Vision-Aid Appoints Lalit Sudan President and Announces a New Leadership Team for 2021-22

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Lalit Sudan

LEXINGTON, MA–Vision-Aid, a Lexington, MA-based based non-profit organization, announced the election of its new President, Lalit Sudan who will assume office from July 1, 2021, for a term of five years. He replaces Syed Ali Rizvi who has served as President for the past 7 years and will stay as a Board Member.

The non-profit also welcomed several new, additions to its leadership team in the coming year.

“I am a true believer in Vision-Aid’s mission of enabling, educating, and empowering the visually impaired to lead productive and independent lives,” said Mr. Sudan. “I am looking forward to increasing its support for the disadvantaged and building upon the successes made possible by the year after year dedication of the volunteers, team members and gracious donors.”

Mr. Sudan is a Managing Director of Market Data Group LLC. For the past two decades, he has been an advisor to senior management teams at several leading global Information Technology & Networking companies. In these consulting roles, he guided their entry into several new global business initiatives to create profitable growth.

As Senior Vice President at Fujitsu Consulting, and during his engagements with Compaq, HP and several startups, he worked closely with their teams to formulate strategies for competitive advantage. He directed due diligence for US and India based acquisitions and managed their integration that resulted in accretive revenues and profitability by focusing on good customer and combined employee experiences.

Before starting Market Data Group Consulting in 1997, he worked for Digital Equipment Corporation, Motorola Codex and Honeywell where he launched and grew several new worldwide businesses. Noteworthy among them was the Digital and Microsoft Alliance Computing initiative that led to significant wins in numerous worldwide accounts.

Mr. Sudan has published extensively. He has been a keynote speaker at IT forums, a panelist at the Canadian Global Business Forum and has been interviewed by leading publishing and television business news programs. He holds a MS Management Sciences degree from Worcester Polytechnic Institute, a MS Electrical Engineering from Oklahoma State University and a BS (Honors) degree in Electrical Engineering from Punjab University.

Syed Ali Rizvi

Mr. Rizvi, who has served as President of Vision-Aid for the past 7 years, will continue serving on the Board of Directors. Mr. Rizvi warmly welcomed the election of the incoming President saying “I have enjoyed a very productive and satisfying time at Vision-Aid serving it initially as a member of the Board of Directors and then for the last seven years as its President. From what Vision-Aid was in 2004 and to what it is now, it has grown exponentially. The reach, the programs, the funding, the exposure and the impact, have all been impressive due to the collective contributions of each board and advisory member and volunteers and well-wishers.”

He added: “I will feel that we have found an exemplary leader in Lalit Sudan. As someone who has successfully served in the corporate world in senior positions to one who has led his own company for so many years, Lalit Sudan comes with a very wide exposure and experience. He will be able to bring in new donors and a fresh infusion of ideas, thinking and networks that are so critical to the success of every non-profit. We also have advisory board members, Dr. Partha Ghosh, Akiki Ghosh, Madhu & Vijay Narang and Co-chairs of our Council of Ambassadors, Dr. Vivek Badami and Dr. Monica Minocha Wadhwa who bring leadership and a very rich experience with them. We welcome them to our Vision-Aid family.”

Puran Dang

Vision-Aid Chairman, Mr. Puran Dang said “It is my great honor to welcome Mr. Lalit Sudan as our new President. His wisdom and compassion is a gift to Vision-Aid. I also welcome the Board Members to this journey to meet the noble goals.”

Welcoming the new leadership team, Vision-Aid founders Ramakrishna (Ram) Raju and Revathy Ramakrishna said “Vision-Aid is truly blessed to have a stellar leadership team which brings so many talents and so much passion to Vision-Aid. We sincerely thank our current President Mr. Syed Ali Rizvi for his many contributions to the cause, and warmly welcome our new President Mr. Lalit Sudan. We are sure under Lalit’s leadership, Vision-Aid will continue to scale new heights”.

Vision-Aid Leadership Team 2021

New additions to the Advisory Board

Vision-Aid also announced the addition of the following distinguished members of the community to its leadership team this year:

Dr.Partha Ghosh & Akiko Ghosh
Advisors

Dr. Ghosh is a world-renowned thought leader and inspirer in various fields: Technology, Business, Philosophy and Philanthropy. He is known as a “Modern Day Renaissance Man”. He is an outstanding Consultant having given advice to many multinational companies internationally. He has delivered about 200 Keynote Addresses on various Business, Educational and Leadership Forums. He is the Founder and Chairman of The Boston Pledge which helps human beings in the bottom of the pyramid. He is involved in multiple initiatives around the world. With his support, His alma-mater, IIT Kharagpur is establishing The Partha Ghosh Leadership Academy on the Campus in his honor. The Academy integrates the Eastern and Western wisdom. Dr. Ghosh obtained his Advanced Graduate Degrees from MIT and is a Professor of Practice at the MIT Sloan School of Management and at The Tufts University.

Akiko Ghosh after graduating in English at the prestigious Ayoma Gakuin University in Tokyo, Japan launched her own business Studio Bharat in 1990 to promote high end Indian products in Japan. On moving to the US she has been active in public service helping The Boston Pledge, while being involved in Real Estate services particularly focused on helping Japanese families move from Japan to Massachusetts. She is currently a board member of Japan Boston Business Bureau. Partha and Akiko will join the Advisory Board of Vision-Aid.

Madhu & Vijay Narang
Advisors

Mr. Vijay Narang is a graduate from The Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur and is an alumni of the Harvard and Wharton Schools.
After a stint at IBM India, he worked for 37 years, in different leadership positions, with a large multinational, ITC Ltd. He migrated to the USA in 2007, and was responsible for international operations of InfoUSA . Later, he joined the founding team at Toast Inc. Madhu and Vijay Narang’s commitment to helping the underprivileged goes back to 1970, when as active members of The Round Table India, worked closely with Mother Teresa at the Mission of Charities, Calcutta. Madhu, continues to commit a large part of her time to social work in adopting, teaching, motivating and guiding the under-privileged and making huge differences in their lives. Madhu and Vijay will join the advisory board of Vision-Aid this year.

New additions to the Council of Ambassadors

Dr. Vivek Badami
Council of Ambassadors, Co-Chair
Dr. Vivek Badami worked in GE for 35 years, most recently as a Consulting Engineer with GE Aviation, in the Boston area, retiring in 2019. He was responsible for advanced sensors strategy, and prognostics and health monitoring (PHM) for aircraft engines. His previous roles in GE included 14 years in Power Generation, and 16 years at GE’s Global Research Center, in Schenectady, NY. Prior to GE, he worked for Computervision Corp., and Digital Equipment Corp. on CAD/CAM and automation systems for 7 years.

His experience includes the areas of sensor technology, signal processing, real-time systems, PHM, artificial intelligence and controls, in a variety of industrial application areas, primarily power generation, robotics and automation.

Vivek has a PhD in Controls from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute specializing in the application of fuzzy logic to controls, a Master’s in Electrical Engineering from the University of Rhode Island specializing in vision-based robotics, and a Bachelor’s in Electrical Power from IIT Madras in 1975. Vivek is a holder of over 50 patents, authored 15 publications, and has received numerous awards for technical excellence during his career in GE. He is a senior member of the IEEE.

He is currently a volunteer with e-NABLE, a global community of volunteers who use 3D printers to build open-sourced designs of prosthetic devices for those in need. He is also involved with IIT AGNE in organizing technical seminars on various technical topics. He is a mentor with EforAll, an organization helping early-stage entrepreneurs in under-served communities in Massachusetts. Vivek will join Vision-Aid’s council of ambassadors this year as its co-chair.

Dr. Monika Manocha Wadhwa
Council of Ambassadors, Co-Chair

Monika is a researcher, educator and experienced curriculum writer. She is very passionate about teaching and works in the Lexington Public School system. She has worked as a Post-Doctorate Researcher on IBD from BIDMC, Harvard Medical school, Boston. Having completed her Ph.D in HIV Mucosal Vaccine Research from All India Institute of Medical Sciences ( AIIMS), she worked as a Research office and taught Biochemistry, Biotechnology & Immunology to MBBS, M.Tech & B.Tech students.

She enjoys volunteering and has been Co-founder and Event organizer for various organizations. As a Founder and Leading STEM Science Team member at Lexington, MA, she helps students learn Science through experiments and helps with MCAS preparations as well as helping youth through career workshops as an IAL (Indian American of Lexington) School Committee member. She started Women in STEM Guest speaker series for LPS students, inviting Guest Speakers to encourage and motivate them. She is also a Culture Teacher and Director of Shishubharathi Newsletter team. She actively volunteers in Bowman Elementary School as a Green team and PTO member, and as Room Parent Big Back yard walk organizer.

Monika loves Yoga, Walks and Runs and enjoys all types of sports including cricket, basketball, volleyball, table tennis , badminton, biking as well as hiking and running . She loves reading and music and enjoys listening & writing poetry. Monika is passionate about Vision-Aid’s cause and looks forward to serving as the COA Co-Chair.

Continuing members
The following leadership team members have renewed their commitment to the cause and will continue serving for a future term this year.

Chairman
Mr. Puran Dang & Mrs. Kamlesh Dang

Puran Dang founded Minuteman Group, LLC, a Technology Staffing and Consulting Services Company in Lexington, Mass and ran it successfully for 40 years.
He has been a community leader for over fifty years and founded many organizations of international repute. He founded the very first IIT Alumni Association, which has evolved into PAN-IIT all over the world. Over the last 25 years, he has been Chairman and now Chairman Emeritus of MIT Heritage of The Arts of South Asia (MITHAS). Ekal Vidyalaya, TIE-Boston, Akshaya Patra, Indian Americans of Lexington (IAL), are a few other organizations where he held leadership roles. He was the Founder and First President of IAL.

Puran Dang is a Professor of Leadership and Entrepreneurship at Adamas University, Kolkata. His devotion to Ekal and Akshaya Patra is deep seated. He is also a member of the Perkins Corporation and Ambassador of The Perkins School for the Blind. Currently, Puran Dang, is very focused on Vision-Aid as its Chairman. Helping visually challenged children and adults is his major goal. Mr. Dang has won many Awards for his humanitarian service. His alma-mater IIT Kharagpur honored him with first “Distinguished Service Award” out of some 45,000 alumni. Puran Dang holds a B.Sc Honors degree in Physics from Delhi University and B.Tech Honors degree in Engineering from IIT Kharagpur followed by MBA degree from Western New England University.

Puran Dang says that all that he has achieved in his life is because of the love and support of his wife, Kamlesh. She has played a great role in Puran’s service to Vision-Aid by hosting meetings at home. Kamlesh has a PhD in Physiology / Microbiology and did her post-doctoral research at the Harvard School of Public Health. Kamlesh also received MBA degree from Western New England University. For many years, she was the Chairperson of the Indian section of LexFest, an organization in the Town of Lexington which aimed to bring all cultures together in an annual exhibition. Throughout all the endeavors of her life, Kamlesh has always kept the poor and less fortunate at the forefront of her thoughts and actions.

Council of Ambassadors

Jeyanthi Ghatraju
Council of Ambassadors, Co-Chair

Jeyanthi Ghatraju is a Bharatanatyam dancer and choreographer with a mission to perform for charity. She is the Founder of Natyanjali dance school that celebrated its 25th Anniversary in 2019. Today, Natyanjali is a group of dedicated dancers with a mission to perform for the under-privileged. It is affiliated with the Alagappa Performing Arts Academy, Alagappa University, Karaikudi, India and offers Certificate, Diploma and Degree programs in Performing Arts online. Jeyanthi is a Plant Geneticist by training and software quality assurance specialist by profession.

Jeyanthi received the coveted US Presidential Gold Service Award in 2013 and again in 2018 for her community service. In 2019, she received a Massachusetts Cultural Council grant.

Jeyanthi is also the Founding Co-Producer of Vision-Aid productions since 2009. As Co-Chair of the Vision-Aid Ambassador Council, she actively champions the cause of the visually impaired.

Dr. Arun Kumar Krishnan
Council of Ambassadors, Co-Chair

Arun obtained his Doctorate in Vision Science from the University of Houston, Texas and Bachelor’s degree in Optometry from the Elite School of Optometry, India. He completed his research fellowship from the Envision Research Institute, Kansas and was a visiting scholar at the University of California, Berkeley. He is currently a post-doctoral researcher at the University of Pennsylvania, working on novel therapies for blinding eye diseases, specifically hereditary retinal degeneration. His research interests include visual impairment, retinal degeneration, and macular degeneration. Before coming to USA for graduate studies, he practiced as an Optometrist at Sankara Nethralaya, Chennai, India specializing in pediatrics, binocular vision, and low vision. He joined Vision-Aid as a consultant in 2019 and reviews the quarterly reports of resource centers. Arun enjoys traveling as well as outdoor photography, hiking and badminton.

Board of Advisors

Cynthia Asmus
Advisor

Before retiring with 25 years of professional fundraising experience, Cyndi Asmus was the Director of Development for the University of Washington (UW) Libraries from 2003-2013. Prior to that, she served as the first Director of Development for the new UW Bothell campus. A native of the Pacific Northwest, she lived in Pennsylvania for many years where she began her fundraising career first as Director of the fledgling State College Area YMCA and then as the Assistant Director of Development for the Penn State Library. She also served on the original Vision-Aid Advisory Board from Seattle. She lives in Walla Walla, Washington where she informally consults with non-profit organizations on their fundraising efforts and strategies.

Cyndi earned a Bachelor’s degree in Physical Education and Health from the University of Oregon and a Master’s degree in Environmental Education from Indiana University. She taught public school and was a Program Director at the Penn State Shaver’s Creek Environmental Center.

Dr. Loubaina Buxamusa
Advisor

Loubaina Buxamusa is an Occupational Therapist and heads the Department of the Occupational Therapy Services in the Shrewsbury Public School district. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Occupational Therapy from the University of Mumbai, a Master’s degree in Special Education from the Framingham State University, and a Doctorate degree in Occupational Therapy from the American International College in USA. She has 38 years of experience working as a Pediatric Occupational Therapist with a variety of populations.

Dr. Buxamusa has earned several accolades for her work with children. Her personal passion in serving the visually impaired, her vast knowledge of sensory integration and neuroscience, and her deep belief in the inherent power of neuroplasticity, has led to her desire to contribute her expertise to improving the lives of those living with a vision-related disability. Her own purpose as an occupational therapist, an educator, and a human being is simply to infuse love, truth and compassion into every interaction and realize an opportunity for growth and gratitude in every breath.

Ram Gupta & Meetu Gupta
Advisor

Ram Gupta is a Mechanical/Nuclear Engineer by training, but currently manages his commercial and residential real estate rental properties. After graduating from IIT Delhi in Mechanical Engineering in 1970, he did a Masters in Mechanical Engineering and another Masters in Nuclear Engineering from University of Cincinnati in 1974. He worked as a Nuclear Safety Engineer for Yankee Atomic Company in Westboro, MA which operated various nuclear power plants in New England; and later as a Consultant with Combustion Engineering, Hartford, CT making important contributions to the design of the last nuclear power plant installed in the US in 1980s.

Meetu Gupta is a home-maker and philanthropist. She supports Ram in all his philanthropic undertakings and is particularly fond of the work Vision-Aid does in the Gupta center in Delhi, a center which the couple started in honor of his father Shri Lachhman Dass Gupta, calling it the “best investment we ever made”.

Veena Handa
Advisor

Veena Handa earned her Master’s Degree from Lady Irwin College in India and since her arrival in USA in 1972, she has held executive positions working for 3 of the leading Fortune 500 Financial Institutions (MetLife, Fidelity Investments and finally John Hancock Financial) overseeing multiple operations and resources spread over US and Philippines. She represented her company at various conferences by being on the panel, a coach for employees, as well as an advocate for their Career Development. She earned a STAR of Excellence Award for Continuous Improvement and initiated Robotics Process automation for the organization.

She served on the Advisory Board for John Hancock’s Global Women’s Alliance for over 3 years and sponsored a number of programs such as Mentor and Mentee relationship, Networking and various Leadership events. Since her retirement in late 2017, she has been volunteering for different organizations including as Advisory Board member for Vision-Aid, Board Member for Nonprofit Net, Member of AIF’s Circle of Hope, Shine Counselor and a Money Manager volunteer for Minuteman Senior Services to advice seniors with their Medicare and Money Management needs. As a volunteer at Lexington Community Center, she works on multiple projects and has delivered Budget Planning and Retirement Planning talks for Youth and Seniors. Most recently during the Covid pandemic, she joined “Sew We Care” Team which provided over 20,000 masks and scrub caps to Hospitals, Health Centers and Senior Centers and Veena personally made over 1,000 masks and scrub caps as part of this team.

“Volunteering for Vision-Aid has been my most humbling experience to see the amount of dedication and hard work from every one that has been engaged with this cause. On the 17th Anniversary of Vision-Aid, I salute Mr. M.S. Raju who started Vision-Aid India along with Ram and Revathy and lead it to such heights and helped so many Visually Impaired to find rewarding careers and lead an Independent Life. It is my immense pleasure to be a volunteer for this wonderful cause that is so dear to my heart.”

Dr. Deeba Husain
Advisor

Deeba Husain has been on the Vision-Aid board for over 7 years. She is an Ophthalmologist subspecializing in the medical and surgical management of retinal diseases at the Mass Eye and Ear (MEE) Infirmary. A Clinician Scientist and Associate Professor at Harvard Medical School (HMS), she is passionate about research in retinal diseases and has helped pioneer two novel treatments for Wet macular degeneration namely photodynamic therapy and anti-angiogenic therapy. She continues her work in understanding why macular degeneration causes blindness. She has been in clinical leadership positions at academic institutions, at Boston University (BU) as the Director of the Retina Service for 5 years and now as the Medical Director of the Retina Consultants of Mass Eye and Ear. Dr. Husain is passionate about education and training. She was the Director of the Retina Fellowship Program at BU for ten years. At MEE, she is the Director of the Medical Retina Fellowship Program at the Retina Service of the HMS Department of Ophthalmology. She is also the Co-Director of the Age-Related Macular Degeneration Center of Excellence at Harvard Medical School.

Dr. Suraja Menon Roychowdhury
Advisor

Suraja Menon Roychowdhury is a licensed acupuncturist and herbalist trained in Chinese and Japanese styles of acupuncture and herbal medicines. With a PhD in Pharmacology and extensive experience in the pharmaceutical industry in Neuroscience, she brings a unique perspective to the understanding of medical practice.

As a Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) practitioner, Suraja enjoys connecting deeply with her patients. The inseparable nature of the mind and body is one of the central tenets of TCM, which she finds most satisfying in her work as a neuroscientist-cum-TCM practitioner. Her practice, Crossing Point Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine is in Lexington, MA. She has given several community talks on TCM and is passionate about spreading the word regarding this powerful, safe treatment modality. To this end, she has served as the Massachusetts State Chapter Chair for Wholistic Health Alliance. Suraja has a deep interest in the use of TCM for the treatment of degenerative visual conditions. She is one of a handful of worldwide practitioners who has been trained in the Micro Acupuncture 48 system, a pioneering approach to treating visual disorders. Her other interests include Hindustani classical music, reading and writing Japanese poetic forms, travel and reading.

Dr. Sabera Shah
Advisor

Sabera T. Shah is a practicing Ophthalmologist, currently serving as Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology at Harvard Medical School. She joined the Beetham Eye Institute of the Joslin Diabetes Center nearly 40 years ago, after completing her medical school and Ophthalmology training in India. Her clinical interest is focused on diabetic eye disease, which involves managing complex diabetic eye disease and performing complex cataract evaluations and surgery. She has dedicated her professional career to teaching fellows, residents and medical students, while maintaining a busy clinical practice. She has published in many peer-reviewed journals, and has remained active as a physician-scientist by contributing to research and the Ophthalmology literature. Dr. Shah has also been involved with international outreach, serving as a returning guest speaker in India for over 25 years.

Dr. Santosh Vempala
Advisor

Santosh Vempala has been a Director with Vision- Aid since 2005. He is a Professor at Georgia Institute of Technology. Algorithms, high-dimensional geometry, randomness and foundations of data science are his passion. In recent years, he has been working on developing a computational theory of the brain. Santosh got his PhD in 1997 from Carnegie Mellon University and was a Professor of mathematics at MIT till he moved to Georgia in 2006. His partner, Rosa Arriaga, is also a faculty member at Georgia Institute of Technology and works on technology and interfaces for chronic care. He had the good fortune of mentoring Aditi Shah, one of Vision-Aid’s stars, while she was getting her MS degree. (For more information, see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Santosh_Vempala)

Board of Directors

Ramakrishna (Ram) Raju
Founder & Executive Director

Ram Raju is the Founder and volunteer Executive Director of Vision-Aid. Ram holds a Master’s degree in Computer Science from the Pennsylvania State University, and a Master of Liberal Arts (ALM) degree in Information Management Systems from Harvard University Extension school. Ram has over 25 years of experience as a subject matter expert in advanced information technologies. He has served as Chief Architect and Technology Lead for several, large and complex projects in both the private and public sectors. He is currently employed as a Subject Matter Expert in a global Information Technology Services firm. Ram has authored and published several research papers in cutting edge technologies ranging from Data lakes to Blockchain technology and presented these at national conferences.

On the personal front, Ram is passionate about service and volunteering. His personal interests are wide-ranging and include Vipassana meditation, gardening and volunteering in several causes, other than his pivotal role at Vision-Aid. In 2019, Harvard University recognized Ram for his public service with the Derek Bok Public Service award. In the same year Children’s Hope India, a New-York based non-profit recognized him with the “Making a Difference Award”. Ram has been invited to speak at national conferences including the Boston Accessibility Conference.

Revathy Ramakrishna
Co-Founder & Vice-President

Revathy Ramakrishna is the Co-Founder and volunteer Vice-President of Vision-Aid, which she and her husband Ramakrishna Raju co-founded in 2004. An Electronics engineer and Health Informatics professional by training, Revathy currently works as a Manager at Fresenius Medical Care of North America, a premier health care company focused on delivering high quality care to people with chronic renal conditions. She has been recognized with several awards and citations for significant contributions in her field of work throughout her career.

Revathy is deeply passionate about service. Apart from Vision-Aid and the Boston Accessibility Conference, she has also volunteered at Shishu Bharati, the Indian School of Language and Culture for over 12 years. She supports several other nonprofits, including Vipassana Meditation Trust and Feeding America, to name a few.

In 2019, Revathy was recognized as the India New England Woman of the Year, because of her significant contributions to the community with her volunteer service. Revathy loves Indian music and is a classically trained singer who has performed in several concerts and radio shows.

Sudhir Verma
Treasurer

Sudhir Varma has been a volunteer Director for Vision-Aid since 2006. Apart from being the treasurer, he mentors and teaches Python programming to visually impaired students. He has a Master’s degree in Computer Science and has over 30 years of experience in the technology sector.

Ujwala Phene
Asst. Treasurer

Ujwala Phene is a volunteer Director of Vision-Aid. Ujwala works as a Director Product Management at a leading Financial firm. She holds a Master’s degree in Computer Science from Mumbai University. Ujwala has been a volunteer at Vision-Aid since its inception. She also volunteers at Neighbors Who Care, a Waltham based non-profit that helps elderly people. Ujwala enjoys Yoga and taking long walks in her free time.

Syed Ali Rizvi
Director

Syed Ali Rizvi, a Lexington resident has been serving Vision-Aid since 2013 and as its President from 2015 thru July 2021. In 2001 he founded Resolv Corporation and in 2006 acquired SPS Alfachem and launched Health-Xcel, Inc. He continues to lead these companies, which operate in fine chemicals, advanced pharmaceutical intermediates and development of new molecules and nutraceuticals, with offices in USA, India, and the UAE.
Ali is a civic leader, an entrepreneur, a philanthropist and spends considerable time on causes that are dear to him. He has been active at his school and university alumni associations and in civic associations. Ali is passionate about culture and the arts, education for the needy, the marginalized, and for the visually impaired. He has served as the President of the Aligarh Alumni Association of New England, and as the President and Chairman of the Federation of Aligarh Alumni Associations, as a Director on the Board of the India Association of Greater Boston.

Ali serves with various groups that seek to encourage citizens to fulfill their civic duties and has been an elected Lexington town meeting member since 2015. He is a co-founder of the Sir Syed Emerging Society of North America, a non-profit that has helped over 100 students gain admission at premier universities in more than 15 countries, through active student mentorship programs.

Ali is incredibly grateful for the opportunity to help fulfill the mission of Vision-Aid, “To empower the visually impaired to live with independence and dignity”.

Sonal Bakre
Director

Sonal Bakre is a well-known member of the Indian community of New England. She holds a Master’s degree in Human Resources. She strives to excel and contribute at work, home, and in the community. For over 10 years, she has been working with several community-based organizations to spread cultural awareness. Sonal teaches Marathi at Shishu Bharati, a school system which teaches children Indian culture and language. She organizes cultural events that aim to spread fun, positivity, and Indian values and heritage to young learners. An avid dancer and disciple of guru Jasmine Shah, Sonal is a mother of two daughters who practice the art of Bharatanatyam. Sonal and her daughters have contributed their time and talent to further Vision-Aid’s cause since 2012. Sonal believes in being the active change she wants to see in the world and does so by encouraging youth to see the potential in themselves and use their talents and skills to better the world.

Dr. Bharati Gangwani
Director

Bharti Gangwani (Bharti Nihalani) is a practicing Pediatric Ophthalmologist and holds the position of Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology at Boston Children’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School. She is also a Director of Clinical Research for the department of Ophthalmology at Boston Children’s Hospital. She has about 50 publications in various medical journals and books. She is a co-editor of a renowned book in strabismus management called “Learning strabismus surgery-A case-based approach”. The blind and visually impaired hold a special place in her heart and she would like to give back to the community by helping them live with independence and dignity, which is her motivation for joining the Vision-Aid Board of Directors.

Paramesh Garimella
Director

Paramesh Garimella has been serving on the Board of Vision-Aid for the past 16 years, right from its inception. He was the first President of Vision-Aid from 2005 to 2007 and then continued to serve as a board member. He is very passionate about the needs of the visually impaired because of his father’s low vision during his old age. When Ramakrishna Raju, the founder of Vision-Aid approached Paramesh to join Vision-Aid in 2005, he immediately accepted as it struck a chord with him. Paramesh Garimella is an IT professional and was working with Novartis Vaccines till 2018 before taking early retirement. He is now an independent IT consultant leveraging his experience from his consultancy days with PricewaterhouseCoopers and IBM.

Vineeta Kumar
Director

Vineeta Kumar is a management consultant and business advisor by profession. In a career spanning 25 years in the Consulting and Advisory industry, Vineeta has led key business initiatives, managing multi-million dollar operations globally and working with Fortune 500 clients across industries. She is currently working as an Associate Vice President with Infosys, a global leader in the IT consulting and Digital Transformation space. Prior to Infosys, Vineeta was the Global Head of Business Development for the Securities & Capital Markets division of Wipro, where she led key client acquisition initiatives in the Financial Services industry. At Headstrong, she established, scaled and managed the Buyside Capital Markets Unit.

It is important for Vineeta to live a meaningful life full of compassion and courage, pursuing her many passions beyond professional success. She finds her community related activities immensely fulfilling, therefore volunteers through various organizations, events and projects, lending her voice, time and resources to important issues and initiatives. Vineeta is currently serving her second term as a Lexington Town Meeting Member and has recently concluded a 3-year team on Lexington Education Foundation’s Board.

Dr. Aparna Raghuram
Director

Aparna received her PhD from the University of Missouri-St Louis and obtained her Doctorate in Optometry from the New England College of Optometry. She is an Optometrist working at Boston Children’s Hospital for past 11 years. Her clinical area of expertise is to assess and manage double vision, visual function following concussion and reading difficulties, low vision and functional vision assessment. She is an Assistant Professor at Harvard Medical School. Prior to coming to the United States for graduate studies, she received her Bachelor’s degree in Optometry from Elite School of Optometry/Birla Institute of Technology. She joined Vision-Aid’s Board in 2016 and was seminal in establishing Vision-Aid’s collaboration with Sankara Nethralaya/Medical Research Foundation. Outside of work, Aparna enjoys travel, running and playing board games with her family.

Dr. Ramkumar Ramamirtham
Director

Ramkumar Ramamirtham received his PhD in vision science from University of Houston and obtained his Doctorate in Optometry from the New England College of Optometry. He is currently engaged in Ophthalmic research at Boston Children’s Hospital and is a clinical eye care provider at a North Shore private practice. Prior to coming to the United States for graduate studies, he received his Bachelor’s degree in Optometry from Sankara Nethralaya, Chennai, India. He and his wife Nalini have been volunteering for Vision-Aid’s annual event since 2017. Ram recently joined Vision Aid’s Board of Directors. His passion for the cause resonates with his professional expertise and enables him to give back to the community and his roots back home.

Ravi Rastogi
Director

Ravi Rastogi is a Board Member of Vision-Aid since 2016. He coordinates the teaching of “Vision-Aid’s online programming course” for visually impaired students. Currently, Ravi is a Member of Technical Staff at MIT-Lincoln Laboratory, Lexington, MA. Prior to that Ravi worked at Intel Corp. Ravi also served as the President of IITSINE (now IIT-AGNE), Director of India Association of Greater Boston (IAGB), and was a Core Team member of 2016 PAN-IIT Conference. He aims to continue his involvement in community organizations and also helping realize Vision-Aid’s mission and vision.

Harjinder Kaur (Lovely Singh)
Director

With a dual Master’s degree in Education and English, Harjinder Kaur (Lovely Singh) is a former teacher with Ontario School Board. She now lives in Reading, MA with her husband and two teenage boys and is passionate about singing and dancing. She has organized a number of social and cultural activities such as fashion shows, dancing events, Bollywood style online fitness classes, and has been a Science Olympiad volunteer. She is also on the Board of United India Association of New England (UIANE).

Dr. Rita Vachani
Director

Rita Vachani has over 20 years of technology leadership experience in the telecommunications industry. She retired from Verizon as Vice President of Information Technology, part of the senior management team of the company. Prior to this, Rita was Executive Director, Program Management, responsible for managing the design and delivery of a new systems suite that enabled Verizon to launch its high-speed residential all-fiber service (FiOS).

For the past 5 years, Rita has been actively volunteering with organizations focused on education of underserved and underprivileged populations. Rita joined Vision-Aid’s Board of Directors in 2017. She also serves on the Communications Advisory Committee of the Town of Lexington, MA.

Rita holds a PhD in Operations Research from MIT and an MBA from the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad.

Puran Dang, Chairman
The Chairman of Vision-Aid, Mr. Puran Dang said “My engagement with Vision-Aid has been the greatest gift of God to me. To help the Blind and the Vision Impaired by education and prepare them to live an independent and dignified life is the noblest service to mankind. I am glad that I am in that ride to achieve that goal with my fellow travelers of the Vision-Aid Team. I am very inspired and blessed”.

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