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Meet our team

Get to know the faces and stories of our awesome team!

Our Core Team is made up of the a diverse group of passionate professionals, each committed above all else to loving this world every day, no matter how rough it gets.

For our team photos we let each team member take the coloured powder that corresponds to the logo of the Operation they work for and express themselves and their take on our branding and mission.

The Core Team featured on this page does not include Operation PeaceMaker PeaceMakers (field workers) or Operation Red Alert Area or State Coordinators (field workers). PeaceMakers and Area and State Coordinators fluctuate quarterly, but remain above 200 persons.

My choices copy

My Choices Foundation

These team members work across both initiatives of My Choices Foundation.

Elca Grobler | Founder

My Choices Foundation was founded by Elca Grobler. Elca has a background in finance and investment banking. She holds a CFA and MBA. She has always had a heart for the plight of women and children and whilst completing her MBA in Sydney in 2006 she realized that she would never be able to go back to a ‘normal’ corporate job.

In 2011 Elca and her husband took a leap of faith and moved to India with their three young children. Soon after, My Choices Foundation was born and there was no looking back. When you ask Elca how long she is in India for, she answers “indefinitely”. Which is a good answer, as there is a lot of work to be done.

Elca volunteers all her time and energy to My Choices Foundation and is also one of the primary funders. Elca is married to her loving husband Roger Grobler and is a proud mother to three young children, Gabrielle, Joshua and Zoë. She still loves playing her violin and in the little spare- time that is left she enjoys rock climbing, mountain biking, traveling and hanging out with her kids. She is a keen photographer and moviemaker. A large number of the photos on the My Choices Foundation website were taken by her and she has produced over a dozen “documentaries” capturing the zest and joy of trips and holidays with friends and family!

Hannah Priya Surabhi | Head of Marketing and Communications

Hannah has been the volunteer Head of Marketing and Communications for My Choices Foundation since October 2013. She has been passionate since childhood about working in the development sector, specifically assisting women and children facing the lack of equal opportunity. Hannah holds an undergraduate degree from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London with a final year dissertation on violence against women in India.

Don’t be fooled by her blond hair and blue eyes, Hannah was born in the small Andhra city of Guntur and raised in Hyderabad! When not working, Hannah can be found developing old and new hobbies like horse riding, event planning, singing, and being a mango and dhal connoisseur. She was also bitten by the travel bug in childhood and loves having adventures in new places.

USHA KIRAN | COMMUNICATION MANAGER & PROGRAM OFFICER

Usha is a communications and journalism graduate. She is extremely passionate about making the world an equal and safe place for women and other disadvantaged communities.

Usha loves to conduct training sessions on issues of gender, violence, disability and justice. She thoroughly enjoys the co-learning process that takes place in training and discussions, especially with children and adolescents. She contributes to Team Operation PeaceMaker by creating content and conduct awareness programs.  As a part of the Marketing and Communications Team, Usha works on social media, grants and fundraising campaigns for My Choices Foundation.

When not working, Usha prefers to spend time with her family and friends. She is obsessed with animals and loves her dogs to no end. She enjoys travelling and photographing landscapes, animals and people’s candid moments.

Sneha matta | Executive Assistant and Program Manager

Sneha is the Executive Assistant to our founder and CSR Program Manager. She brings 9 years of experience to the table with expertise in scheduling and correspondence. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in English Literature. Her passion to empower women brought her to My Choices Foundation. She directly works with the founder in scheduling meetings, training and other administrative tasks alongside connecting with the cooperates. Sneha brings her creativity, open-mindedness, and humorous atmosphere to work. She also enjoys solving problems and contributing innovative ideas!

She loves chai-biscuit (like a true Hyderabadi), food, movies, photography, naps, ideas, creativity, and dance. In her company, you can never get bored! She is married to Ernest and they’re blessed with a daughter, Stuthi. As a family, they love God and are very passionate about serving Him.

Sreelatha Jagadeeshan | Manager Finance and Compliance

Sreelatha is our very own girl boss heading our Finance and Compliance team. She brings with her an unending passion and energy for her work. Previously, she worked in many fields and has a degree in Computer Applications. She brings immense experience and talent to the team. She is positive, genuine and kind and reflects this in everything she does. When she is free, you will find her travelling and organizing.

Operation Red Alert

These team members work with Operation Red Alert to prevent and intervene on the trafficking of young girls for sexual exploitation.

Kranthi Ahron | State Coordinator and Quality Controller, Telangana

Kranthi Ahron Jannu is an Operation Red Alert SC and QC  based in Warangal, looking after the SVPs in Telangana. Kranthi has a deep love for her home city of Warangal, and a passion to see the culture of violence transformed locally. Kranthi has a degree in Computers, as well as a degree in Theology for her masters from South Asia Bible College. Inspired to serve Mother India she also completed National Cadet Corps (NCC) ‘B’ Certificate and National Service Scheme for two years in her school and college respectively. Kranthi was selected as counselor for street children by Juvenile Justice Board in the year 2008. In her career, she found it necessary to extend her counseling services to the parents as well, realising that every person in the family needs counseling. Thus, Kranthi pursued a Diploma in Counseling. 

Kranthi’s vision is to educate others that it is not anyone’s birthright to abuse another, nor is it justifiable under any custom or culture. She is passionate about working with families to keep their daughters safe. She considers it her calling to work for this cause in her hometown of Warangal and the state of Telangana. Kranthi also loves to read, do crafts, and photography. She has a great love for creator and creation.

Vivian Isaac | Program Director

Vivian is one of the few Program Directors who rarely ever sees his office because he is always on the move, in the field. His greatest love is connecting with people, and building coalitions of like-minded groups. 

Vivian is a graduate of law with a post-gradate degree in Advertising and Public Relations. He has more than 17 years experience working with local and international NGOs heading humanitarian, media and counselling divisions. He has led diverse teams in a range of projects including education and mentorship programs for children of poor families and who have been affected by trafficking. Vivian has also worked in disaster relief and rehabilitation projects in Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal and parts of India. He is highly skilled in creating partnerships between NGOs, the government, police local administration, media and the law.  Vivian is married and blessed with two children. He loves to travel and meet new people.

Reena Lal | Program Manager

Reena has been an Operations Red Alert Program Manager since July 2015, focussing on documentation and recording of field operations, assisting field workers in coordination of grassroots programs, and building and improving the networking among NGOs in the anti-trafficking field. Reena has a Masters in Social Sciences from TISS, Mumbai and 31 years experience working in the Social Sector addressing many Human related issues, particularly focussing on streamlining NGO systems and field work procedures. Anti Human Trafficking is the cause closest to her heart. She says she’s very happy to be part of Operation Red Alert Team , which addresses what she believes to be the most important component – Prevention of Trafficking. Reena loves a positive team spirit and pursuing new skills, meeting new people and expanding her world. Her home is always open for warm hospitality and warm food.

Arpitha Sylvester | Marketing and Communications Manager

Arpitha is our in-house SEO and inbound marketing specialist. She is passionate about creative strategizing, planning, designing and developing just about everything marketing related and enjoys doing it. Her desire to see every woman stand on their own feet is something that drives her every single day. As one of the creative minds on the team, it is her responsibility to make sure the communications that go out are innovative and appealing to our audiences.

She believes in educating herself every day and is constantly doing some form of online learning. In her free time, you will find her in the gym or cook new dishes for her friends. She is also a travel enthusiast and loves to travel all over India and explore new places on weekends with her husband.

Sudha Upadhyayula | Head of Operations

Sudha has helped lead the anti-human trafficking work of Operation Red Alert as the Head of Operations since August 2016. Sudha has 10 years of leadership and corporate experience, particularly in managing Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programs prior to moving into working with Operation Red Alert.

 

Sudha is driven by a desire to contribute to the society. She thrives on the versatility of the daily demands of her current role supporting and leading the teams of Operation Red Alert.

 

Sudha believes in the concept of lifelong learning and keeps learning every day. She is currently enrolled in her Ph.D. at Tata Institute of Social Sciences and is conducting a research on the subject “Institutional approaches to prevention of sex trafficking in India”. Streamlining processes and getting work done is her forte. Her mission is “making others better because of her presence and ensure the impact lasts in her absence”.

Santanu Sarkar | State Coordinator

Santanu is our State Coordinator for West Bengal and has been working with Operation Red Alert since September 2015. He completed his Bachelors Degree in Science and loves to serve in rural places and help people who feel they have no options out of their difficulties. This passion is what led him to join Operation Red Alert, and lead efforts for prevention of sezx-trafficking in his state. In his leisure time, Santanu likes listening to music, debating, consulting and studying history and religious subjects.

Manjula Vijay | Program Manager

Manjula is a Program Manager with Operation Red Alert. She handles documentation of the process of the Safe Village Program, from approvals to follow ups. She also manages the Red Alert Helpline and documents all of the Data received.

Manjula has always believed in gender equality and justice, but her voice was heard and views validated when she started working for a feminist organisation in 2013. This was the beginning of her commitment to working for justice and safety of women and girls. Believing that children are the hope for the future, she is passionate about interacting with young children about issues of gender discrimination, equality, and violence against women.

Manjula is a passionate learner and is always looking to acquiring new skills and constantly keep herself updated. She also has a major sweet tooth. When not at office Manjula loves spending time with her family and pampering her beagle Zoey.

Operation PeaceMaker 

These team members work with Operation PeaceMaker to end violence and discrimination against women and girls that happens at home.

Pearl Choragudi |Head of Counselling

Pearl Choragudi has been the Head of Counselling with Operation PeaceMaker since the inception of our work in 2012, and has become a Mentoring Counsellor overseeing the best practices of the entire Counselling Team. Pearl is deeply passionate about helping people help themselves. A chance meeting with Elca Grobler led to Pearl’s association with Operation PeaceMaker. Armed with a Masters in Psychology, with a specialisation in Counselling, Pearl works hard to ensure every client leaves our counselling centres with a lighter heart and hope in her steps. Pearl is married to Chriso who believes very strongly in her work and they are blessed with a son, Abishai.

 

Najma Sanai | Consulting Counsellor & Counsellor Trainer

Najma runs a private practice as a Psychological Counselor and has a master’s degree in Psychotherapy and Family Counseling. Najma is trained in a variety of conflict-resolution techniques and leads workshops for parents, children, couples, and professional organizations. Along with Arshia, she is a weekly contributor to Hyderabad’s Times of India and co-founder of MAP, an organization which leads peace-building workshops.

Arshia Ayub | Consulting Counsellor & Counsellor Trainer

Arshia is a trained facilitator for conflict-resolution, culture of peace and parenting workshops with 15 years of counseling experience. She is co-founder of MAP (Mediators and Peacebuilders), an organization which works in areas such as conflict transformation, inter-faith dialogue, enhancing parenting skills and building couples’ relationships. She has a master’s degree in Psychotherapy and Counseling.

B. Satya Vani | Legal Advocate

Satya Vani is a trained lawyer who specializes in helping female victims of abuse, violence and exploitation work through their case in court. She is responsible for assisting each Operation PeaceMaker client who chooses to take her case to court for legal action .

Noorjahan | Senior Counsellor

Noorjahan Ma’am has been a Senior Counsellor at Operation PeaceMaker Falaknuma Centre since our first PeaceMaker training in early 2012. She has varied experience as a Teacher-Counselor (6yrs), Assistant Supervisor (13yrs), a very active Coordinator in social empowerment for women (16yrs) in Confederation of Voluntary Association (COVA). A very serious incident kindled a passion in her to work among the women who are suffering enormously with various issues like Dowry harassment, Child Marriages, Girl Education, Rape victims, Curbing Arab marriages and Domestic violence. She is too humble to advertise it, but she is one of the most respected women in the community in and around Falaknuma, the overtly conservative and patriarchal area in which Operation PeaceMaker has its first and most active Counselling Centre.

Hajera Begum | Team Leader

Hajera is a doting mother of four and a strong believer in women’s rights. She is a teacher and motivational speaker by profession. Hajera found her calling as a PeaceMaker when she attended the My Choices training programme three years ago and since then, there has been no looking back. She is the group leader at Operation PeaceMaker’s Falaknuma centre and manages a team of 16 enthusiastic women. When she’s not leading her team, you can find her cooking, listening to music and watching movies with her family.

Farzana Khan |Head of Programs

Dr. Farzana lives by the motto, “I Prefer Dangerous Freedom over Peaceful Slavery”. She has been the Program Manager at Operation PeaceMaker since 2014. Farzana has doctorate in political science with gold medal and PG diploma in human rights, and an amazing background of 7 years of working with Human rights organizations in Uttar Pradesh. Her field of expertise encompasses constitutional and legal frameworks as well as the international human rights mechanism. Her professional and academic interests include gender, patriarchy, identity based violence, and laws related to women and children.

Soon after becoming a part of Operation PeaceMaker, she has taken up oversight of all centers in Hyderabad and Secunderabad as well as our Warangal center. She has great enthusiasm for the capacity building of the PeaceMakers and providing legal support to the survivors of violence.

Ratna Sri |Counsellor

Ratna Sri is a Team Leader for Operation PeaceMaker Warangal Team. She joined the team in March 2014 as a PeaceMaker, but soon grew to the level of a Team Leader helping guide other PeaceMakers on case progression and tracking. Ratna has completed her Bachelors and Masters of Education and is a certified teacher.

Tajwar Lodhi | Counsellor and Capacity Trainer

Tajwar is a Counsellor, working with Operation PeaceMaker since 2014. She is passionate about women empowerment and working to motivate her clients to lead a better lives.

She is an extremely versatile person, with a unique blend of characteristics including interpersonal skills, strong team management expertise, excellent counselling and analytical skills. She holds a master’s degree in Psychology, a master’s diploma in Counselling Psychology, and holds a degree in Bachelor of Education. Tajwar has also been a lecturer on Psychology at the English and Foreign Languages university (EFLU). In all, she has 13 years of experience in teaching and counseling. Tajwar uses her expertise in teaching to train and up-skill our PeaceMakers, making them more effective counsellors.

Archana Brian |Head of Operations

Archana has been Operation PeaceMaker Head of Operations since September, 2014. She has an impressive background in marketing, training & counseling, recruitment & outsourcing, financial planning and franchising. She prides herself in her ability as a strong leader with visionary outlook on every task she sets out to do. Archana, or “Archie” as she is affectionately called, is one of those rare people who can achieve remarkable results in executing strategy without losing sight of the ever important element of team work. Her focus is on people, and maximizing the passion and strengths of those around her.

 

Raju Nallabelly | Centre Coordinator

Raju is the Center Coordinator for Operation PeaceMaker Warangal Centre. Raju has his Masters of Social Work with the specialization of community devolopment from K.U Warangal. During his course he participated in National Service Scheme (N.S.S) Camps at village level conducting cultural and social awareness programs on rural poverty, female feticide, harmful superstitions, violence against women, child marriage, illiteracy and alcoholism. He has worked as a lecturer in Social Work for Masters students and a PG College in Hanmakonda. During his teaching period he did field work with various NGOs and GOs.

Raju joined Operation PeaceMaker in June 2015 with the vision to see weaker sections of society strengthened. He strongly believes that the empowerment of women is the path of a nation’s development.

Asima Habib |Legal Counsellor & Advocate

Asima joined us as a legal advisor and project manager for the newly started “Shakti” program in early 2016. After finishing her Bachelors of Commerce (Hons) from Osmania University she realized that accounts was not really her forte and went on to pursue a degree in law to fulfill her passion to help people. She is a firm believer of women’s rights and thinks that the happiness and progress of women and children has a major effect on society as a whole. She believes that working with Operation PeaceMaker will give her the opportunity to change people’s lives for better. It is her easy going nature and relaxed temperament that makes her connect well with people. Asima is an avid reader who hates the idea of E-Books and prefers reading the traditional paper book.

Gnana Purushotam Badugu

| Centre Coordinator

Purushotam is the Centre Coordinator for Operation PeaceMaker Lakdikapul Centre. He has worked in various organizations for more than 10 years as commercial administration and accounts executive. He has a graduate degree in Political Science, Economics and Public Administration from Osmania University in Hyderabad. He has been passionate about community development and helping the people those are in need since his childhood. Through his Church, Purushotam also assisted in various social services as a Community Coordinator in identifying the school dropout children helping get them admitted in boarding schools and hostels and looking after their education, medical care and other facilities. He feels it is a God given oppurtunity to be a part of Operation PeaceMaker’s work to end violence against women and girls.

Aparna Ghose Adhikari | Counsellor

Aparna is an Operation PeaceMaker Counsellor having joined in 2016. She is currently pursuing her PHD in Psychology, having completed her M.Phil in Psychology with Counselling as specialization. She has over 15 years working experience in development sector. She is very passionate about and derives energy from her work. Aparna believes in the power of positive thinking and mindfulness. She was elated to join Operation PeaceMaker and she feels that the journey of helping and empowering families to develop trust, build positive relationships and respect every human being in family will help her grow personally. Other than Counselling, Aparna is passionate about travel, and spending quality time with family and friends.

Reena Doulaghar | Counsellor

Reena has been a Counsellor with Operation Peacemaker counsellor since 2016. She did her Masters in Social Work with specialization in Medicine and Psychiatry in 2013. Reena has over 6 years of experience in the social sector. She has worked with various organizations like IMH, MGMH and Helping Hand De-Addiction Center. She is passionate about being a change agent in her society. She is incredibly proud to be helping women who are in need of professional help. In her free time, she loves to read books and enjoy good conversations with great people.

Uzma Firdous | Centre Coordinator

Often referred to as “Superwoman” by her team members, Uzma has been our multi-tasking Center Coordinator at Operation Peacemaker since March 2017. She is responsible for all of the admin work of the Center in Golconda, as well as awareness education programs in schools and communities. Additionally, Uzma carries a number of responsibilities in production and export of products created by the PeaceCrafter project and store.

Uzma is currently pursuing her 2nd degree in Social Work and is a newbie working in the social sector. Previously, she was a preschool teacher who moved into school administration as she is skilled in that.

Uzma feels that she learns a lot from every client she meets. The biggest lesson she has learned is to always thank God for whatever He has gives us, because there are so many struggling with so much pain. In her free time, you will find her play with her neighbour’s kids.

Kavitha Krishanraj | Senior Counselor

Kavitha is a Senior Counselor at Operation PeaceMaker with a Postgraduate Diploma in Counseling Psychology. Her commitment to serving people through professional counseling is driven by her personal experience with its life-changing potential. She has been a part of our family from December 2016.

Kavitha was a homemaker for 22 years, when a personal crisis hit her. It was a counselor that changed her life and helped her turn the crises around, and that experience motivated Kavitha to get her qualification as a Counselor. Counseling liberated Kavitha, and she is now committed to providing that same opportunity of liberation to women and families seeking help to end violence. She learns from each and every client of hers, and is grateful to be doing this work.

Kavitha is an avid reader of fiction, self-help books and books related to Psychotherapy. She is a great lover of music and has been trained in professional classical Hindustani music for more than 15 years. She loves to travel and has been fortunate to see most parts of the world, as she is married to a sailor. She has two beautiful daughters, pursuing successful careers of their own and a 4-year-old pug, Benjy who rules her life.

Supriya Darshanam | Shakti Program Manager

Supriya is our Shakti Program Manager and has a Masters in Social Sciences from Roda Mistry College of Social work in Hyderabad. She joined us on May 2017 and She has 13 years of experience work in the social sector prior to her work with Operation PeaceMaker. She has worked with national & international NGOs’ focusing on community health program, livelihoods training, and Social research. She is passionate about working with children & youth in the society. When she is free you will find her do watercolor paintings and gardening.

Md. Rahat Iqbal | Center Coordinator

Rahat has worked with Operation PeaceMaker as a Center Coordinator since 2017. Prior to joining the organization as an employee, he did a one year internship as a part of his Masters in Social Work. He is from a small town in West Bengal, and his passion to work with marginalized communities drove him to pursue his Masters of Social work.

While in his internship with our Falaknuma Center in Hyderabad, Rahat saw the scale and severity domestic violence and abuse that women are experiencing, and the effects it had on both the women and their children. This experience lead him to decide to be part of the solution and to be committed to work on gender equality and ending domestic abuse.

Rahat is responsible for taking care of Counseling Center admin and awareness drives in schools and communities. Rahat is very fond of cricket and music, and of expanding his learning on a wide variety of topics.

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