Our Core Working Team is the backbone of Khula Aasman which takes in all the challenges, ups and downs and implements the vision full throttle. They provide us with reality checks from time to time.
Sarita is the Director and Founder of Khula Aasman Trust. She has a vast knowledge and experience of working with groups and individuals on field. Gifted in clay work, she has spent years perfecting the techniques of using clay and art as tools for healing and transformation.
Sarita is multifaceted and unique in her vision and approach to ground realities.
- MA in Social work (TISS. 1986)
- Asst. Professor (2009 -2012) TISS
- Ex-Founder/Member – Aksharnandan School, Pune
- Arts Based Therapist (WCCL, 2014)
- An activist with Anti-dam movement, Narmada Bachao Andolan
- Vocational award for outstanding work done in the area of Creative Arts for healing by rotary club, Garima, New Mumbai for the year 2016
- Researcher/ Coordinator – YUVA, FRCH
In her words, “An artist in clay work, I consciously don’t use the word pottery as I feel I have moved personally from the pottery work that once upon a time occupied much space in my life. Now the clay is for me a live material who can take shapes of stories and has its own powerful entity as a healer. I received the orientation to craft and art through my mother and sister. I added the knowledge of social work and created what is seen as Khula Aasman today. Khula Aasman successfully moved the world of art from the realm of artist to the world of marginalised in various forms and colours. It’s a venture to revisit the creative self to bring about peace and boost the confidence to live a more meaningful life.”
Snehal Gaikwad: Dance Movement Therapist
Snehal has worked with Khula Aasman Trust, for the last 3 years. She is passionate about Dance, loves listening to music, and learning new things. Having completed her MA in Non-Formal Education from SNDT University, Churchgate and her certification in Dance Movement Therapy, from TISS, Mumbai, in collaboration with KolKhula Aasmantta Sanved, she now works with Khula Aasman as a DMT practitioner, working with women and children in distress in rescue and special homes in the city. Her core belief in Dance as a tool for expression, for stress relief, and also exploring personal and community boundaries amongst other benefits fuels her passion and energy in her work. She has also worked with geriatric populations and palliative care.
Stalin Boudh: Program Officer
Stalin is a social worker trained in Community Development and Practice, from TISS, Mumbai. Additionally, he has trained with Yoga Vidya Niketan, Vashi in yoga studies and practice. The focus of his work has always been to promote well-being and peace through yoga, drama, and music and rhythm, as well as other art forms.
He has worked with Action Aid India on issues regarding the rights and development of Nomadic Tribes and De-Notified Tribes(NT-DNT). His work with communities has involved working with many groups and social areas including education, inclusion, youth empowerment, SHG, and entitlement.
In his spare time he takes guest lectures at Nirmala Niketan Mumbai, as well as the Nagarjuna Training Institute, Nagpur on issues of community development. He is passionate about music, dance, and art. At Khula Aasman, he works with the open community at Lallubhai Compound and Juveniles in conflict with the law residing in Observation homes.
Rosanna: Senior Counsellor and Arts-Based Therapist
Rosanna is a Social Worker and an Arts-Based Therapy Practitioner, having studied and trained with TISS Mumbai and WCCLF, Pune respectively. The focus of her work has always been on building resilience and facilitating processes of healing and empowerment through art, in all its forms including visual art, stories, drama, music and rhythm, movement, and dance. She has worked extensively in the field of mental health, trauma, and recovery working with women, children, and other at-risk populations addressing issues of self-esteem, abandonment, trauma, severe mental illness and recovery, stigma, strengths building, etc. In her spare time she has also supervised students and guest lectured at TISS, Mumbai.
Her interest areas include mental health, gender and marginalisation. She loves to read, create, and spend time with animals. At Khula Aasman, she works with youth and women at risk and prison populations as well as to develop modules and session plans, research, and documentation as well as oversee social media movement.
Tanvi Oswal is a passionate mover and practices yoga and mindfulness regularly. After working for a few years in corporates, she realised her calling in using creative forms for releasing stress and being more in tune with oneself. She is currently engaged with Khula Aasman in working with the convicts and under trials of Pune Central Jail
Sonali has been working with Khula Aasman for 4 years now. Initially having approached the organisation to learn and develop skill in art activities like paper quilling, furniture making, recycling, and clay and paper mâché, she developed her skills to the point that she herself began training, moving into observation homes, and rescue homes working with people in distress teaching them skills to create utility art from waste and eco-friendly material, including paper quilling jewellery, paper and tyre-based furniture, recycled newspaper coasters and baskets, collage art, etc.
“Yeh Khula Aasmanam Khula Aasmanrne ki mann mein bachchpanse ichcha thi, par tab nahin Khula Aasmanr saki, mere padhai ke wajahse – par ab mai yeh Khula Aasmanam Khula Aasmanr sakthi hun. Yeh Khula Aasmanam Khula Aasmanrne se mann ko, dimag ko aur poore sharir ko shanti milti hai. Yeh Khula Aasmanam Khula Aasmanrne se poora din achcha lagta hai. Mai yeh Khula Aasmanaam Khula Aasmanrte samay tan, dhan, man se Khula Aasmanam Khula Aasmanrti hun.”
Translation: “It was a childhood wish of mine to do work of this nature, but I was unable to do so because of my studies – but now I can do this work. Doing this kind of work brings a lot of peace to my mind, heart, and entire body and being, my entire day goes well. When in progress, I put all of myself into my work.”
Sunita was initially placed with Khula Aasman through another organisation, Prayas. She has been working with the organisation for 18 months now. The initial intention was to provide a space to learn and grow and engage with people in a professional environment. Overtime, Sunita was trained in various hands on activities including recycled paper items and paper quilling, as well as collage art.
“Mai jab aayi, tabi soch bhi nahin sakti hun itna achcha kuch banna sakti hun…. Yeh Khula Aasmanam Khula Aasmanrte samay mujhe bohot achcha lagta hai kyonki yeh Khula Aasmanam Khula Aasmanrte samay sab sukh:dukh bhool jaati hun. Vastu bannane ke baad “bohot achcha banya hai” Sunke bohot khushi milti hai. Khula Aasman mein games aur Meditation workshop hote hai. Issese bhi kuch alag sikhne milta hun. Humare staff miljulkhe bohot pyar se rehte hai. Khula Aasman mein aane ke baad man ko bahut shanti aur samadhan milta hai.”
Translation: “ When I came here, I did not ever think that I could make such nice things… This work makes me very happy as while engaged in these activities, I forget all emotions. After making the products, hearing people say “ that was made very well” makes me happy. At Khula Aasman, we have many games and meditation workshops, which give me the opportunity to learn something new. Our staff also interacts with a lot of love and togetherness. After coming here I feel a lot of peace and calmness in my being.”
Additional Members of the Khula Aasman Team
The Founder Members & Trustees of Khula Aasman are people who believe in the power of arts and crafts enriching our lives in multifaceted ways.
We have an Advisory Committee with professionals from social work, academics, activists, educationists and artists, who have agreed to share their expertise to enhance our work towards social change , and to broaden and streamline our vision.
Khula Aasman needs the support of several helping hands. To date we have had excellent Volunteers who have extended us unflinching support from time to time. We are sure, many more will join us in our journey in future. We are thankful to all our well wishers and volunteers.
Our Funding Partners support and believe in our idea and intention of the space. They have been generous with their logistical and moral support towards us. Without them we would not have extended our programme to our various target groups of people-at-risk such as, rescued women and their children in sex-work, incarcerated women in prisons and children living in institutions.