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Our People

We have an amazing team with a variety of experience and most importantly a passion for helping others.  We also are able to speak  with you in Hindi, Gujarati, Punjabi, Telugu, Tamil & Bengali!

Raj Chaudhary | Executive Director

Mrs. Raj Chaudhary was born and raised in India, and moved to the US in 1967. She and her husband have been been married for 50+ years, and have three children and five grandchildren. She is the founder of SEWA and has been working to help the community since 2004. She has won numerous awards including the Scholarship to Advance MN’s Priority Populations (LAAMPP) and the Asian Pacific Partnership of Empowerment & Leadership. In 2007 she was named one of MN’s Most Innovative Women by the MN Women’s Consortium and in 2012 received the Martin Luther King Jr. Award by the Governor’s Council of Asian Pacific Minnesotans. Her broad expertise in advocacy  includes domestic violence, human trafficking, health disparities, equal employment, elder populations, race, ethnicity, board development, legal custody, substance abuse, and public housing.

Dasharath Yata | Program Coordinator (Health Initiatives)

Dasharath Yata was born in a village in Nalgonda district, Telangana State, India and studied at Osmania University, Hyderabad. He moved to the US in 2011. His wife Padma Yata is an Enterprise Data Architect – IT at Medica and they have two kids in college. He is extremely dedicated and highly involved in all the various health based projects for SEWA dealing with mental health, community outreach and civic engagement. He organizes three free health clinics a month in the Twin Cities area and educates people about the high rates of diabetes and cholesterol problems. He also works with over 35 partner organizations on providing culturally specific services to the community through education and training.

Srivani Ganji | Program Coordinator (Women’s Programs); Crime Victims Advocate

I was born and raised in India and did my Master’s in Computer Applications. My favorite place in Minnesota is Duluth, especially in the fall as I love seeing the changing colors. I enjoy working at SEWA as it was the only Asian organization that could help me during a tough time. In my free time I like watching movies, spending time with my kids, and making (and eating) my favorite homemade Desi foods.

Geetanjali Mittal | Program Developer, Women’s Programs

Geetanjali is an educator, storyteller, and internationally-published researcher and a certified community health worker. Having lived in 6 different Indian cities, she is deeply appreciative of culture and diversity. With two Master’s degrees, she has taught learners of all levels across rural and urban settings for over ten years. Wellness, equity, and inclusion have always been dear to her heart and paved the way to transition into community health and social justice. Geetanjali has a genuine interest in people, and an  ability of connecting, especially with women in transition. While her spiritual practice keeps her centered, she is an artist at heart and enjoys reading, writing poetry, painting. She develops programs for SEWA-AIFW to empower the underserved.

Enna Mathema | Legal Service Specialist, Domestic Abuse Service Center

Enna is an advocate, feminist and changemaker who has worked for SEWA-AIFW since 2018. She is passionate about serving the community, empowering individuals, and always had the desire to make a difference. Originally from Nepal, Enna holds a BS in Management with a minor in Finance from Southwest Minnesota State University and a MS in Gender and Women’s Studies and a graduate certificate in Nonprofit Leadership from Minnesota State University, Mankato. During her master’s studies, she completed Alternate Plan Paper, “Domestic Violence: Curriculum to Educate High School Students in Nepal”. Starting as a Program Coordinator, Enna is excited to continuing her journey at SEWA-AIFW, and support and empower survivors of Domestic Violence and their families.

Jessikah Holmes | Program Coordinator (CSSP), Program Facilitator

I was born in Illinois and relocated at 10 years old to a small town in southern MN. I went to college for painting and soon after got a job in the video game industry doing communications, writing, video creation, and marketing. Through the years I have pursued multiple certifications in project management and ScrumMaster training, and voluntarily left my previous career as an IT Project Manager to pursue a life where I can make positive impact. I find myself profoundly inspired by the compassion and support SEWA offers the community.  In my leisure time I love to paint, pursue pottery, garden, play dungeons & dragons, volunteer, experiment with plant-based cooking, and playing hardcourt bike polo. Mostly, I love to share connection, smiles, and laughter with whom I love.

Mubina Qureshi | CSSP Program Manager

Mubina is a passionate intersectional feminist, research scholar, translator and interpreter with more than a decade of academic life. She holds PHD in Islamic Feminism in South Asian Female Muslim Novelists intersectional in the areas of SA Literature and Gender Studies & two Masters in English Literature and African American Literature. She has more than 7 years of college teaching experience in India. She has trained multilingual students in languages, literature, theatre, soft-skills and self-care. She has directly worked with underserved ‘Dalit’ women as interpreter and translator to a Canadian Research Scholar for 2+ years. This experience set the tone for her future endeavors to fulfill her passion to work for and work with women on gender issues. She is a collaborator and core-member of theatre & reading group called Parakh-MN in Twin Cities since 2017.  She is fond of solo travelling, camping in State and National Parks of US, exploring different cultures and learning new life-skills.

Rohini Ramanuj

My name is Rohini Ramanuj. I was born in Chennai, India and came to the USA 35 years ago with my husband. When we came to MN in 2009, I went back to school at HTC and got a degree in Floral Arrangement and Business Operations. I was introduced to SEWA-AIFW when I was taking care of my sister-in-law, who was diagnosed with a serious illness. SEWA helped with her care and she became one of SEWA’s first senior clients in Minnesota. Later when the opportunity presented itself, I was only too happy to return the favor and be a part of SEWA-AIFW, to payback what was so generously offered to me by a great organization, represented by individuals dedicated to the service of people in need. The time I have spent in service of the people within SEWA has been the most fulfilling part of my life so far. Outside of work my hobbies are cooking, taking walks with my husband, watching sports, spending time with my kids, going on cruises and relaxing, traveling on the motorcycle around the country, and watching Indian movies.

Reena Maheshwari | Media & Communications

I was born and raised in Minneapolis, and hold a Bachelor’s in Merchandising and Management as well as a Master’s in Education. I recently started a new business venture in the events/wedding industry. It is extremely rewarding to spend a portion of my time working at SEWA where I am making a difference and helping the community, AND working with and supporting a team of truly wonderful people. In my free time I enjoy remodeling, gardening, biking, creating art, and travelling. My favorite places in Minnesota are the different gardens and natural areas around town – Como Park, MN Landscape Arboretum, & Minnehaha Falls.

Karuna Godavari | Volunteer, Senior Programs

I moved to the USA with my family in 2007. I have a Masters Degree in Pharmacy, 5 years of pharmaceutical industry experience, & 2 years of pharmacy technician experience. From 2007 on I have been a housewife and been taking care of my two lovely kids. Most important to me is to volunteer, be in an outreach role where I can directly help people. In my free time I enjoy cooking new recipes and chatting with my friends. My hobbies are oil painting, knitting, & gardening. I also really enjoy being in nature. One of my favorite places is Yellowstone National Park because it has such a diversity of natural formations, rivers, and animal life all in one place.

Kirat Baveja | Community Advocate

Kirat Baveja was born and raised in Minnesota. She is pursuing her education at the University of Minnesota- Twin Cities, focusing on Psychology, Human Resources & Industrial Relations, and Leadership. Her passions include advocating for mental health, especially in multicultural communities. Her position with the Indian Student Association at her university provides a platform to increase awareness about mental health among youth and distribute available resources. Additionally, fostering genuine connections among her community is very important to her. At SEWA, she will be focusing on increased awareness of the organization and its resources among youth/young adults and helping seniors cope with the COVID-19 crisis by maintaining community through technology.

Juveria Tasneem | Program Coordinator, Senior Programs

I was born in India, completed my Bachelors in Computer Science and immigrated to the US 16 yrs ago. I started working as a Java Developer and also worked as a Quality Assurance Analyst – in the IT industry for 8 years. I started working here at SEWA-AIFW just 3 months ago, but the experience is just overwhelmingly amazing. For me, helping another soul is the basic responsibility that each individual should take. We can create a better world by helping each other and being there for each other especially in tough times like this current pandemic. I feel privileged working for the seniors – learning from them and sharing a laugh with them makes my day – I am happy to be a part of this team. My hobbies include working out, going on long walks, being in the nature, writing, reading, and my most favorite hobby is travelling and exploring new places.

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