Meet our Amazing Team!
Payal Sawhney (MHA, MSW, LCSW) is a licensed Mental Health practitioner with over 20 years of experience. She has worked in various hospitals in various cities in the fields of Mental Health. She has extensive experience in successfully planning and launching community projects for prevention of mental illness and enhancement of well-being in the South Asian community. She also has an extensive background in developing programs and clinical teams for non profit organizations. She has supervised several graduate and post graduate clinicians in her practice. Her passion is women’s health, working against violence and abuse, and focusing on prevention.
Kanchan Gokhale did her Bachelors in Computer Information Systems and joined Toyota Motors as an IT professional. Later she worked at an outpatient psychiatric facility in medical billing and payroll for 10 years. She enjoyed working with patients and insurance companies to resolve billing issues. She also enjoyed acting as a liaison between IT personnel and the office to resolve internal billing software issues. Growing up in a family that was always involved in social work has taught her the importance of helping the community.
Kanchan is a people’s person who
believes in giving back to the community. Currently through Saahas she is involved in vaccination camps and community outreach for Covid-19 awareness. She is also connected with South Asian Seniors through Saahas Mauj Masti Sehat and E-visitor program.
(Chief Operating Officer)
Raji Satish has many years of experience working with special needs children and adults as well as extensive volunteering across a variety of organizations. In her words, “My strength is I am a “people-person” who is naturally enthusiastic and passionate about working with special needs individuals and seniors.”
Her current activities include : Certified Therapy Dog Handler @ Psychiatric Ward of the College Hospital Cerritos, Volunteer @ Annual Special Olympics at CSULB, Client Facilitator with AARP for their VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance).
She is 65 hours Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault (DVSA) certified.
(Chief Process Officer)
Raksha Gopal holds M.S in Computer Engineering and has 30 years of experience in software development industry, currently working as Vice President of Corporate Project Management. She also ran her own software consulting business for 13 years. Raksha strongly believes in giving back to the community and paying it forward. She currently serves as a member of UCLA Parents’ Council Leadership Team, Board Member for Dance 2 Your Door, Mock Interviewer for Youth Employment Services and OneOC’s Disaster Cadre Team member. She has also served 6 years on the Parent Advisory Board for Assisteens, a teenage auxiliary of Assistance League of Irvine.
Meet our Amazing Volunteers!!
(Manager of programs-Older Adult Wellness)
Neetu Mani earned a degree in nursing (RN) in California, and received a diploma in Counselling and Life Skill Coaching in India. She is very passionate about working with people and serving the community. Working with seniors at Saahas brings her immense happiness.
Director Saahas Youth Tech Chapter
Priya Gupta is a software professional and holds an M.B.A in Marketing. Her professional background and focus on community service led to a number of volunteer opportunities and leadership roles. Following her passion to serve the community she completed a Nonprofit Leadership Center Management Essentials course from the Allstate Foundation/Northwestern Kellogg’s university.
As a Saahas Youth Tech program lead, she works with youth volunteers and dedicates her time to providing technical assistance and support to the community.
Sheetal S. Ayyatan
After a Masters in Biotech and a career in clinical research in India, Sheetal shifted her focus to assisting survivors of domestic violence of South Asian descent living in the United States of America. She is 65 hours Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault (DVSA) certified who is very passionate about supporting survivors of DVSA and finds the courage and resolve of the survivors to move ahead and reclaim their lives. Sheetal has experience working with the South Asian community through various non-profit organizations.
Varshini Satish is the host of the Saahas for Cause and Bharat FM partnered “Things We Carry” Radio Show. Varshini interviews South Asian community members once a month on the rituals, patterns, and practices her guests have carried on from their upbringings and also the practices they’ve consciously decided to forgo. Currently through Saahas, she is involved in vaccination camps and community outreach for Covid-19 awareness. Outside of SAAHAS, Varshini works in the tech platforms industry in the talent and partnerships sector where she nurtures and elevates the voices of emerging talent.