Leaving a lucrative career, Akshai founded Project KHEL in 2012 – an amalgamation of his love for sports and co-curriculars and his interest in working for the underprivileged at the grassroots level.
An MBA from the prestigious Indian Institute of Forest Management (IIFM), Bhopal, he has over 10 years of experience including 8+ years in the social sector in the areas of research, program development, project management and organization building and also a year’s international experience as a cultural exchange intern in Austria. Prior to this, he was the Program Head of the Development Metrics Group at the Center for Development Finance (CDF) – IFMR, Chennai where he spearheaded a team of researchers and programmers and managed a million dollar grant project funded by Google.org. Akshai has also been involved with social sector studies commissioned by international agencies such as the World Bank, USAID, UNICEF, etc. and also worked with Aide-et-Action, an international NGO where he worked in fund-raising and education development programmes. A avid sportsman and enthusiast, and a committed non-profit professional, Akshai’s vision is to impact the lives of underprivileged children and youth of India through ProjectKHEL.
With a Masters degree in Gender studies from the Rajiv Gandhi National Institute of Youth Development, Angana is also a certified Life Skills trainer. During her graduation, she was an active member of the Street Theatre circuit of University of Delhi where she scripted, directed and performed street plays at prominent platforms such at Ateliers youth theater festival. She has also represented India at the 50-day ‘Ship for World Youth Programme’ in Japan in 2012. She has been a core team member of Project KHEL since 2012 and has played an intrinsic role in designing, initiating and leading the Menstrual Health Management (MHM), Child Sexual Abuse (CSA) and Puberty related programmes. A storyteller at heart, she has actively been engaged in curriculum development based on play, theater, discussions, craft and various other creative means. Her belief in the power of innovation and art have essentially made her responsible for the management of organizational team on a day to day basis. At the same time, she is also actively engaged in the strategic framework of Project KHEL. Apart from in house trainings, she has designed and successfully facilitated various external workshops and trainings for other organizations and institutions.
The sessions conducted by Angana are innovative and interactive in nature and she ensures that a gender sensitive approach is seamlessly adopted in everything she does.
Abhilasha is a Postgraduate in Commerce, from Jamia Milia Islamia University. During her post-graduation she discovered that she gets a lot of joy from working with children, which motivated her to join Gandhi Fellowship (2013-2015). She has worked at grassroots to build leadership capacities of Rural Government Schools’ Headmasters. During her graduation she was actively involved as volunteer in Youth Alliance, New Delhi and Sadhna Forest, Auroville. She is also a member of Jagriti Yatra 2014 Cohort. With passion of travelling and working with children, she has recently joined Project KHEL’s team in the capacity of Project Coordinator. She envisions that every child should get an opportunity to reach their maximum potential and wants to reach out to maximum children through Project KHEL.
Vikram Namdev (Vicky)
One of our older beneficiaries from Samarth Foundation, Vicky is a sporty, fun and energetic young person. In our sessions, he had shown remarkable improvement from being a disinterested teenager to a very helpful peer leader. Vicky has played football at the district level and had represented team KHEL in the Play for Smiles Football Tournament organized by Project KHEL. His enthusiasm in sports and the opportunity to reach out to underprivileged children keeps him motivated to work with us.
A love for sports and desire to bring change in the lives of less-privileged children brought Maaz to Project KHEL. Maaz has been the President of AIESEC Lucknow before working with multiple early stage start-ups in Delhi-NCR for 2 years, contributing to their initial traction and client retention. Maaz’s vision for life is to make India more employable by empowering the less privileged section of the society through effective education. Maaz has been a vocal advocate of experiential learning and having experienced it firsthand believes it to be a better form of education than the conventional one which we get in school.
Samiksha has a Master’s degree in Human Development and Childhood Studies from Lady Irwin College, University of Delhi. An introvert in general, she loves to spend time with children. Her interests include gender, child rights and sports for development. A sports enthusiast herself, Samiksha has represented her college in annual sports festival of IIT-Kanpur in Basketball and Athletics. During her college, she has volunteered with various organizations such as Butterflies, Mobile Crèches, Girls Count, Efrah and RAHI Foundation. She strongly believes in the quote by Roald Dahl which says “Somewhere inside all of us is the power to change the world”. Keeping this in mind, she has joined Project KHEL to nurture the young minds through play because she feels what can be the better way of learning than play itself.
Sheba has completed her Masters in Counselling Psychology along with B.Ed from Amity University, Lucknow. She strongly believes that more than learning a subject, it is important to learn life skills which will help one in becoming a better and more fulfilled individual and thus adding more value to the community as a whole. With her belief being aligned with the vision of Project KHEL, she has joined us to work towards achieving this.
Jackson was born in Calcutta, India, and raised in the American Midwest. He completed his undergraduate studies in Political Science, Asian Languages and Cultures, and International Studies at Northwestern University in June 2017. Jackson joins Project KHEL as a 2017-18 AIF Clinton Fellow and will be serving for 10 months to help strengthen the organization’s processes and storytelling methods. After spending the summer studying Urdu in Lucknow, Jackson is excited to come back the city to join Project KHEL full time. He looks forward to working with team and with Project KHEL’s kids, both directly and indirectly, to help them realize their own potential as changemakers.
Amit completed his graduation from Lucknow University and is currently working as a “Senior Business Analyst” with TSR Global Research. He has been involved in sports while being in school and college, played football and volleyball at state level, and has also participated in athletics at regional level. He says he wants to be part of Project KHEL to encourage the young and needy who are the future of our society. Also sports being his passion is one of the major motivations as well.
Life Skills Facilitator
Divyansha recently quit her job as a software engineer at Accenture Pvt. Ltd., Bangalore. With a B.Tech degree from Galgotias College (UPTU), she took active part in organising events and participating in camps organised by Rotaract Club in college. She also lent a hand in various community services with the Gandhi Corner while studying in La Martiniere Girls College. She has been actively involved in various social initiatives wherever she got a chance and has always had an aim to make positive changes in society.
“Be the change you want”, with this thought Divyansha took a break from her job and decided to pave a new path in her life, which brought her to Project KHEL! She now aspires to be a part of the development sector as a Lecturer after completing her post-graduation.
A science graduate from Isabella Thoburn College, Pooja believes in goodness of people and leading a life of purpose. She strives to be a clear-minded, honest and peaceful human being. She is motivated by high standards, deep discussions and wide perspectives. She is at Project KHEL to explore herself and to push her own boundaries. She feels Project KHEL has given her opportunities to grow as a person. Learning life-skills comes as a bonus for her and so does the ‘happy’ times spent with kids, while playing.
Arushi is a B.Com graduate and a Certified Financial Planner. Always being inclined to be on the field and work for the betterment of the underprivileged, she decided to purse a career in the social development sector and is pursuing her Masters in Social Work from Lucknow University. She was actively involved in sports activities back in school and Project KHEL is her means to reconnect to sports and games. She loves interacting and playing with kids and the concept of Project KHEL, teaching beyond classroom and bringing a change through games interests her a lot.
Freedom is one of our oldest beneficiaries and youngest facilitator from Deepshikha. He has been an extremely disinterested and laid back teenager when he joined our sessions, over the course of time, we saw him transform into an extremely animated facilitator when put in charge of younger kids. His new spark of interest to do better sessions and enthusiasm for sports has inspired him to join Project KHEL as a facilitator.
Ms Taru Saxena is the Managing Director of St. Anjani’s Public School, a co-educational CBSE school at Rajajipuram, Lucknow established in 1976. She is also a core member of the prestigious EduExcellence programme being run by IIT Delhi, Department of Management Studies, for promoting transformational leadership in schools in collaboration with education departments of Australia, USA and UK. She is also the Chairperson of St. Anjani’s Cricket Club registered with Cricket Association Lucknow ( CAL).
Taru Saxena has been trained from State University of NEW YORK OSWEGO and is a professionally qualified lawyer specialising in Consumer Protection and is a member of Lucknow Bar Association. She is a senior partner in MAX LAW FIRM, one of the most reputed firms of corporate lawyers in Lucknow.
A trained and certified counselor, she has her own counseling firm Thinking Tree Counseling Solutions to counsel and guide adolescents. She is a member of many committees for prevention of sexual harassment of women at the workplace. Having been one of the finalists of LEAD INDIA by The Times of India, from Lucknow, her leadership skills are exemplary and she has been honored with a number of awards for being a young achiever and a distinguished edupreneur. She was felicitated by Shri Anupam Kher on International Women’s Day for outstanding woman achiever award.
She is an accomplished poet and writer and also a car rally driver and has won prizes in various car rallies.
Ms. Setia has a Masters in Chemistry and over 20 years work experience in the Corporate and in the Social Sector. In addition to primary job responsibilities, throughout her career Tanuja has been organizing and conducting capacity building trainings for her colleagues and ‘program beneficiaries’. Development and maintenance of the M.I.S. system at an Indo-Dutch Water and Sanitation Project, funded by the Royal Netherlands Embassy, was Tanuja’s first experience at working in the villages of Uttar Pradesh. As a founder-member of an education project under the aegis of The Study Hall Educational Foundation, Tanuja has been closely involved in the improvement in quality of education being imparted to underprivileged students of village schools and urban slums in and around Lucknow and has in-depth understanding and experience in the field of education delivery. She has conducted a number of workshops on gender rights and sensitization for the resident girl students of the Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalayas and their guardians.
Niti Saxena is a development professional and a qualified lawyer. With significant experience in quantitative and qualitative research on child rights, women’s rights her area of expertise includes Right to Education, Gender, Patriarchy, Women and Child Protection issues, Laws related to women and child, Right to Choice in Relationship and Decision making etc. As trainer and researcher, her expertise is not only limited to constitutional and legal frame work but also encompasses International human rights law particularly CEDAW and CRC. She is part of the core team at Educational Resource Unit (ERU) and also the former Executive Director of AALI (a feminist legal advocacy and research group headquartered in Lucknow).
Dr. Amrita Dass
Dr. Amrita Dass is a leading Educationist and Career Counselor. She is the Founder-Director of ICS-International and has the distinction of pioneering the career counselling and guidance services in the country. ICS has conducted career counselling and teacher training programmes in more than 200 schools and colleges in India and abroad.
A consultant for several leading schools of the country, she has also designed and conducted numerous training programmes on Leadership for Principals focusing on Leadership in Education and on Excellence in Education for Teachers. In addition, she has conducted Leadership Programmes for national and multinational corporates. She is a columnist for many leading newspapers of the country and writes on a wide range of educational, career and leadership issues.
Dr. Dass is a Member of the Governing Bodies of several schools which include Woodstock School, Mussoorie, Bishop Cotton School, Shimla, Nirmal Bhartiya School (NBS) New Delhi and Auckland House School, Shimla. She has also been a Member of the Steering Committee on Women and Child Development, Planning Commission of India for the Ninth Five Year Plan. She has participated in many international conferences such as the U.N. Social Summit- Denmark, U.N. Conference on Women – China, the State of the World Forum – U.S.A, Global Knowledge Partnership – Malaysia. Dr. Dass has visited several universities in UK, Canada and Singapore as a special invitee.
She is a recipient of the Lions Club Award for Outstanding Social Work, the Rotary Award for Vocational Excellence and TCS-Women Achiever of the Year Award.
Divya is currently working as a Senior Programme Coordinator of ‘Pravah’, a Delhi based organization working to impact issues of social justice through youth citizenship action. She has ten years of experience on programme management, research, monitoring and evaluation at national and international level primarily on themes of livelihoods and gender. Having done her graduation from Middlesex University and Masters in Development Studies from London School of Economics, she has worked with several organizations, including Oxfam GB in various capacities, i.e. as a researcher of the campaign to end violence against women, livelihood advisor (Nahr-al-Bared Camp Lebanon, as Food Security and Livelihoods Expert in the Oxfam’s River Basin Programme, Bangladesh; as a Project Officer of Integrated Rural Development Programme in Rajasthan. She has been a consultant on various developmental issues such as the USAID funded ‘Project New life’, aimed at improving people’s livelihood in the aftermath of 2007-08 floods in Darbhanga, Bihar. She has also conducted needs assessment surveys with flood affected communities in Kheda district, Gujarat and Barmer district, Western Rajasthan and monitored relief response processes in these areas.
Having been a part of the development sector for over 5 years and having closely worked with children and young people across backgrounds, Deeksha is now working as the Social Inclusion Facilitator at Shiv Nadar School, Noida. Her role primarily entails working with the neighborhood children, designing and facilitating community based interventions, working closely with students and teachers through interactive theme based training and workshops and organising of OLEs (Outbound Learning Experiences).
In the past, Deeksha has been a member of the Swechha (www.swechha.in), a Delhi based NGO and worked closely with the youth and children through community interventions, travel programmes and campaigns.
Deeksha graduated in English Literature from Delhi University’s Jesus and Mary College and went on to pursue Advertising and Public Relations in her Masters from the Indian Institute of Mass Communication. During her college, she was actively involved in street and stage theatre as a script-writer, actor and director. She along with her team voiced her opinion on social issues such as drug abuse, rural immigration and homosexuality through her ‘nukkad nataks’. She started her professional career with a public relations firm as an executive and worked closely with clients in healthcare sector. She was also a part of an adventure-based learning programme and was involved in several educational camps as an activity leader in Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand.
Rohit has worked in the Corporate sector for over 15 years and his understanding of the nitty gritties of the corporate world, specifically the telecom sector is immense. Rohit has worked in service oriented roles, leading various teams and most recently, was with the telecom giant, Vodafone in the capacity of Senior Manager. Recently he has ventured into entrepreneurship and is working independently. His firm AR Enterprise is in its nascent stage and with his years of expertise it is bound to reach its zenith in a few years time.
A young dynamic lady, Radhika is a graduate from the renowuned Lady Shri Ram College in Delhi University. After her graduation, she went on to pursue Masters in Business Administration from the National Law College, Jodhpur following which she joined her alma mater, LMGC and is presently teaching in the middle school. She has been actively involved in the social sector and has volunteered with organizations such as Shanti Sahyog, Delhi. She has been helping with Project KHEL in various capacities since its inception is and is one of the programme’s most ardent supporters.
Mrs. Surabhi Kapoor is Founder and Head of DOSTI – a wing of Study Hall Education Foundation which nurtures children with special needs. After completing her Masters in Education, Mrs. Kapoor went on to complete her Diploma in Special Education from the National Institute of Mentally Handicapped, Secunderabad. Her experience of 30 years in this field include Lectureship as well as administration. Mrs. Kapoor is on the managing committee of Jaipuria School Lucknow and Balbharti School.Mrs. Kapoor adopts a broad and enquiring approach to her work while exploring with great sensitivity all areas of her projects. It is her love for children that motivates her to do so. Surabhi has been awarded: THE SCROLL OF HONOUR by the International association of Lions Club,in recognition of her excellent services performed with devotion and dedication in the field of care for the handicapped.
Shinjini, is currently pursuing her PhD in Development Studies from the University of Cambridge from where she has also completed her MPhil in Development Studies with distinctions. where she was a Commonwealth Scholar (2010-2011). A post graduate in Population Education and Rural Development, she has an undergraduate degree in Journalism and Mass Communication. With four years of experience as a program anchor and associate in the development consultancy PROACT – operating in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Jharkhand – she has led qualitative studies, assessments and assignments in multiple districts on the NABARD-SHG bank linkage project, monitoring and evaluation of rural drinking water supply programs Swajal and ARWSP, contributed to CARE’s UP State Strategy, led processes for building three NGO networks headed by minorities, Dalits and women by providing technical assistance and training to various NGO partners in different states and remote districts.As a member of the Project Advisory Group for the BBC WST Reach and Response, Bonded Labour project she has provided strategic inputs to BBC WST’s efforts in the state. She has also acted as a resource person for the DFID sponsored PACS program in Uttar Pradesh and published various reports for the Sri Dorabji Tata Trust, UNICEF and USAID sponsored projects. Shinjini has also documented and monitored the progress of the Sure Start project for PATH.
Mrs. Aashrita Dass is an educationist with 12+ years of experience. Currently the Vice Principal at La Martiniere Girls’ College, she also coordinates the Health Club of the College which runs in collaboration with Hope Initiative and WHO. She voluntarily manages the activities of Goonj (an NGO run by Ashoka Fellow Anshu Gupta) organising collections in the school and across Lucknow. Mrs. Dass is also the Vice President of the La Martiniere Girls’ Alumni Association and an active volunteer for Gandhi Corner, the social activities initiative of the school. She has been involved with children and education for the last 12 years having worked with the Council for Indian School Certificate Examinations and Derek O’Brien & Associates. Mrs. Dass is deeply committed to working for the less fortunate, something she already does by volunteering for Goonj, Health Club and the Gandhi Corner. By associating with Project KHEL she hopes to reach out to a much larger population of underprivileged children.
Yukti has completed her Masters in Social Work from the University of Lucknow. She was an active member of Gandhi Corner, the social work club at La Martiniere Girls College and took part in organising various social service camps. Thus, being inclined to work for the underprivileged she decided to contribute towards the development sector and joined Project KHEL. At Project KHEL she was actively involved in teaching life skills to children, helping them lead their life in a better way and also managed a lot of the back end administration and official work.
Shyam Chand Rajput
Sports and Life-skills Facilitator
An MBA from Punjab Technical University in Advertising & Marketing, Shyam runs his own business of print advertisement.
A passionate cricketer and a sports enthusiast, he has also participated in the 5th and the 6th North Indian Invitational Karate Championship in 2006 and 2007, securing a bronze and a Gold medal respectively.
After a long stint with us as a MiM facilitator, Shyam continued to be associated with us through our Ultimate Frisbee team practices, simultaneously learning and coaching with passion and zeal!
Life Skills Facilitator
Ayushi had been a volunteer at old age homes and animal shelters in the city and her inclination for social development got her to connect with Project KHEL.
With her love for performing arts and a Street Theater group of her own, Ayushi is an advocate of using interactive methods for growth and learning. She believed that Project KHEL’s play based method is an extremely efficient way for children to learn and that she can make a productive contribution to the lives of children through Project KHEL.
Rightly described as a kid at heart, Somya is currently pursuing her Bachelor’s degree in Law from Amity University, Lucknow. In her attempt to nurture her love for sports, she has keenly participated in sports-related activities at both school and college level and it was for the same reason that she was drawn to Project KHEL as a volunteer in January, 2016. She ardently contributes to college initiatives, one of them being, a project on extending Legal Aid to rural areas with a team of 20 members. Somya is a dreamer and she wants to pursue her dream of becoming a social entrepreneur in near future.
Sandeep, an Engineer by profession, has worked with Tech Mahindra (Hyderabad) for two years. He was an active sportsman during his school years and also member of school’s Cricket and Football teams. Over the years, focus on career aspirations took him a little away from active sports.
Project KHEL has given him the opportunity to reconnect with his childhood passion for sports and now he imparts the same life skills and learning to the beneficiaries of Project KHEL. He believes in the ‘Power of Play’ and feels that every session holds valuable learning experience for the children as well as the facilitators.
A former beneficiary of our Made in Maidaan programme. Preeti has grown from being a shy reserved teenager to a confident and responsible facilitator leading KHELshaala literacy based sessions.
After her masters from Lucknow University, she has done her B.Ed as well and had always aspired to teach children from underserved backgrounds. She was able to transform her aspiration to reality through KHELshaala programme.
Jyotsana Prasad is a Masters in Political Science from Magadh University and NIIT degree holder in Computer Science. A homemaker and a mother, she always wanted to contribute to the society through her teaching skills. She got the opportunity to fulfil her dreams with Project KHEL.
She loves bonding and interacting with children. Her immense love for children and patience made her an engaging and dedicated facilitator
Kamzason is a certified Life-skills trainer having done his M.A (Life-skills Education) from the Rajiv Gandhi National Institite of Youth development, Chennai in addition to a Bachelors degree in Social Work from MLC University in Meghalaya. In addition, he is a national level footballer, having represented the Silchar region. Kamzason was with Project KHEL for more than 1.5 years. While he was with us, he spearheaded several initiatives including Life Skills Education, Football, Music, Substance Abuse and Civic Responsibility. Kamzason continues to be associated with us in various ways and, in his own words, “cannot leave Project KHEL”.
Life Skills Facilitator
“To the world, you may be a hero but for your students, you are a hero.” This is one quote which Anjali relates to very closely after joining Project KHEL.
Anjali always had an interest in teaching small children and playing with them. This was also her initial incentive to join Project KHEL team, but gradually she realized it’s not only about interacting and playing with children but to inculcate life skills in them by being their role models.
According to her, Project KHEL is different from other organizations as it doesn’t aim to change the society at once but rather adopts a preventive approach for bringing about long term change. She believes in the Power of Play and its success in creating a positive impact in the society.
Alisha is a graduate in Journalism and Mass Communication from Amity University, Noida. Currently pursuing her Masters in Social Work from Lucknow University, she has previously worked with Uday Foundation and has also been a regular visitor to orphanages and old age homes, helping out in various capacities. She has also been involved with specially-abled, dyslexic and autistic kids and is currently teaching a few of them in her spare time. Her mantra in life is to make a difference in whatever she does.
Alisha is a music lover and has also been a dancer at Shiamak Davar’s Institute of Performing Arts. She used to love sports while in school and Project KHEL brought sports back to her.
Veena is an international level tennis player having represented India in 2009 as well as a volleyball, basketball and table tennis player having played all these sports at various levels. Veena has been associated with Project KHEL since 2012 in various capacities and having completed her Bachelors degree in Computer Applications from the University of Lucknow, she joined Project KHEL full time in 2016 until May 2017 .
Joy Banerjee is currently pursuing Bachelor in Arts from Lucknow University. He has been actively involved in sports especially in Football, Athletics and Basketball since his school days. Joy was also the captain of his school Football team and has played Football at district level. He thinks sports are the best way to learn and to put energy in a perspective. By working in Project KHEL he learned to connect various experiences of life and channelize them in a positive manner for the betterment of less privileged.
Until early 2015, Sanjay was working as a Marketing Analyst at Facebook in California, USA. A sports enthusiast, he represented the Hyderabad U-19 hockey team and enjoys exploring and learning new sports, his current favorites being volleyball, tennis, and running. Sanjay also loves interacting with kids, and he was part of a volleyball coaching camp at YMCA Cupertino USA where he coached a group of 11-13 year olds. He believes that sports and games are the best medium for children to discover themselves, learn life skills, and grow into responsible individuals. He visited Project KHEL for a week in 2014 when he was in India, and left inspired to participate more actively and contribute to the sports for development sector. A few months later he joined us, and worked with us till the end of 2015 helping us strengthen the Made in Maidaan programme.
Chandni, a graduate in Psychology and Sociology, has done her Masters In Social Work from Lucknow University. Her first stint in the field of social work was with Ehsaas. Subsequently, she interned with Sahayog, Lucknow, wherein she held meetings with the youth on Gender Senstization. She did her Summer Internship with YouSee, Hyderabad. Along with her passion for social work she also practices alternative therapy (Reiki). Her love for working with children and having fun is what attracts her to the work of Project KHEL. Currently working as a teacher, Chandni conducts sessions with our children whenever she can.
Franziska completed her Bachelors in English and French in order to become a high school teacher. However, she realized her vision of educating did not match with the general conditions in German schools so after finishing her Bachelors in 2010, she decided to go abroad for an internship to Montréal (Canada). There, she was part of an organization for international community volunteer projects for 6 months. Franziska interned with Project KHEL for 6 months as part of the AIESEC traineeship program, thrilled to have found a project in which she feels she will find what she missed in German general education: the holistic approach. Franziska is back in Germany completing her education and is still in touch with Project KHEL and continues to support and follow our work.
Project Associate – Planning and Monitoring
Jayant Chatterjee holds the degree of bachelor of commerce from Lucknow Christian Degree College. He is currently pursuing MBA in finance. He is a lover of music and plays the guitar. He also has a knack for sports, and has participated in inter-school cricket competitions. He had earlier worked as an operation executive in India Offbeat. His subtle wit, humour and fun-loving attitude make him an ideal companion for the children.
Pooja is a national level Volleyball player. Pooja has completed her B.Sc. and B.Ed. and M.Sc. from Lucknow University. Pooja loves playing sports other than volleyball and has also completed her NCC “C” certification and represented UP in All India Vayu Sainik camp at Bangalore & the Air Force Academy at Hyderabad. She loves working with children & her exuberant & outgoing nature makes her the favorite of the children. She is with the CSIR – National Botanical Research Institute at present
Poonam Rajput is a psychology graduate with a Masters in Business Administration. Prior to joining Project KHEL she had volunteered for an orphanage Balgram and had been an active volunteer of NSS during her graduation days. She has work experience of almost five years, two years as lecturer in a management school and three years in the corporate sector. Dissatisfied with a monotonous and stressful work life, she quit the corporate sector and decided to make a career in the social development sector. She is a state level player of cricket and football and is passionate about all forms of sports. During her engagement with the Project KHEL, Poonam found real satisfaction and happiness in working with children.
Sera is pursuing her masters in social work in mental health from the Tata Institute of Social Sciences. She has completed her MBA from Amity University, Lucknow, after having done her O Levels at Cambridge University and A levels at the University Of London. Her previous corporate working tenures include Client Servicing and Business Development with Leading Advertising industries in Dubai. In addition to this, Sera has acquired training as a special educator teaching students with special needs; suffering from Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) as well as those affected by Autism spectrum disorder.
Her involvement with Project KHEL helped foster her need for change, and understanding that a healthy mindset and a strong character could effectively be inculcated through sports.
Abhinandan is a district-level footballer currently pursuing B.Sc from Lucknow University. An NCC ‘C’ certificate holder, he has attended several NCC camps such as All India Vayu Sainik camp at Bangalore and has participated in AIDS awareness campaigns organized by the Red Ribbon Club, Lucknow. A sports enthusiast, he loves playing every kind of game. He loves playing with children and his is easy going and fun attitude helps him bond easily with children. By working with Project KHEL he wishes to bring a change in the life of the kids and also wants to nurture his professional skills.
Sports and Life Skills Coordinator (part-time)
Avinash is a Marine Engineer working on sailing luxury vessels, presently employed in Star Clippers (The company which provided the ship in the Bollywood movie Kaho Na Pyaar Hai). He also runs an event management firm in Lucknow. He is very passionate about sports and dance. He has participated in various national cricket and football tournaments. Inside he is still a kid who loves to interact and bond with other kids. When back from his voyages he never misses an opportunity to share and learn from our little angels.
With a strong belief in value of holistic education, Irma is a doctor by profession. She completed her MBBS from Era’s Lucknow Medical College and currently works at Sahara Hospital, Lucknow. She pays special attention to women’s health issues and that has motivated her to connect with Project KHEL after participating in the Red Spot’s Menstrual Hygiene Awareness camps.
She is a state level swimmer and Project KHEL constantly reminds her of the education that lies beyond the books and she believes that wholesome education is the need of the hour and the nation.
Prakriti is a post graduate in commerce and a junior national level basketball player. She has been associated with field activities like NCC and has been a member of TEARS (Towards Educated And Responsible Society). Having a balance mix of compassion and responsibility, Prakriti can mix with children and yet guide them, control them and yet enjoy them. A mother of two, she appreciates the varied difficulties faced by adolescents and has an ardent desire to provide such skills to youngsters… skills that can offset or at the very least prepare them to face the future. Prakriti has a passion for working with children, especially those from disadvantaged backgrounds.
Mirza Aslaan Baig
With a Bachelors degree in Business Administration from Lucknow University, Aslaan has been a district league footballer, a managing editor in a private magazine and has worked in the oil rig industry as well. He has been a while with Project KHEL for the kick he gets here, the motivation to work and the power to bring about a difference to numerous lives. Off this, he’s a decent cook and a writer too. With his natural ability to connect with kids, Aslaan is hoping to make a lot of difference with his association with Project KHEL.
Lubna Afzal, a graduate from I.T. College and with a Masters degree from Lucknow University, is also working towards becoming an IFS Officer (Indian Forest Services). She loves playing with children, specially small ones. She had been actively involved in sports and games at her school level and was among the better female players in school. She is very calm, easy going, understanding, fun loving, patient and with these qualities of her, she is hoping to work with KHEL in the betterment of future of the hundreds of Project KHEL beneficiaries.
Aditi is a graduate in English Hons. from University of Lucknow and also holds a Certificate of Proficiency in French Language. Having studied social work as a subject in her first two years of graduation, she came face to face with certain realities of life and decided to be one of those spirited people who want work towards eradication of poverty. Her goal is to help the needy and do her further studies in social work. She has been active participant in NSS camps for 2 years in university. Earlier she was associated with Eeshwar Child Welfare Foundation. According to her, being in Project KHEL is the best of both worlds as you are trained when you train kids. Other than this she is highly passionate about photography and loves music.
Elin recently graduated with her BA in comparative literature from Wellesley College in the United States and is currently on a fellowship in Lucknow studying Urdu language. She has loved all sports from a very young age, especially football. She played on a football team in high school and also played Division III lacrosse at her university. Sports have made a positive impact on Elin’s life, and she hopes to provide the same opportunity to the children involved with Project KHEL.
Shweta is a graduate in B.Com from Avadh Girls Degree College. She is currently pursuing a Masters Degree in Social Work. She has always been passionate about social work as she believes in contributing to the society. Her first stint was with Jute Artisans Guild Association, a federation of women self help group where she promoted jute products. She has been involved in community service at orphanages and NGOs and with the NSS since college.She also has a prior experience in organising events. She loves working with children and enjoyed being a part of Project KHEL. Shweta is now teaching full-time but continues to be associated, helping out with events and functions and also coming to meet the children in sessions whenever she gets the time.
Hitkarsh Srivastava, one of our youngest coordinators, is a graduate in Commerce from Lucknow University and is currently preparing for MBA entrance examinations. Hitkarsh has been an active sports person since his school days; he was the captain of his school’s cricket team and has played matches at the district level. Besides Cricket, music, books and writing interests him too. His passion towards sports and children are his connecting points to our work. He has a keen desire of serving his society by building a responsible and capable young generation, especially those who lack the required facilities, for this competitive world.
Sports Coordinator (volunteer)
Priyank has recently completed his B.Ed. adding to B.A and M.A degrees from Lucknow Christian College. A football enthusiast, Priyank has represented Lucknow at the district level and is a certified football referee. Priyank loves working with children and enjoyed his stint with Project KHEL as it combines his passion for football with his love for children. Working with children from disadvantaged backgrounds also gave Priyank valuable perspective and insights as he pursues a full-time career as an educationist. A full-time teacher now, Priyank cannot give much time to Project KHEL on a regular basis but continues to support the initiative at events and is always ready to help out when required.
An emerging entrepreneur of Lucknow, Suyash indulges in a myriad of hobbies including skiing, traveling, sports, and music. His intelligence and perseverance saw him representing India in the international mathematical Olympiads in Malaysia during his high school and later won him the title of the youngest business achiever 2013-14 in favor of Surie Polex.
Suyash is passionate about football, basketball, cricket, shooting, go-carting, bowling and snooker. Apart from being actively involved in sports, he is a trained kick boxer, a motorcycle stunt rider and a volunteer with PETA- People for Ethical Treatment of Animals. He expanded his reach towards the betterment of society, especially children, through Project KHEL, bringing to them, the perseverance, discipline, humility and teamwork that sports has helped imbibe in him.
Arnab is a certified Life-skills trainer having done his M.A (Youth Empowerment) from the Rajiv Gandhi National Institute of Youth development, Chennai in addition to a Bachelors degree in History from B.Barooah College, Guwahati.He is a national level Cricketer and three times State Swimming Champion. An active NSS volunteer for 6 years, he has worked with children in various camps and workshops, along with participating as a volunteer in the National Para Olympics for differently-abled children. Passionate about sports, Arnab displayed this passion every day with a limitless abundance of energy in his sessions with the children.
A Bachelor’s in Commerce from Shia P.G. Degree College, Rohit has 2 year’s work experience in the development sector with Sarathi Development Foundation & Medha Learning Foundation.
Rohit is a sports enthusiast since childhood and especially loves playing Cricket. His passion for sports and to work with children motivated him to join Project KHEL.
Brought up in Lucknow, Iccha completed her Computer Engineering from the National University of Singapore and has been working in Singapore ever since. She has worked in the financial services industry as an IT Analyst as well as IT Project Manager. Having come across so many human beings struggling for life, she wanted to help out. She began with monetary contributions to charities but soon realized that it was not enough. She wanted to work closely with an organization that was directly impacting the lives of people by devoting her time and energy. Soon, she came across Project KHEL right in her hometown, Lucknow. After following the organization’s work for around a year, she decided to begin volunteering for the same and contributed with online content editing