Madhu Vaishnav – Founder & Executive Director
Madhu Vaishnav was born and raised in Jodhpur, India, where she founded IPHD in 2013 in response to a need for women’s empowerment. She has ten years of work experience in civic and social organizations, including five years as the local program coordinator at the international nonprofit Foundation for Sustainable Development. She also founded the ethical fashion social enterprise Saheli Women in 2015.
Madhu has a master’s degree in Indian history and Hindi and completed her postgraduate studies in community and social welfare at the University of California, Berkeley. Her expertise spans multiple areas of community development, including microfinance, skills training, HIV/AIDS awareness and sex worker education.
Jhansi Mangal – Organization Coordinator
Jhansi Mangal is from Hyderabad, India. She moved to Jodhpur in 2013, and joined the IPHD team in 2017.
Jhansi studied at Osmania University in Hyderabad and worked in telemarketing and quality assurance at Vibatel Solutions for the multinational banking company HSBC for five years. She also worked for one year at Global Innovsource for the State Bank of India in the credit card section.
Jhansi is fluent in Hindi, English and Telugu. Her language skills along with her welcoming personality and ambition make her the ideal internship coordinator.
Rukiya Bano – IPHD Saheli Community Center Manager
Rukiya Bano lives in IPHD’s adopted village Bhikamkor. She joined the Livelihood Program as an embroider on the first day of our Saheli Women project in 2015. Since then, Rukiya has become a pivotal member of IPHD as the Saheli Community Center manager and an education advocate.
A Muslim mother of four daughters, Rukiya moved to Bhikamkor when she was 16 years old to live with her husband. She is often seen at the community center laughing or cracking jokes, leading other women in the village to nickname her “spicy chili.” Rukiya is passionate about girls’ education, and she believes her daughters will grow up to be engineers, doctors or the mayor of Bhikamkor.
Sharmili Rathi – Saheli Center Librarian
Sharmili Rathi is the mother of two children and the currently serves as the Saheli Center’s librarian and after school activity manager. Sharmili hails from Varanasi and has lived in Bhikamkor for the last eight years
Carolina Abalos – Saheli Women International Manager
Carolina Abalos is the international manager for Saheli Women. She is from Cologne, Germany and joined the IPHD team in 2019.
Carolina received her Bachelors in Engineering in 2016 from the Netherlands and is now in pursuit of her Masters in Fashion Anthropology. Through her studies, Carolina has gained experience in design, pattern drafting, marketing, production, and international buying. Her experience has made her an invaluable member of the IPHD team.
Saraswati Sharma – Saheli Studio Manager
Saraswati Sharma is the newest manager at the Saheli Center. Previously, she ran a hostel with her husband. After running into financial problems with this operation, she was out of work. Determined to find a job, she asked friends to recommend her to the Saheli Center. After months of trying she finally got the job. She took our training course and began to learn stitching. Because of her warm personality and helpful spirit she was promoted to manager. Her husband works for an NGO and is very proud of Saraswati. She loves working at the Center because she gets to socialize with the other ladies.
Dr. Shashi Vyas (M.B.B.S., D.G.O. & M.S.) Gynecologist and Obstetrician
Dr. Shashi Vyas serves as the gynecologist and family medicine specialist in the IPHD Saheli Health Clinic located in the center of Bhikamkor. She has 33 years of experience in providing maternal and child health services to the residents of Jodhpur and its surrounding communities.
Health Outreach Workers
Anju Bharti Kamala
Madhuri Gujje – Girls’ Education Program Advisor
Madhuri Gujje is a Political Economy student at the University of California, Berkeley. In Summer 2018, Madhuri worked as the IPHD Girls’ Education Program intern for two months, during which she assisted the Education Advocates with outreach and school enrollment, distributed supplies to students in the IPHD Girls’ Education Program, and developed a teacher training to implement creativity into the classroom subjects. She also helped create a promotional video for Saheli Women.
Pukhraj Vaishnav – Advisor
Pukhraj Vaishnav is a chartered accountant working in the city of Noida with expertise in indirect taxation and accounting. Pukhraj was born and completed his primary schooling in IPHD’s adopted village Bhikamkor.
Pukhraj went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in commerce and another bachelor’s in law in Jodhpur. He passed his chartered accountant course in Delhi, where he now lives. Throughout his life, Pukhraj’s heart has remained with Bhikamkor and its children. He is passionate about education and hopes to give back to his home village by expanding educational opportunities to all girls and boys in Bhikamkor.