Health Foundation

Our Board

Our Board Members

Dr. Janaki Desai ( Founder- Honorary Director)

After completing post-graduate studies in medicine with specialization in Obstetrics and Gynecology, Dr. Janaki Desai established a practice as Medical Consultant in Mumbai; Continued work on a research project on “High risk pregnancies” at KEM hospital, Mumbai. Concurrently, worked as consulting surgeon to Family planning association of India (FPA India) during which time conducted family planning camps in Maharashtra and other states every weekend and performed thousands of surgical sterilizations and other Family planning procedures; Undertook training of medical practitioners in India, and in South-Asian and Middle Eastern countries on advanced techniques in sterilization and contraception.

Later, she relocated to Manila, Philippines where she completed post-graduate studies in public health at University of the Philippines, earning MPH Degree. She was actively involved as a volunteer with NGOs working in urban and rural slums in Manila on Health Education, Family Planning and Nutrition work; served on the team to develop curriculum for Adolescent sexuality education at International School, Manila.

After returning to India, she founded “Niramaya Health Foundation” ; Working as Hon. Medical Director overseeing and expanding the working of Niramaya, developing policies, planning projects, developing work strategies, organizing training programs on implementation, monitoring and evaluation procedures.

Rejoined Family Planning Association of India (FPAI) as an executive committee member. Also served as member of South Asia regional (SARO) committee of IPPF of U.K. Actively involved in organizational development, policy planning and developing strategic planning of programs.

Dr. Madhav Chavan, Founder- Honorary Director

Dr Madhav Chavan, a social activist and entrepreneur is the co-founder of “Niramaya Health Foundation”. He is also the co-founder of the educational non-profit, Pratham. He acquired a PhD in Chemistry at the Ohio State. In 1989, while teaching at the University of Mumbai, he started mass scale work for adult literacy in the slums of Mumbai as a part of the National Literacy Mission. Dr Chavan has spent over twenty years pioneering large-scale innovative programs in the field of education in India.

Dr Chavan was also awarded the 2012 WISE Prize for Education instituted by the Qatar Foundation at the World Innovation Summit for Education, which is equated with a “Nobel for Work Done in Education”. He was also the 2011 recipient of the “Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship”. Dr Chavan has also been named a ‘Game Changer’ by the Asia Society in New York.

Shubhalaxmi Patwardhan, Honorary Director

Ms. Shubhalaxmi Patwardhan is a consultant in Human Resources Development. She has studied Masters in social sciences from TISS and BA in Economics, University of Bombay. She has keen interest in Yoga education and holds a Diploma in Yoga – Education from Kaivalyadham Mumbai.

In the last 26 years as an independent consultant, the main areas handled are

Some of the topics covered are, motivation, interpersonal relations, Leadership, Personal effectiveness, Communication skills, Negotiation skills, Presentation skills, Emotional Intelligence, Time management, Presentation skills, Customer care, Quality management, Managerial effectiveness, Projects, Stress management, Team work, Collaboration, Vision, Creativity and many more behavioral sciences based inputs.

Some of the special projects done were preparation for relocating, VRS, Merger, Assessments, Re-training, Culture building, Coaching for succession and growth, Mind-set change for re-engineering.

Provide technical support in creating and running of the social welfare and development projects for the employees and community.

She have conducted workshops on Yoga for corporate like Indian Oil and Hindustan petroleum.

The client list over the 20 years includes over hundred large companies, Educational institutes and Social Development organizations. Some of the clients are Godrej, L and T, Greaves, Ceat, Colgate, Goodyear Tyres, Excel Industries, Bombay Chamber of commerce and Industry, Nirlep, Colgate, Cargill, Pidilite, Sandoz, Hindustan Lever, Boots, Astec, Deepak Nitrite, Standard Chartered Bank, Deogiri Nagri Sahakari Bank, UNICEF, FPAI, Govt. of Maharashtra, Dr Hedgewar Rugnalaya, Room TO Read, ICICI Bank and ICICI Securities and many more.

In addition she has prior ten years of full time job experience working with Cadbury, Rashtriya Chemicals and Fertilizer and International Council for social Welfare.

Dr. Anita Panot, Honorary Director

Dr Anita Hiralal Panot is Associate Professor at College of Social Work, Nirmala Niketan since 1995. She is also the Coordinator for online “Peace and Conflict Program” conducted by Peace and Conflict Studies, Tokyo University Japan. She has studied Master in Sociology and MSW from Mumbai University. She earned PhD in Social Work on thesis title “Maternal Health Care Practices and Treatment Seeking Behavior of Tribal Women in Mumbai”. She is an Executive member Joint Secretary for Maharashtra Association for Trained Social Worker (MASWE) and various other Associations of Social Work like Bombay Association for Trained Social Worker (BATSW) also a faculty representative in College Development Committee since 2015. She has various publications in Newsletters, Journals; reviewed several books pertaining to social work and issues. She has been a Key Trainer for training programs of Director of Health Services Maharashtra, Government of Maharashtra on HIV/AIDS and Master Trainer Social Justice and Equality, Social Welfare Department, Government of Maharashtra.

She has been conducting sessions for Para Professional Social Workers Course and for Health and Peace Education. She has presented several research papers in various National Seminars and also been part of various workshops and seminars. She has been part of the committee for Preparation of Multiple Choice Questions Covering entire syllabus of Social work and Psychiatry Social Work for Directorate of Medical education and Research, Government of Maharashtra in 2015.

She is part of International Exchange Programs for social work in Finland and Switzerland.

Dr. Ravindra Narkar


Dr. Narkar has more than 30 years’ experience in Public Health department, MCGM, Mumbai, Maharashtra. He has served the department in different capacities ranging from Assistance Medical Officer in Primary Health Center to Senior Medical Officer in MCGM ward office. He has also worked on NUHM (National Urban Health Mission) programs for 5 years. Currently, he is working as Medical Officer, ART center, Mulund under HIV/AIDS program. He has vast experience in Medical Termination of Pregnancy, Family Planning, Government Health Programs, Child and adolescent Health.

Dr. Veena Yardi, Honorary Director

Dr. Veena Yardi is MPhil and PHD holder in Home Science- Foods and Nutrition. She was associated with Dept. of Foods, Nutrition & Dietetics, College of Home Science, Nirmala Niketan, Mumbai as Associate Professor and Coordinator for Self-financed courses.

She is currently associated with Nutrition Society of India, Mumbai Chapter as Treasurer.

Dr. Veena has oorganized and conducted several Nutrition Education & Extension Activities for many NGOs, government organizations, academic institutes, Industries, women’s organizations working in Rural, Tribal and Urban Areas.