completing his MRCPsych he also obtained higher training as a General Adult and Addictions psychiatrist in the same training scheme. He also has a Masters in Mental Health Services Research from the Institute of Psychiatry at King’s College, London. His research interests include global mental health with a particular interest in alcohol use disorders.
He leads a project called SAAHAS II exploring the long-term outcomes in alcohol use disorders in Goan men. He is also simultaneously pursuing his PhD at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine.
DR SITAKANT N KAMAT GHANEKAR
A MS (General Surgery), Dr Sitakant is a practicing surgeon in Panjim. His association with Sangath was as a faculty for MANAS project (application of Yog).
Some of his distinctive contributions are paper presentations at Swami Vivekananda Yog Research Centre (Bengaluru), International Vegan Conference (Bengaluru), Dharwad University. He has received the Distinguished Graduate Award (KMC-Manipal), Indian Medical Association, Goa State (for Yog Therapy), Vegetarian Society, Goa.
He writes regularly in different dailies and magazines, conducts programmes on All-India Radio, television, and health camps on different health topics. Goa Konkani Academy has published his book ‘Yogsadhana’. He is the Programme Chairman of Disaster Management Cell (Indian Medical Association, Goa)
Teddy is a lecturer in the Department of Public Health, Manipal University. He holds multiple degrees in medical and psychiatric social work, gerontology and geriatrics.
His work in the developmental field includes his service in Sangath, as coordinator for youth health promotion projects. He teaches at various institutions that offer social work courses. His special areas of interest include youth health, elderly care and psychiatric social work.
DR VIKRAM PATEL
Dr Vikram Patel is a psychiatrist and a Professor of International Mental Health and a Wellcome Trust Senior Clinical Research Fellow at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.
He is a founder and past Chairperson of Sangath, and barring a gap of six months, has been a member of its Managing Committee since it was started in 1996. He has a number of publications to his credit including scientific papers, book chapters as well as a book.
He was an editor of the recent Lancet Series on Global Mental Health (2007) and is editor of a forthcoming Lancet Series on Health for All in India.
Vishram Gupte is a double graduate, one in commerce and another in legislative law. He has also acquired a masters degree in philosophy. He has served as the Chairperson of Sangath. He is a creative writer and has produced two novels, one of which has bagged two prestigious awards in Maharashtra, India.
He also has an award-winning Marathi translation to his credit. He has permanently settled in Goa with his gynaecologist wife and two sons, both of whom are avid nature lovers.
DR VEENA HEGDE
Dr Veena Hegde has obtained her diploma in Psychological Medicine from Goa University in 2011, after finishing her MBBS degree from the same university. She has attended several national level conferences and workshops, and is interested in working for the awareness and improvement of mental health in Goa.