Our Team

The Sahyog team comprises a dedicated group of professionals and dynamic women recruited from the very communities in which we work, some of who were once students in the Sahyog Schools! As Sahyog has evolved, the team has had to evolve to assume roles and responsibilities that they may not have originally been recruited for. Their ability to adapt has been the strength of Sahyog.


Manisha Naik

Executive Director

Manisha came aboard the Sahyog team in 2013 as a consultant for the Life Skills programme. She has a MSW from the College of Social Work, Nirmala Niketan and started her career at Apnalaya. She was with the Avehi Public Charitable Trust for ten years as the Chief Project Officer for the Avehi Abacus project which created Sangati, a foundation course to enrich and supplement the middle school curriculum. She brings with her over a decade's experience in community work and life skills curriculum development and training. Since 2015, Manisha is the Executive Director of Sahyog and leads a team of 15 staff members.

Ruvina Fernandes

Community Coordinator

Ruvina joined Sahyog in 2013 as Coordinator for Umang,  a skills training programme for young women in the communities of Gautam Nagar, Govandi and Chikuwadi, Mankhurd. Prior to joining Sahyog, she worked at Childline India Foundation and International Justice Mission. In addition to a BA degree, Ruvina has a Post Graduate Diploma in Special Education and is currently pursuing her Masters in Social Work. Wearing the broad hat of Community Coordinator and with experience of working with women and children with special needs, Ruvina is pivotal to grounding Sahyog’s programmatic initiatives  and establishing creative linkages between them. She mentors the Sangharsh and Sankalp teams and provides valuable insights to them to enhance the quality of day-to-day activities and expand the scope of the programmes. She plays an important role in organisational development as well.



Megha Dharnidharka

Coordinator ( Training and Finance)

Megha began working with Sahyog in 2014. She has completed her BSc from St Xavier’s College and MSW from Tata Institute of Social Sciences. Megha was a dedicated volunteer from  her high school days until the last year of her Masters programme, with a variety of NGOs and has experience of working with children, women, the elderly and stray animals. Megha came on board as the Centre Head for Sahyog’s centre in Dindoshi which housed a children’s library, an early intervention centre, and the Umang alumnae programme. At present, she is the Training and Finance Coordinator and is also involved in expanding the Roshan Library programme to schools. Megha’s versatility and zest for learning allows her to wear many hats and juggle several balls without dropping any. In a short span of time, she has made valuable contributions to the growth of the organisation.


Swati Gije

Administration Head

Swati Gije joined the team in 2008 and attends to Sahyog’s accounts-related and administrative tasks efficiently and briskly.  She has steadily developed her computer skills. Whether it is from banks, the auditor, or the Charity Commissioner’s Office, Swati is the one we depend upon for answers to our queries. Swati has completed her SYBCom and has picked up many skills on the job.


Jabin Khan

Senior Programme Assistant ( Accounts and Communication)

Jabin, once herself a student in the Sahyog School, was recruited as a teacher in 2007 to teach Hindi and Accounts to the Sahyog School girls. She is now a Senior Programme Assistant (Accounts and Communication) in Sahyog. She attends to accounts, documentation and engages with all media-related tasks meticulously. She also assists with the day to day operations and outreach work energetically.  Keen to expand her repertoire of skills, she completed a Basic Counselling Certificate Course and Paraprofessional course from Nirmala Niketan College of Social Work. She is currently pursuing her BA through distance education.


Sandhya Maghade

Centre Head

Sandhya Maghade has completed her BA and MSW and joined the team in 2011 as a Social Worker in Sahyog Sangharsh. In 2013, she completed the the rigorous Child Development Aide course at Ummeed which built her capacity to work directly with children with disabilities. Sandhya heads Sangharsh and supervises the centre-based and home-based interventions undertaken by the team. In addition, she takes the lead for community-based programmes that contribute to creating an inclusive community. Sandhya is also studying law and is in the 3rd year of the LLB course.


Ganesh Kharat

Special Educator

Ganesh Kharat has a BA in Economics and a B.Ed and M.Ed in Special Education from the Ali Yavar Jung Institute for the Hearing Impaired. He joined the team in 2015 and works in the area of remedial education and rehabilitation of children attending Sahyog Sangharsh. He teaches vocational and functional skills to older children with special needs. His patient, gentle and firm interactions with them make him a good role model at this critical stage of their development.


Rabiya Ansari

Senior Programme Assistant

Rabiya Ansari has been working in Sahyog Sangharsh since 13 years, first as a parent volunteer and today as Senior Programme Assistant. Rabiya’s choice to work in the field of disability comes from her up close and personal experience of her own two children who have a disability. Always game to try something new and challenging, Rabiya returned to formal learning after more than 20 years when she enrolled for the rigorous Child Development Aide course at Ummeed in 2015 and completed it successfully. Her energy reserves astound us and her creative ideas add a spark to the ambience of Sangharsh.


Asiya Shaikh

Senior Programme Assistant

Aasiya was in the first batch of students of the Sahyog School in Jari Mari.  Being a scholarship student, she was required to contribute time to Sahyog Sangharsh, the disability programme. This experience shaped a career path for her and she is an integral part of Sangharsh since 13 years. She was also the first member of Sangharsh to complete the Child Development Aide course in 2011. As a Senior Programme Assistant in Sangharsh, Aasiya has spearheaded the home-based therapy initiative and ably guides speech therapy for children in need of it at the centre in addition to everyday teaching responsibilities. She has completed a Basic Counselling Certificate Course and Paraprofessional course from Nirmala Niketan, College of Social Work. She is currently pursuing her BA through distance education.



Zahida Shaikh

Junior Programme Assistant

Zahida is an alumnus of the Sahyog School and completed Class 10 through National Open Schooling in 2006. As a mother of 2 young children, Zahida first worked from home, tutoring neighbourhood children. Once her children began to go to school, she decided to step out of the house and was drawn to the work carried out in Sahyog Sangharsh. She joined in 2014 and works with the older children, teaching them vocational and functional skills. Zahida’s firm and focused manner instills a confidence in the older girls and they feel comfortable sharing their personal concerns with her.


Bilquis Shaikh

Library Educator

Bilquis joined as a teacher in the Sahyog School in 2002 and for almost a decade taught English, Business Studies and Economics to students appearing for their Class 10 exam. Her passion and perseverance to learn and teach English won her the opportunity to conduct spoken English classes for young women from the community in 2011. Since 2013 she has nurtured the growth of the Sahyog Roshan Library and now as Library Educator, handles the day to day operations of the community–based and mobile library with vigour and creativity. Bilquis can be trusted to venture into unknown territory and emerge successfully, eagerly awaiting the next adventure.


Saba khan

Senior Programme Assistant

Saba was a student of the Sahyog School in Dindoshi and graduated from the first batch of Umang in 2012. She began working in Sahyog in the same year and helped to set up the communty-based library programme, Roshan. Four years later, Saba is a Senior Programme Assitant and an integral part of Roshan where she reads stories to young children, conducts book-based activities and is involved in adminstration and outreach as well. She is a port in the storm for many children who share their concerns and confidences with her. Saba has completed her BA and is working to improve her skills as a library educator.


Shivani Singh

Programme Coordinator

Shivani graduated with a BSc (Home Science) from Smt.P.N.Doshi College for Women in June 2017. Her association with Sahyog began in 2016 while she was in the last year of her graduate programme and participated in the skill-building and career preparedness programmes organised by Sahyog in her college. Shivani's interest in the social sector became apparent when she volunteered to escort two adolescents from Sangharsh, Sahyog's community based rehabilitation programme for children and adolescents with disabilities, to a vocational training centre for a month. In August 2017, Shivani came aboard the Sahyog team as Coordinator for the Scholarship-Mentorship programme which provides intensive support to a group of high school and junior college students to pursue their career goals and develop skills for their personal and professional growth. Shivani coordinates activities through the year which broaden the horizon of the scholars and within a short span of time she has built a strong relationship not only with the scholars but with their families as well who play an important role in encouraging their daughters' education.