The core team has developed all the materials for Sangati, Manthan and Saath Saath. Members of this team work in a variety of professions
but with a common and abiding belief that education can bring in equality, fairness and hope. This diversity in the backgrounds
of the Core-team members is one of its strengths.
SIMANTINI DHURU, Director
Simantini began working with the AVEHI ABACUS PROJECT in 1991. She is a documentary film-maker with many awards to her credit. She has been a member of several State and National policy making bodies to which she
has contributed her Avehi Abacus experiences, helping to modify and improve school and teacher education curriculum.
She is actively involved in various human rights and environmental movements as a media activist and documentary film-maker.
RATNA PATHAK SHAH
Ratna is an actress with an interest in education, working with the AVEHI ABACUS PROJECT since its inception.
She is a founder member of Motley, a theatre company in Mumbai, which performs plays in Hindustani and English.
She also acts in films and TV shows and has directed plays for children and adults and conducted acting training workshops with
schools and community centres.
Nandini has been involved with the AVEHI ABACUS PROJECT for over 20 years, thus developing an abiding interest in writing for education.
She is a consulting economist and has worked with industry associations and Chambers of Commerce in this capacity. An avid trekker, she is Hon.
Secretary of the Himalayan Club and editor of the annual Himalayan Journal. She is currently co-writing a book on a Himalayan community with Deepa Balsavar.
NOELLA DE SOUZA
Noella has been a member of the core team of the AVEHI ABACUS PROJECT since 1997. She has been working in the field of education since 1976,
teaching in different states within India, working with children from different social and economic backgrounds, which has required local, social and
cultural adjustments. She has also trained in Psychotherapy and Counselling and works mainly with women’s empowerment, their rights and gender equality.
Deepa was a core team member of the AVEHI ABACUS PROJECT for over 20 years. She was involved in research and writing and is
responsible for all the visual material and training manuals, including designing and much of the illustrating. She now writes and illustrates children's books,
conducts story-telling workshops and trains animators in script writing. She is currently co-writing a book on a Himalayan community with Nandini Purandare.
Deepa was a member of the AVEHI ABACUS PROJECT core team from 1991 to 2011; closely involved in the design and development of Sangati
and Manthan, particularly in writing and editing the facilitators’ manuals. A former teacher, civil servant, publisher’s editor, Deepa is currently a freelance
writer/editor and consultant on projects related to education and communication.
SANDHYA GANDHI VAKIL
Sandhya was a member of the AVEHI ABACUS PROJECT core team between 1993 and 2011 and was involved in the Hindi translations for all
the Sangati kits. A Masters in Sociology and in Development Planning, Sandhya continues to do translations and also designs craft activities.
VASUDHA S. AMBIYE
Vasudha has been a Trustee and active Advisory committee member since the inception of the AVEHI ABACUS PROJECT. Since about 1995
she has been involved in the translation of all the materials into Marathi. Vasudha has worked in the tribal areas of Maharashtra, as a researcher and
resource person in the field of formal and non-formal education.
She was a member of the team that produced media materials for Johns Hopkins University for their Mumbai based program on HIV/AIDS.
At crucial junctures the Core team has been supported by others:
Uttara Purandare worked with the AVEHI ABACUS PROJECT for the development and writing of Saath Saath and was also involved in the development of the Project website.
She completed her Master's degree in Public Policy under the Erasmus Mundus MAPP Programme, and is currently working as a policy researcher at IIT Bombay’s Centre
for Policy Studies.
Responsibilities of programme planning, liaison, coordination, field-support, monitoring, training and production, are shared by Chitra Patil supported by Vaishali Niwate,
Suvarna Yevale, Mary Pareira, Dhanashree Walinjkar, Manisha Jain, Elvina D’souza, Shraddha Dudhwadkar, Dinesh Chavan and Amir More.
Chitra Patil and Swapnali Gurav have played a key role in fund-raising and financial management.