Vision-Aid Incorporated, USA, is a registered non-profit corporation based in MA. Vision-Aid has been approved by the Internal Revenue Service as a Tax Exempt Public Charity under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue code. Our Federal Tax Identification Number is: 20-1344017. Vision-Aid USA was established in 2004.
Vision-Aid India, based in Visakhapatnam, is a registered charitable society, registered under the name of VisionAid Charitable Serices Society. Vision-Aid India was established in 2004. The web site of Vision-Aid India can be found her
Vision-Aid USA Leadership Team
Note: All the individuals in Vision-Aid's leadership team work on a voluntary basis without compensation or benefits.
Mr. Puran Dang & Mrs. Kamlesh Dang
Puran Dang has been a community leader for over fifty years. He has founded many organizations of international repute. He founded the very first IIT Alumni Association of the IIT Alumni, which has evolved into PAN-IIT all over the world. Over the last 25 years, he has been Chairman and now Chairman Emeritus of MIT Heritage of The Arts of South Asia – MITHAS and Ekal Vidyalaya, TIE-Boston, Akshaya Patra, Indian Americans of Lexington (IAL), are a few other organizations where he held leadership roles.
He is also a Professor of Leadership & Entrepreneurship at Adamas University, Kolkata. His devotion to Ekal and Akshaya Patra is deep-seated.
He is also an ambassador of the Perkins School for the Blind. Currently, he is very focused on Vision-Aid as its Chairman. Helping visually challenged children and adults is his major goal. Mr. Dang has won many Awards for his humanitarian service. His alma-mater IIT Kharagpur honored him with first “Distinguished Service Award " out of some 45,000 alumni. Most inspiring for him is the love of his family and friends who always stand with him.
Puran Dang says that all that he has achieved in his life is because of the love and support of his wife, Kamlesh. She was always there with full heart whenever he needed help. She has played a great role in Puran’s services to Vision-Aid in fundraising and hosting meetings at home. Kamlesh has a PhD in Physiology / Microbiology and did her post-doctoral research at the Harvard School of Public Health. Puran and Kamlesh both received MBA degrees from Western New England University. For many years, she was the Chairperson of the Indian section of LexFest, an organization in the Town of Lexington which aimed to bring all cultures together in an annual exhibition. Throughout all the endeavors of her life, Kamlesh has always kept the poor and less fortunate at the forefront of her thoughts and actions.
Veena Handa has a Master’s Degree from Lady Irwin College in India and since she arrived in USA in 1972, she has worked for 3 of the leading Fortune 500 Financial Institutions (MetLife, Fidelity Investments and finally John Hancock Financial). During her career, she was a mentor and a coach for employees, as well as an advocate for Career Development. She earned a STAR of Excellence Award for Continuous Improvement and initiated Robotics Process automation for the organization.
She served on the Advisory Board for John Hancock’s Global Women’s Alliance for over 3 years and sponsored a number of programs such as Mentor and Mentee relationship, Monthly Lunches with Senior Management, Networking and Leadership events.
Since her retirement in late 2017, she has been volunteering for different organizations including as Advisory Board member for Vision-Aid, Board Member for Nonprofit Net, Money Management volunteer for Minuteman Senior Services. As a volunteer at Lexington Community Center, she works on multiple projects and has delivered Budget Planning and Retirement Planning talks for Youth and Seniors. Most recently during the Covid pandemic, she joined “Sew We Care” Team which provided over 20,000 masks and scrub caps to Hospitals, Health Centers and Senior Centers and Veena personally made over 1,000 masks and scrub caps as part of this team.
Lalit K. Sudan
Lalit Sudan is a Managing Director of Market Data Group LLC. For the past two decades, Lalit has been an advisor to senior management teams of several leading global Information Technology & Networking companies. In these consulting roles, he helped identify customer critical emerging business needs and guided worldwide marketing initiatives to achieve profitable growth.
As Senior Vice President at Fujitsu Consulting, and during his engagement with Compaq, HP and several startups, he closely worked with their teams to formulate strategic positioning and oversee business readiness for successful market launches worldwide. He has championed synergistic alliances, acquisitions, directed due diligence and managed integration of people, processes and systems for high employee satisfaction and rapid revenue acceleration.
Before starting the Market Data Group Consulting in 1997, he worked for Digital Equipment Corporation where he managed the Digital and Microsoft Alliance for Enterprise Computing. It opened new business opportunities and displaced key competitors in Digital’s top global accounts.
Lalit has published extensively. He has been a keynote speaker at IT forums, a panelist at the Canadian Global Business Forum and has been interviewed by leading publishing and television business news programs. He holds a MS Management Sciences degree from Worcester Polytechnic Institute, a MS Electrical Engineering from Oklahoma State University and a BS (Honors) degree in Electrical Engineering from Punjab University.
Secretary, Executive Director
Ramakrishna (Ram) Raju
Secretary & Executive Director
Ram Raju serves as the Secretary and volunteer Executive Director. He was one of the founding Director of Vision-Aid in 2004. Ram holds a Master’s degree in Computer Science from the Pennsylvania State University, and a Master of Liberal Arts (ALM) degree in Information Management Systems from Harvard University Extension school. He earned his Bachelor of Engineering Degree from BIT, Mesra, India. Ram has over 30 years of experience as a subject matter expert in advanced information technologies. He has over two decades of experience in leading several large and complex IT projects in the Transportation domain. Ram is passionate about service, giving back and volunteering. In 2019, Harvard University recognized Ram for his public service with the Derek Bok Public Service award. In the same year Children’s Hope India, a New-York based non-profit recognized him with the “Making a Difference Award”. Ram enjoys yoga, meditation and gardening in his leisure time.
Revathy is deeply passionate about service. Apart from Vision-Aid and the Boston Accessibility Conference, she has also volunteered at Shishu Bharati, the Indian School of Language and Culture for over 12 years. She supports several other nonprofits, including Vipassana Meditation Trust and Feeding America, to name a few.
In 2019, Revathy was recognized as the India New England Woman of the Year, because of her significant contributions to the community with her volunteer service. Revathy loves Indian music and is a classically trained singer who has performed in several concerts and radio shows.
Council of Ambassadors
Council of Ambassador, Co-Chair
Jeyanthi Ghatraju is a Bharatanatyam dancer and choreographer with a mission to perform for charity. She is the Founder of Natyanjali dance school that celebrated its 25th Anniversary in 2019. Today, Natyanjali is a group of dedicated dancers with a mission to perform for the under-privileged. It is affiliated with the Alagappa Performing Arts Academy, Alagappa University, Karaikudi, India and offers Certificate, Diploma and Degree programs in Performing Arts online. Jeyanthi is a Plant Geneticist by training and software quality assurance specialist by profession. Jeyanthi received the coveted US Presidential Gold Service Award in 2013 and again in 2018 for her community service. In 2019, she received a Massachusetts Cultural Council grant. Jeyanthi is also the Founding Co-Producer of Vision-Aid productions since 2009. As Co-Chair of the Vision-Aid Ambassador Council, she actively champions the cause of the visually impaired.
Dr. Monika Manocha Wadhwa
Monika is a Researcher and Educator. She has a teaching license for high school teaching & has been working in Lexington public school for the past 2 years . She has also worked as a curriculum writer in the past and her background is in Research. She has worked as a Post-Doctorate Researcher on IBD from BIDMC, Harvard Medical school, Boston and she completed her Ph. D in HIV Mucosal Vaccine Research from All India Institute of Medical Sciences ( AIIMS) where she got an opportunity to work as Research officer and teach MBBS students Biochemistry & Immunology . She is very passionate about teaching and as an Associate Professor at RAI University has taught Immunology, Biochemistry & Biotechnology to M.Tech & B.Tech students.
She enjoys doing volunteering service and has been Co-founder and Event organizer for various organizations in Lexington. She loves mentoring kids of every age group and is a Founder and Leading STEM Science Team, Lexington, MA for past 4 years where she teaches & helps students learn Science through experiments, help with MCAS preparations and has currently a team of 20 students from Grade 4th-8th from Lexington public schools ( LPS). She started Women in Stem Guest speaker series for LPS students in 2020, where she has been inviting Guest Speakers from various STEM field every month to encourage and motivate them and has already done 6 Guest speaker series sessions till now. She is also a Director of Shishubharathi Newsletter team and is currently teaching as a Culture Teacher at Lexington, MA . She is actively involved as a volunteer in Lexington Public school, Bowman Elementary School as a Green team member for the past 2 years , and as a Bowman PTO member , Room Parent Big Back yard walk organizer for past 5-6 years .
Monika is an IAL (Indian American of Lexington) School Committee member & where she got experience of working with Youth through career workshops. She is very passionate about working with Vision – Aid team .
Monika loves Yoga, Walks and Run & have participated in 5K walks and Run . She enjoys all types of sports that include cricket , basketball, volleyball, table tennis , badminton, biking as well as hiking and running . She loves reading and music and enjoys listening & writing poetry .
Dr. Arun Kumar Krishnan
Arun obtained his Doctorate in Vision Science from the University of Houston, Texas and Bachelor’s degree in Optometry from the Elite School of Optometry, India. He completed his research fellowship from the Envision Research Institute, Kansas and was a visiting scholar at the University of California, Berkeley. He is currently a post-doctoral researcher at the University of Pennsylvania, working on novel therapies for blinding eye diseases, specifically hereditary retinal degeneration. His research interests include visual impairment, retinal degeneration, and macular degeneration. Before coming to USA for graduate studies, he practiced as an Optometrist at Sankara Nethralaya, Chennai, India specializing in pediatrics, binocular vision, and low vision. He joined Vision-Aid as a consultant in 2019 and reviews the quarterly reports of resource centers. Arun enjoys traveling as well as outdoor photography, hiking and badminton.
Dr. Vivek Badami
Dr. Vivek Badami worked in GE for 35 years, most recently as a Consulting Engineer with GE Aviation, in the Boston area, retiring in 2019. He was responsible for advanced sensors strategy, and prognostics and health monitoring (PHM) for aircraft engines. His previous roles in GE included 14 years in Power Generation, and 16 years at GE’s Global Research Center, in Schenectady, NY. Prior to GE, he worked for Computervision Corp., and Digital Equipment Corp. on CAD/CAM and automation systems for 7 years.
His experience includes the areas of sensor technology, signal processing, real-time systems, PHM, artificial intelligence and controls, in a variety of industrial application areas, primarily power generation, robotics and automation. Vivek has a PhD in Controls from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute specializing in the application of fuzzy logic to controls, a Master’s in Electrical Engineering from the University of Rhode Island specializing in vision-based robotics, and a Bachelor’s in Electrical Power from IIT Madras in 1975. Vivek is a holder of over 50 patents, authored 15 publications, and has received numerous awards for technical excellence during his career in GE. He is a senior member of the IEEE.
He is currently a volunteer with e-NABLE, a global community of volunteers who use 3D printers to build open-sourced designs of prosthetic devices for those in need. He is also involved with IIT AGNE in organizing technical seminars on various technical topics. He is a mentor with EforAll, an organization helping early-stage entrepreneurs in under-served communities in Massachusetts.
Revathi is an engineering professional and is currently Chief Engineering Officer and Senior Vice president at a public safety company. After completing her MS in Electrical Engineering from University of Alabama, she completed MBA from University of Illinois Urbana Champaign and Executive Leadership program from Cornell University.
Revathi has been a sponsor and volunteer of Vision Aid annual events since 2010. She has sponsored and fundraised various charity projects including SOLACE and MPower Magic Academy.
Revathi supports various STEM programs by mentoring and volunteering at various science and engineering activities at MIT and various Massachusetts State level events. Revathi is very passionate about empowering and protecting women rights. She is a founding member of the Boston Chapter of Chief Organization, a support network for women executive leaders. Revathi has expressed her passion through leadership roles in global associations like Federation Of Kerala Association of North America (FOKANA) and MANTRAH.
Revathi is an entrepreneur and has a company, Vishwas, along with her daughters, focused on all-natural hair growth oil.
Revathi is a passionate Indian classical dancer, singer, and yoga enthusiast.
Ronak Wakhlu (Youth President)
Board of Advisors
Madhu & Vijay Narang
Mr. Vijay Narang is a graduate from The Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur and is an alumni of the Harvard and Wharton Schools.
After a stint at IBM India, he worked for 37 years, in different leadership positions, with a large multinational, ITC Ltd. He migrated to the USA in 2007, and was responsible for international operations of InfoUSA . Later, he joined the founding team at Toast Inc. Madhu and Vijay Narang’s commitment to helping the underprivileged goes back to 1970, when as active members of The Round Table India, worked closely with Mother Teresa at the Mission of Charities, Calcutta. Madhu, in particular, continues to commit a large part of her time to social work in adopting, teaching, motivating and guiding the under-privileged and making huge differences in their lives.
Dr. Bharati Gangwani
Bharti Gangwani (Bharti Nihalani) is a practicing Pediatric Ophthalmologist, and holds the position of Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology at Boston Children’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School. She is also a Director of Clinical Research for the department of Ophthalmology at Boston Children’s Hospital. She has about 50 publications in various medical journals and books. She is a co-editor of a renowned book in strabismus management called “Learning strabismus surgery-A case-based approach”. The blind and visually impaired hold a special place in her heart and she would like to give back to the community by helping them live with independence and dignity, which is her motivation for joining the Vision-Aid Board of Directors.
Before retiring with 25 years of professional fundraising experience, Cyndi Asmus was the Director of Development for the University of Washington (UW) Libraries from 2003-2013. Prior to that, she served as the first Director of Development for the new UW Bothell campus. A native of the Pacific Northwest, she lived in Pennsylvania for many years where she began her fundraising career first as Director of the fledgling State College Area YMCA and then as the Assistant Director of Development for the Penn State Library. She also served on the original Vision-Aid Advisory Board from Seattle. She lives in Walla Walla, Washington where she informally consults with non-profit organizations on their fundraising efforts and strategies.
Cyndi earned a Bachelor’s degree in Physical Education and Health from the University of Oregon and a Master’s degree in Environmental Education from Indiana University. She taught public school and was a Program Director at the Penn State Shaver’s Creek Environmental Center.
Dr. Loubaina Buxamusa
Loubaina Buxamusa is an Occupational Therapist and heads the Department of the Occupational
Therapy Services in the Shrewsbury Public School district. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Occupational Therapy from the University of Mumbai, a Master’s degree in Special Education from the Framingham State University, and a Doctorate degree in Occupational Therapy from the American International College in USA. She has 38 years of experience working as a Pediatric Occupational Therapist with a variety of populations.
Dr. Buxamusa has earned several accolades for her work with children. Her personal passion in serving the visually impaired, her vast knowledge of sensory integration and neuroscience, and her deep belief in the inherent power of neuroplasticity, has led to her desire to contribute her expertise to improving the lives of those living with a vision-related disability. Her own purpose as an occupational therapist, an educator, and a human being is simply to infuse love, truth and compassion into every interaction and realize an opportunity for growth and gratitude in every breath.
Ram Gupta & Meetu Gupta
Ram Gupta is a Mechanical/Nuclear Engineer by training, but currently manages his commercial and residential real estate rental properties. After graduating from IIT Delhi in Mechanical Engineering in 1970, he did a Masters in Mechanical Engineering and another Masters in Nuclear Engineering from University of Cincinnati in 1974. He worked as a Nuclear Safety Engineer for Yankee Atomic Company in Westboro, MA which operated various nuclear power plants in New England; and later as a Consultant with Combustion Engineering, Hartford, CT making important contributions to the design of the last nuclear power plant installed in the US in 1980s. Meetu Gupta is a home-maker and philanthropist. She supports Ram in all his philanthropic undertakings and is particualrly fond of the work Vision-Aid does in the Gupta center in Delhi, a center which the couple started in honor of their father Shri Lachhman Das Gupta, calling it the “best investment we ever made”.
Dr. Deeba Husain
Deeba Husain has been on the Vision-Aid board for 5 years. She is an Ophthalmologist subspecializing in the medical and surgical management of retinal diseases at the Mass Eye and Ear (MEE) Infirmary. A Clinician Scientist and Associate Professor at Harvard Medical School (HMS), she is passionate about research in retinal diseases and has helped pioneer two novel treatments for Wet macular degeneration namely photodynamic therapy and anti-angiogenic therapy. She continues her work in understanding why macular degeneration causes blindness. She has been in clinical leadership positions at academic institutions, at Boston University (BU) as the Director of the Retina Service for 5 years and now as the Medical Director of the Retina Consultants of Mass Eye and Ear. Dr. Husain is passionate about education and training. She was the Director of the Retina Fellowship Program at BU for ten years. At MEE, she is the Director of the Medical Retina Fellowship Program at the Retina Service of the HMS Department of Ophthalmology. She is also the Co-Director of the Age-Related Macular Degeneration Center of Excellence at Harvard Medical School.
Ashok C. Khanna has served in many executive positions in leading multinational companies including Senior Vice President & Director at Parsons Brinckerhoff Inc (PB), a 117-year-old engineering/consulting company with a turn-over of $1.3 Billion, a staff of 9000+, and offices in over 100 cities worldwide. Prior to joining Parsons, Ashok was the Director of Auditing at Stone & Webster, a NYSE listed company with world-wide interests in engineering/construction, management consulting, oil and gas, cold storage, and land and property development. Before Stone & Webster, he was with Arthur Young, now Ernst & Young, in London, England as well as Toronto, Canada. Over the years, Ashok published in the prestigious journals of the UK Institute of Financial Managers and was involved in teaching Auditing and Good Business Practices. He is active in many worthwhile charitable causes and is a catalyst for encouraging participation in community services. Ashok is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales, a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA), Ontario, Canada, and was a Fellow of the Institute of Professional Financial Managers, London, England
Dr. Suraja Menon Roychowdhury
Suraja Menon Roychowdhury is a licensed acupuncturist and herbalist trained in Chinese and Japanese styles of acupuncture and herbal medicines. With a PhD in Pharmacology and extensive experience in the pharmaceutical industry in Neuroscience, she brings a unique perspective to the understanding of medical practice.
As a Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) practitioner, Suraja enjoys connecting deeply with her patients. The inseparable nature of the mind and body is one of the central tenets of TCM, which she finds most satisfying in her work as a neuroscientist-cum-TCM practitioner. Her practice, Crossing Point Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine, is in Lexington, MA. She has given several community talks on TCM and is passionate about spreading the word regarding this powerful, safe treatment modality. To this end, she has served as the Massachusetts State Chapter Chair for Wholistic Health Alliance. Suraja has a deep interest in the use of TCM for the treatment of degenerative visual conditions. She is one of a handful of worldwide practitioners who has been trained in the Micro Acupuncture 48 system, a pioneering approach to treating visual disorders. Her other interests include Hindustani classical music, reading and writing Japanese poetic forms, travel and reading.
Dr. Sabera Shah
Sabera T. Shah is a practicing Ophthalmologist, currently serving as Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology at Harvard Medical School. She joined the Beetham Eye Institute of the Joslin Diabetes Center nearly 40 years ago, after completing her medical school and Ophthalmology training in India. Her clinical interest is focused on diabetic eye disease, which involves managing complex diabetic eye disease and performing complex cataract evaluations and surgery. She has dedicated her professional career to teaching fellows, residents and medical students, while maintaining a busy clinical practice. She has published in many peer-reviewed journals, and has remained active as a physician-scientist by contributing to research and the Ophthalmology literature. Dr. Shah has also been involved with international outreach, serving as a returning guest speaker in India for over 25 years.
Dr. Santosh Vempala
Santosh Vempala has been a Director with Vision- Aid since 2005. He is a Professor at Georgia Institute of Technology. Algorithms, high-dimensional geometry, randomness and foundations of data science are his passion. In recent years, he has been working on developing a computational theory of the brain. Santosh got his PhD in 1997 from Carnegie Mellon University and was a Professor of mathematics at MIT till he moved to Georgia in 2006. His partner, Rosa Arriaga, is also a faculty member at Georgia Institute of Technology and works on technology and interfaces for chronic care. He had the good fortune of mentoring Aditi Shah, one of Vision-Aid’s stars, while she was getting her MS degree. (For more information, see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Santosh_Vempala)
Dr. Nilesh M. Sheth M.P.H., M.D.
Dr. Nilesh M. Sheth is an experienced Cataract, LASIK, Cornea and Anterior segment specialist. Dr. Sheth not only has performed over 35,000 surgical procedures, but he has remained at the forefront of his field throughout his career. He was the first to perform Corneal Inlay procedures for reading vision correction in New England. He has a private practice in Stoneham and Woburn, Massachusetts and also is affiliated with leading institutions such as Massachusetts Eye and Ear Hospital.
Dr. Sheth is a native of the Detroit metropolitan area. He received both his Bachelors and Masters degrees from the University of Michigan, where he graduated with honors and earned a merit scholarship. He then graduated from Wayne State Medical School with honors for all four years. He completed his internship at the Detroit Medical Center and finished his Ophthalmology residency at Summa Health System, an affiliate of the Cleveland Clinic. He also served as Chief Resident. Dr. Sheth went on to do a two-year fellowship in Cornea and Refractive Surgery at Louisiana State University, the center where Refractive Surgery first began in the United States.
For the last decade, Dr. Sheth has also been active in community services projects across the world. He has provided surgical care for the indigent and underserved, bringing back vision to those that are blind. In his recent medical mission trip to Colombia, in early 2023, their team helped over 3700 indigents, indigenous peoples, and refugees in remote and isolated areas. They performed 148 surgeries and distributed over 3300 eyeglasses and reading assistive devices.
Ritu Goswami Chawla
Ritu brings an effective mix of skills, enthusiasm, compassion, and global orientation with her years of leading teams in finance and economics at multinational corporates like Dow Chemical and Philips. With more than two decades living around the world in Singapore, Mumbai, Wellesley, and more, has given Ritu broad experience and perspectives to appreciate the complexities of doing business around the world. She has applied her business acumen and global exposure to several key business management and real estate advisor positions.
In her Financial and Credit senior management roles, and as focal point for Global reporting, Ritu’s strong executive presence and communication skills motivated teams to consistently deliver improved business processes, and business outcomes. She managed cross functional teams at leading multi-nationals to optimize Order to Cash cycle; improvements in the end-to-end process related to cash payments; collection activities and credit risk management and mitigation. She also made significant contributions to the improvement of the wellbeing of employees with innovative support systems.
With her entrepreneurial spirit and passion for real estate, Ritu joined Gibson Sotheby’s International Realty in their Wellesley Office as a global real estate advisor. Sotheby’s global reach and experience in managing transactions of exceptional homes provides a broad range of choices for her clients in the Greater Boston area.
Ritu supports many charitable causes and serves on the board of Pratham, that is a well-known charity for its education to the underprivileged in India. She believes in supporting the town hall, local businesses, schools and is involved in community services. Ritu has a master’s in business administration and enjoys oil painting and photography.
Board of Directors
Lalit K. Sudan
Please see above for Lalit Sudan’s profile.
Ramakrishna (Ram) Raju
Secretary & Executive Director
Please see above for Ram Raju’s profile
Please see above for Revathy Ramakrishna’s profile.
Sudhir Varma has been a volunteer Director for Vision-Aid since 2006. Apart from being the treasurer, he mentors and teaches Python programming to visually impaired students. He has a Master’s degree in Computer Science and has over 30 years of experience in the technology sector.
Ujwala Phene is a volunteer Director of Vision-Aid. Ujwala works as a Director Product Management at a leading Financial firm. She holds a Master’s degree in Computer Science from Mumbai University. Ujwala has been a volunteer at Vision-Aid since its inception. She also volunteers at Neighbors Who Care, a Waltham based non-profit that helps elderly people. Ujwala enjoys Yoga and taking long walks in her free time.
Syed Ali Rizvi
Syed Ali Rizvi, a Lexington resident has been serving Vision-Aid since 2013 and as its President since 2015. In 2001 he founded Resolv Corporation and in 2006 acquired SPS Alfachem and launched Health-Xcel, Inc. He continues to lead these companies, which operate in fine chemicals, advanced pharmaceutical intermediates and development of new molecules and nutraceuticals, with offices in USA, India, and the UAE.
Ali is a civic leader, an entrepreneur, a philanthropist and spends considerable time on causes that are dear to him. He has been active at his school and university alumni associations and in civic associations. Ali is passionate about culture and the arts, education for the needy, the marginalized, and for the visually impaired. He has served as the President of the Aligarh Alumni Association of New England, and as the President and Chairman of the Federation of Aligarh Alumni Associations, as a Director on the Board of the India Association of Greater Boston.
Ali serves with various groups that seek to encourage citizens to fulfill their civic duties and has been an elected Lexington town meeting member since 2015. He is a co-founder of the Sir Syed Emerging Society of North America, a non-profit that has helped over 100 students gain admission at premier universities in more than 15 countries, through active student mentorship programs.
Ali is incredibly grateful for the opportunity to help fulfill the mission of Vision-Aid, “To empower the visually impaired to live with independence and dignity”.
Sonal Bakre is a well-known member of the Indian community of New England. She holds a Master’s degree in Human Resources. She strives to excel and contribute at work, home, and in the community. For over 10 years, she has been working with several community-based organizations to spread cultural awareness. Sonal teaches at Marathi at Shishu Bharati, a school system which teaches children Indian culture and language. She organizes cultural events that aim to spread fun, positivity, and Indian values and heritage to young learners. An avid dancer and disciple of guru Jasmine Shah, Sonal is a mother of two daughters who practice the art of Bharatanatyam. Sonal and her daughters have contributed their time and talent to further Vision-Aid’s cause since 2012. Sonal believes in being the active change she wants to see in the world and does so by encouraging youth to see the potential in themselves and use their talents and skills to better the world.
Dr. Jaya Vatsyayan
Jaya attained a PhD in Life Science from Institute of Molecular Medicine, National Tsing Hua University, Taiwan ROC. Prior to this, she obtained her training in Molecular Biology at National Institute of Immunology, New Delhi, and a Master of Science in Biotechnology from Banasthali Vidyapith, Rajasthan, India. Jaya conducted her postdoctoral research at Hillman Cancer Center, University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute and at Children’s Hospital of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center in Pennsylvania, USA. She transitioned from preclinical to clinical research after moving to the Biomedical hub in Boston metro area and continued her journey as a Biotechnology professional while working at prestigious companies such as Vertex Pharmaceuticals, Biogen, Shire/Takeda, and CRISPR Therapeutics. She is passionate about clinical and translational science, and about bringing medicines and cures to patients. Jaya is a member of the Indian Americans of Lexington (IAL) Library Committee and has participated in various initiatives to raise funds for Lexington’s Cary Memorial Library. Jaya began her term on the Cary Library Foundation Board in 2019 and also serves on the Science Cafe committee supported by this Foundation. Outside of work and volunteering, Jaya enjoys dancing, singing, reading, and writing. Together with her husband Dr. Sudhir Ranjan and their children, Sujay Utkarsh and Janya Utkarsh, Jaya believes in Vision-Aid’s cause to enable, educate, and empower the visually impaired.
Arathy completed her Ph.D. in pediatric low vision rehabilitation from the Queensland University of Technology, Australia and MPhil and BS in Optometry from Elite School of Optometry, Chennai, India. She moved to the US after her Ph.D. She has been passionate about low vision since her 3rd year of optometry school and worked as a clinical low vision optometrist at Sankara Nethralaya, India for 3 years before leaving for Australia. Her main interest is in studying functional aspects of visual impairment, such as its effect on daily activities. She is currently a postdoctoral research fellow at
Johns Hopkins and her research is focused on developing a multisensory rehabilitation program for people with profound visual impairment. She is currently supported by the K99/R00 pathway to independence award from the National Eye Institute. Outside work, she enjoys, photography, music, reading and spending time with family.
Sanjay Kudrimoti is an Associate Professor in the Bertolon School of Business at Salem State University. His teaching and research interests include Corporate Finance and Investments. Sanjay is the advisor for Student Managed Investment Fund at SSU with close to half a million-dollar donor funds under his advisement. Sanjay earned his Ph.D. in Business (Finance) from the University of South Florida, Tampa. Sanjay strongly believes in the spirit of volunteerism. Sanjay served as Director on the board of IAGB for two two-year terms spanning the years 2017 – 2021. He is passionate about civic engagement. During his time with IAGB, he was instrumental in reviving the monthly Newsletter as its editor. In the past, Sanjay was an active volunteer and served as Secretary of the Association for India’s Development (Portland, OR chapter) and as a volunteer teacher in Chinmaya Mission in Orlando. His other passions include writing, acting, and photography. He also owns a photography company – FotuDuniya and moonlights as a professional photographer.
Dr. Aparna Raghuram
Aparna received her PhD from the University of Missouri-St Louis and obtained her Doctorate in Optometry from the New England College of Optometry. She is an Optometrist working at Boston Children’s Hospital for past 11 years. Her clinical area of expertise is to assess and manage double vision, visual function following concussion and reading difficulties, low vision and functional vision assessment. She is an Assistant Professor at Harvard Medical School. Prior to coming to the United States for graduate studies, she received her Bachelor’s degree in Optometry from Elite School of Optometry/Birla Institute of Technology. She joined Vision-Aid’s Board in 2016 and was seminal in establishing Vision-Aid’s collaboration with Sankara Nethralaya/Medical Research Foundation. Outside of work, Aparna enjoys travel, running and playing board games with her family.
Dr. Ramkumar Ramamirtham
Ramkumar Ramamirtham received his PhD in vision science from University of Houston and obtained his Doctorate in Optometry from the New England College of Optometry. He is currently engaged in Ophthalmic research at Boston Children’s Hospital and is a clinical eye care provider at a North Shore private practice. Prior to coming to the United States for graduate studies, he received his Bachelor’s degree in Optometry from Sankara Nethralaya, Chennai, India. He and his wife Nalini have been volunteering for Vision-Aid’s annual event since 2017. Ram recently joined Vision Aid’s Board of Directors. His passion for the cause resonates with his professional expertise and enables him to give back to the community and his roots back home.
Ravi Rastogi is a Board Member of Vision-Aid since 2016. He coordinates the teaching of “Vision-Aid’s online programming course” for visually impaired students. Currently, Ravi is a Member of Technical Staff at MIT-Lincoln Laboratory, Lexington, MA. Prior to that Ravi worked at Intel Corp. Ravi also served as the President of IITSINE (now IIT-AGNE), Director of India Association of Greater Boston (IAGB), and was a Core Team member of 2016 PAN-IIT Conference. He aims to continue his involvement in community organizations and also helping realize Vision-Aid’s mission and vision.
Sundar Subramanyam is a patent attorney with more than 20 years of combined in-house and law firm experience in intellectual property. He advises clients on patent strategy, IP portfolio development, due diligence and patent infringement in the chemical, pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical device areas, and on trademark and copyright matters. Prior to starting his own practice, Sundar was Patent Counsel at Goodwin Procter LLP in Boston, and practiced IP law in large Boston law firms. He also worked on pro-bono matters for non-profit organizations on immigration, asylum and border detention issues. Prior to embarking on his legal career, Sundar obtained a Ph.D. in chemistry, following which he worked as a research scientist and patent advisor in a Boston area biotech and medical device company for over 8 years.. Sundar is long-time resident of the Boston area and has been involved with several charitable NGO organizations that are committed to improving education, healthcare and community development services for the economically under-served.