Children’s Hope India introduces new board members

Dina Pahlajani (Courtesy: Children’s Hope India)

Dina Pahlajani is the new president of Children’s Hope India (CHI), a New York based non-profit organization that provides health and education to children in India and the United States and completed 25 years, last year.

Pahlajani is also a co-founder of Children’s Hope India and was the organization’s first president when they started; she later served again in 2007.

Pahlajani is actively involved in overseeing the India projects along with developing program plans, creating strategic partnerships and coordinating the development of CHI’s initiatives.

Pahlajani is a practicing Pediatrician on Long Island and a member of the Charity Committee of the Nassau Pediatric Society.

She strongly believes that as a society it is incumbent upon us to be the voice of this very vulnerable segment of our society.

“For CHI this is a very exciting time as we can look back and see the difference our programs have made in the communities in which we have been working. The opening of Children’s Hope India Girls School for 800 girls in Bhopal will be a game changer,” Pahlajani said in a press release.

She will be replacing Maya Rajani who recently completed her three-year term as CHI President with a very successful 25th year gala which raised over $1 million for education.

“I wish to express my sincere gratitude to have had the opportunity to lead this amazing organization twice as President in my 18+ year tenure with CHI. Each time I have been rewarded manifold, have learned and grown in countless ways.  Thank you for all the support, encouragement and trust,” Rajani said in a press release.

Along with a new president CHI elected their new vice president and treasurer, and this year, have a new position known as the Director of Innovation and Strategy to lead its nine-member board.

Sagorica Rudra (Courtesy: Children’s Hope India)

Sagorica Rudra was elected as vice president and she has been a board member of CHI since 1995, previously serving as secretary.

Rudra entered the Financial Services industry in 1993 after earning an MBA in International Finance from St. John’s University.

She has spearheaded the silent auction at the annual gala and golf charity events and overseen CHI’s programs in Kolkata, India.

“I’m excited about my new role and will strive to increase CHI’s outreach, especially among the younger generation. I feel blessed to be a part of such an amazing organization,” Rudra said in a press release.

Nisha Bharwani (Courtesy: Children’s Hope India)

Nisha Bharwani has become the new treasurer of CHI.

She is graduate of St. Mira’s College in Pune, India and has had over twenty years experience in small business accounting and administration.

Her professionalism and leadership in managing CHI’s financial accounting has been productive as well and she is passionate about providing educational and development opportunities to children who want to achieve and is actively involved with CHI projects in India, commuting between the two countries often to supervise projects and interact with the India chapter of CHI.

“I feel truly rewarded when I see the difference we make in a child’s life.  It’s instant gratification,” Bharwani said in a press release.

Lavina Melwani (Courtesy: Children’s Hope India)

Lavina Melwani is now the Director of Innovation & Strategy of CHI.

A co-founder and former president of CHI, she has been involved in all aspects of CHI since its inception, including fund-raising, creative partnerships, publicity and social media.

Melwani majored in History Honors at the University of Delhi, and has lived in Hong Kong, Africa and the U.S.

She is an award-winning journalist who has written for several international publications including India Today, The Hindu and the Wall Street Journal, she also publishes the online lifestyle portal Lassi with Lavina and has blogged for the Smithsonian as well.

“I love the power, promise and potential of the people I meet every day. In my new role I am looking to create exciting alliances and possibilities for CHI,” Melwani said in a press release.

Started more than two decades ago, Children’s Hope India has over 22 projects in slums and villages across several cities in India and the New York Metropolitan area, and has impacted over 250,000 children by looking after their health, education and vocational training.

The focus of Children’s Hope India is the ‘whole’ child and providing all the tools a child needs to progress from poverty to prosperity with a cradle to career approach.

Since 2015 alone, CHI has allocated over $1.5 million to programs in several cities in India and additional ones in the New York metro area and is now expanding to access more education to enrich and empower children for life in the 21st century.



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