Team Members

Dhanashree Gurav

Project Manager

Dhanashree has a Masters in Social Work from Nirmala Niketan in Mumbai. She is the project manager for Shelter Associates in Navi Mumbai, Thane and Panvel where she leads an enthusiastic team that is willing to go the distance to create stronger impact. Dhanashree has 9 years of experience in the development sector with her work expanding applied research, documentation, rights-based interventions and now management across various development areas. She takes special interest in creating an environment where everyone is encouraged to recognize and use their strengths and overcome their weaknesses to further the organization’s goal. 


Leena Satpute

Administrative Head

Leena joined Shelter Associates in 2013. She has a Bachelors in Politics from Nashik University and has completed an additional course in Computer Application. Leena manages all the digital and physical documents in the organization, ensures that the servers and computers are routinely updated and backed-up and that the organization’s agreements with external organizations are renewed. Being an administrator at Shelter Associates is Leena’s first job, and she says that working at the organization has allowed her to build the skills and confidence to complete every task that comes her way.

Pradeep Waje

Senior GIS Associate

Pradeep has a Masters in History from Pune University and have been working with Shelter Associates since 2000. Being one of the earlier employees at the organization, he has actively adapted with the technology changes that thrust the organization’s work to a greater height. Though challenged with the introduction of GIS and Google Earth softwares, Pradeep managed to teach himself how to leverage the technology for mapping slums more efficiently and very soon found himself going to Indonesia to share his expert knowledge with officials there. He enjoys his work, not only because of the family-like office environment, but also because of the gratification he gets from being able to directly help people solve their problems.

Sandhya Gokhale

Accounts Head

Sandhya has a Bachelors in Commerce from University of Pune and joined Shelter Associates in 2006 as her first job. She has been a dedicated employee ever since and has seen the organization mold through its various spurts of growth. She recalls when she was new here and had to handle her first major audit- she was struggling to keep up with the many requirements made by the auditing company. It was with the guidance and support received from her colleagues that she handled the work at hand and grew more confident in the collective work environment at the organization. Sandhya says that Shelter Associates’ exceptional work in the slums and the supportive colleagues are what make it very close to her heart.

Smita Kale

Project Director

With more than 21 years of experience and a Masters in Statistics, Smita brings to the table exceptional skills in research, teaching, consulting and analysis. Smita has been with Shelter Associates since 2015 as the Monitoring and Evaluation Manager where she leads the organization’s data collection, mapping and analysis efforts, and is constantly involved in experimenting new data-related projects for increasing the organization’s impact. Before Shelter Associates, she has handled data modelling, analysis and management in a range of different organizational setups – from government offices like the State Family Welfare Bureau and Government of Maharashtra, educational institutes including Pune University and Gokhale Institute of Politics and Economics, to corporate offices like NuVista Strategies Inc. and ORG-MARG – equipping her with a well-rounded understanding of how data can be leveraged to interest different stakeholders of Shelter Associates’ work.

Noorjehan Kaladgi

Community worker

Noorjehan is a single-parent of two children and was looking for work when Shelter Associates began an intervention in her slum. It is then that she spoke to the team and began working for the organization in 2001. As a senior community worker, she organizes data collection and awareness activities, utilizing her caring and understanding personality to engage with community members in her unique style. One of her biggest challenges and most rewarding experiences with the organization was when she represented it at the Women's United Nations Meet on gender issues in Delhi in 2011. Noorjehan says that the satisfaction received from working with Shelter Associates is what keeps her going.

Pratima Joshi

Founder and Executive Director

Pratima is one of the very few visionaries, who recognized the issues around provision of safe access to basic services such as water, sanitation, social housing, waste management etc., over two decades before today’s focus on urban planning and development. Her knowledge as an architect and her passion for ensuring equitable distribution of rights and resources to all leading to an upgraded lifestyle for the urban poor led her to establish Shelter Associates in 1993. A recipient of Aga Khan scholarship and an expert in ‘Building Design for Developing Countries’, through her Masters-in-Architecture from London based Bartlett School of Architecture and Planning, Pratima is the only Indian to receive ‘Google Earth Hero Award’, identified by BBC as a leading ‘Slum architect of India’ and recognized as a Social Entrepreneur by Ashoka Fellowship. Pratima has pioneered her approach by using concepts like multi-stakeholder consultation, user-centric design and participative governance. An architect turned into an influential social entrepreneur, Pratima has successfully empowered communities and has elevated quality of life for urban poor in India!

Vaibhav Kale

Team Leader

Vaibhav has completed his Masters in Social Work from CSIBER College, Kolhapur and started working with Shelter Associates in 2015 as a junior social worker in Sangli. He is currently leading a team of social workers in Thane. Vaibhav enjoys interacting with the variety of people his work brings him to and is always interested in bringing the best out in them. He is thus constantly looking for new ways to engage with the communities that Shelter Associates works with.

Mangesh Kadam

Community Mobilization Trainer

Mangesh has completed a Bachelors in Journalism, Masters in Social Work, certificate course in Women Studies and is currently completing his M. Phil in Social Work. Mangesh has 10 years of experience in the development sector on issues spanning health, gender, advocacy, research, and now sanitation. He has been with Shelter Associates for the last 3 years and resonates with the organization’s philosophy that the communities we serve are not being given a charity, instead they are being given what they rightfully deserve as citizens of the country. Mangesh enjoys reflecting on the complexities of engaging with communities, and building on these reflections to serve them better.

Amol Gade

Team Leader

Having completed his Masters in Social Work from CSIBER College, Kolhapur, Amol joined Shelter Associates in 2014. He began his career here as a junior social worker in Sangli and moved around to different teams in Kolhapur, Pune, Navi Mumbai and Panvel. Having come from a small city, Amol would find it difficult to deal with government officials and politicians. Through experiences gained over 5 years, however, Amol grew a great deal professionally and now leads the team of social workers in Navi Mumbai and Panvel to relentlessly forward the organization’s objective wherever possible.

Nayana Mandot

Chartered Accountant

An Associate Member of Institute of Chartered Accountants of India since 2012, Nayana has previously worked as a full-time partner in SPCM & Associates, a Chartered Accountants firm for a span of 3 years. With an interest & knack in teaching, she has successfully coached graduation students. Her strong determination to work with an NGO and to be a part of an organization who works for the betterment of society has got her associated with Shelter Associates as a Financial Consultant since 2018. She now continues to contributes her knowledge and financial management skills to work solely for the social sector.