Team Members

Shabana Diler

Project Director

I have a MSW degree from the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai, and a Post Graduate Certificate in Cross Sector Partnership, University of Cambridge, UK and another Post Graduate Certificate in Women’s Studies, University of Pune.  I have worked closely with NGOs in various capacities for 12 years. What I love most about Shelter Associates is the fact that we work with the urban poor and reach out to the really needy groups for providing them with access to good health and sanitation facilities. My most challenging moment here was making a presentation to the Urban Planning representatives when they came to Pune. The most rewarding moment yet has been when I met the beneficiaries of Ambedkar Nagar, Sangli who were very excited at getting their own individual toilets after laying their own drainage lines in the slum.

Dhanashree Gurav

Project Manager

I have a MSW from Niramala Niketan, Mumbai.  I have 9 years experience in development sector specifically in the fields of health, sanitation, gender, allied research and documentation with right based approach. SA is fully committed to working with urban poor. It has a very healthy approach for planning and implementation  by considering view points of the people those are a part of organizational structure, which makes working here a joyous and substantive experience. The real challenge is to find people with the similar thought processes but it is very interesting to create such kind of environment where all can utilize their strengths and overcome with their weakness to achieve ultimate goal of the organization. This overall process has helped me develop personally and professionally.



Aishwarya Brahme

GIS Analyst

I graduated from Pune University with a master’s degree in Geo Informatics. Although my job at SA is my first, I don’t think I will be able to find a more satisfying job in this field. Being an NGO, SA has made huge impacts in the lives of people by the sheer use of technology and faith. What I love most about SA that it allows you to explore your own potential and grow in terms of knowledge and personality. SA supports initiatives taken towards exploring innovative solutions—not only problem solving but also technological. My most challenging moment at SA was when I was chosen to present SA’s work at the Google headquarters at Mountain View, USA. While this was the biggest learning experience of my professional life, it was also the most rewarding.

Jaida Khan

Community Worker

I joined Shelter Associates 20 years ago in 1995. I was only 16 years old and I feel like I have grown up here and the people at SA are my family. In the beginning I worked on conducting door to door surveys and community meetings. What I love most about the organisation is that everyone here gives you a chance to learn and grow. I have never felt small or belittled because of my limited professional qualifications. One of the most challenging moments has been mobilizing the community in Aundh. The community did not trust us but we were committed, finally ensuring the construction of 200 toilets after an entire month of mobilization. Since then I am known as the “Mobilization Queen” at the office. It was the most gratifying moment.

Leena Satpute

Administrative Head

I have a bachelor’s degree in Politics from Nashik University and have completed a course to learn basics in computer application. I joined Shelter Associates 7 years ago. It is like my second home. It being my first job, the staff, Pratima madam, and especially Lata maushi have been very accommodating- helping me from time to time. With their support, I was able to learn new skills increasing my confidence in what I do. My most challenging moment at SA was documenting and filing photos on the server. This was a very big task and I was not sure I would be able to do it alone. But with the support from the management, I was able to do it single-handedly. Shelter Associates helps you hone your skills and gain confidence to do something new.

Mukta Verma

GIS Analyst

I have a graduate degree in Environmental Science from Fergusson College, Pune and a post graduation degree in Biodiversity from Abasaheb Garware College, also in Pune. Additionally, I have a diploma in GIS (Geographical Information System). This is my first job since graduation. As a beginner, SA gave me great opportunities to develop my skills in different fields. The primary thought behind helping the urban poor with the basic needs like an individual toilet—which many do not get throughout their lives—and the happiness it gives them is worth working for. My most challenging task at SA was analyzing data of slums across the city as it was being done for the first time. However, I learnt a lot during this process and it helped me develop my analytical and documentation skills. I have always been addressed as an ‘all rounder’ by Ms. Pratima Joshi and it is something that I cherish every day.

Pradeep Waje

Senior GIS Associate

I have an MA in History from Pune University and have been working with Shelter Associates since 2000.  What I love most about Shelter Associates is the atmosphere in the office. Everyone is working with soul, and it feels very much like home. My most challenging moment was when in the beginning I found it difficult to understand the GIS and Google Earth software. Over 2-3 years with SA, I became very experienced in working with GIS. It was a very gratifying moment when we completed the Kamgar Putla Slum Rehabilitation project of 2003. The people now own their homes, do not have to worry about problems such as flooding, and are very happy overall. Over time, I became an expert with GIS technology and slum mapping. I was able to bring these skills to Indonesia, sharing my knowledge and SA’s success with other people.

Ram Gumalwad

Team Member

I have completed my B.A. from Shivaji College Udgir and MSW from Swami Ramanand Tirath Marathwada University, Nanded. I have worked on multiple social issues in and around Sangli to help the people there form and hold meetings with committee members during the Indo-German watershed development programme; organize health and education awareness campaigns for children from 6-16 years of age; help community members in applying for bank loans etc. I joined SA as a social worker on 1st Feb 2010. I learned a lot here such as softwares, organizing workshops, surveying & documentation and Geographical Information Systems. The most challenging task I have faced was acquiring new skills and facing political leaders and oppositions. What I love about Shelter is the positive criticism and guidance the people provide me with which only increase my competence and confidence.



Sandhya Gokhale

Accounts Department Head

I hold a B.Com degree from University of Pune and have been working at Shelter Associates since 2006. SA is very close to my heart not only because it is my first job but also because the work they do in slums is close to my heart. What I admire most about this place is that they are very transparent in their work. The work environment is also homely. One of the most challenging moments I’ve faced here is when I had to handle an audit conducted by TATA trust. Since I was new, I struggled to keep up with the work but with support from the office, I was able to handle the task at hand. It is very comforting when you’re a fresher with very little experience, and the ED gives you all the support to build your confidence.

Shankar Shrimangale

Junior Social Worker

I have a Master’s degree in Journalism and Media Science from Swami Vivekanand Mahavidyalaya. I have worked on a HIV and AIDS awareness program for migrant workers, which was organized by an NGO, in Pune. I joined Shelter Associates as a Social Worker in their Sangli office. I have learned many skills at SA, such as how to carry out socio-economic surveys, various methods of community mobilization, basic working knowledge of software. My most challenging moments at SA has been when I conducted the socio-economic surveys for the Integrated Housing and Slum Development Program (IHSDP) in Sangli and Miraj and was required to coordinate with the Local Government and its Corporators. My most rewarding moment in Shelter Associates so far was when I was a part of the successful model house exhibition for the IHSDP beneficiaries in Indira Nagar, Sangli.