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Saheli Advisory Committee Welcomes Manju Sheth And Ramila Thakkar

Neelam Wali

As most of you know I took over as Saheli’s President last month. It was a tough decision on my part but I believe in the cause wholeheartedly.  Looking at Saheli’s growth in past few years I am pleased to add my expertise in a positive way. My vision for Saheli is broad and I am looking to add more committed people like Manju and Ramila to our Saheli Advisory Committee.

I have known both Manju and Ramila for a long time as friends and respect their commitment to social causes. We are delighted to welcome Manju Sheth as Chair of the Saheli Advisory Committee and Ramila Thakkar as Vice Chair. They both have been Saheli supporters and we value their contribution to Nirbhaya fundraisers in the past. We also appreciate their work with other community organizations. We believe these experiences along with understanding of the domestic violence in South Asian Communities will continue to help our team at Saheli and Saheli Survivors. 

We thank Manju for conducting three meetings in a year with advisory committee members. With her reach, adding new members with new expertise will be a plus. Ramila's community connections are very valuable. We need help and ideas with strategic planning, fundraising and guidance with Saheli’s programs as part of our vision and mission. Manju and Ramila will be working with the President and a board member, Supriya  Saurabh who is  a very dedicated board member of Saheli.  We are delighthed that Supriya has agreed to continue on the Saheli board. Her experience and guidance is important for our team. On a good happy note, Supriya is a new mom with a beautiful baby boy.

We look forward to increasing the impact of Saheli with the addition of Manju and Ramila. 

About Dr. Manju Sheth

Dr. Manju Sheth, MD, is an internist focused on women's health and works at Beth Israel Lahey Health. In 2013, she served as the President of the Indian Medical Association of New England. 

Dr. Sheth is the President & CEO of the India New England Multimedia, a nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering, entertaining, and educating the Boston community through video interviews, Health related events, and the organization’s flagship event – The New England Choice Awards/NECA Awards, where they celebrate industry leaders in several important categories. 

Dr. Sheth is also the Director and hostess of ‘Woman of the Year” that has honored 20 women in various fields every year for the past 17 years. She has received numerous awards for her community work ,Leadership and advocacy and was voted “Woman of the Year” in 2011, featured as a “Notable Bostonian” in the Boston Globe, and was voted in the “150 Women of Influence” by the YWCA Boston and amongst 50 most influential Indians in NE in 2012.

Most recently, Dr. Sheth is a Co-Founder and the President of Women Who Win #Dreamcatchers, a global media platform for women empowerment across all ages, industries and backgrounds. Since the launch in the summer of 2020, the platform has obtained thousands of readers and members across 70 countries, and across the United States. 

Dr. Sheth was the co-chair of Indian Women Physicians Forum. She has served on the Clinical advisory committee at Harvard Pilgrim Health Care and was appointed in February 2018 to the prestigious Patient Care Assessment Committee at Harvard Pilgrim Health Care. It helps ensure that the company provides its members with highest quality care and service. With INDIA New England News, she co-founded the New England Health Expo in 2013. It is the largest South Asian Health Expo in North America. She also produced a video series titled “Health Talk” to coincide with the event. Further, she has written a successful series for local media /Lokvani titled “Movers and Shakers in Medicine” which featured the well-known Indian American doctors in New England who have made a huge difference globally in world of medicine.   

In addition to her medical career, she is passionate about women empowerment. In recent years, Dr. Sheth has led many fund raisers for local charities including Saheli, which provides support to South Asian domestic violence victims in the Boston area. She has also served on the fund-raising committee of Akshaya Patra/AP for many years & is the Community ambassador for AP in New England .Previously, she served as a member of the Board of Directors of the Asian Task Force Against Domestic Violence. In addition, Dr. Sheth was a trustee of the Indian American Forum for Political Education, which helps increase political awareness among South Asians. 

Dr. Sheth is well-known across the South Asian community for her interview series “Chai with Manju”, where she interviews celebrities ranging from Deepak Chopra, Deb Goldberg, Shankar Mahadevan, and Guru Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, Elizabeth Warren ,Deb Goldberg to name a few . 

About Ramila Thakkar

Ramila is a current member of the Saheli Advisory Board, 
She is a past President of Gurjar Gujarati Association of New England, where she served on the board for last 25 years, from 1994 to 2019.
With Gurjar she held various positions, concluding with her second term as a President before retiring in 2019. Prior to joining Gurjar she was with Shishu Bharti for 10 years, (Culture and language school  in Burlington),where she spend 10 years, first as a kindergarten teacher then was on the school committee for the last two years.

Gurjar won the NECA award during her Presidency, as the best community organization in New England. Ramila was also in the top twenty for the Women Of The year Award, organized by INE Multimedia, led by Dr. Manju Sheth.

She’s core member of the Finance team at Lahey Clinic Hospital in Burlington for the last 37 years. A graduate of St. Mary’s College in Shillong, Meghalaya in India, she subsequently attended Bentley College for her accounting studies.

Community service comes natural to her, as a child was taught that ‘giving’ was better than ‘taking’. Her passion is reading and languages
Ramila is a resident of Burlington since 1981 lives with her husband, Praful, She has a daughter who lives in Pennsylvania with her family. 

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