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About Us

Manavi Staff

Manavi’s entire staff is bilingual, speaking over 14 different South Asian languages.

Minowara Begum

Advocate and Outreach Coordinator

Minowara empowers survivors of domestic violence by connecting them with necessary resources and services. She also serves as an Executive Board Member of Bangladeshi American Women’s Development Initiative (BAWDI), a community-based grassroots organization that works to promote and meet the needs of Bangladeshi Immigrant women in Paterson, NJ.

Navneet Bhalla

Executive Director

Navneet oversees all programming and operations at Manavi. She is a passionate advocate for human rights, human rights law, social justice and equality. Prior to her Manavi role, she practiced as an attorney in the United Kingdom for a number of years and gained extensive experience in immigration law, human rights law and employment law. Bhalla, who is fluent in Punjabi, Hindi, Urdu, Farsi and English, has worked on employment and discrimination litigation, and traveled to Sudan as a legal consultant representing the International Rescue Committee (IRC). She has also lived in Tehran, Iran, for a number of years, enabling her to help affected women overcome linguistic barriers.

Farhana Bhuiyan

Advocate and Outreach Coordinator

Farhana conducts outreach activities to raise awareness about domestic violence. She also works collaboratively with other mainstream organizations to better serve the Bangladeshi population in Paterson NJ.

Avni Doegar

Community Relations Coordinator

Avni’s overarching goal is to raise awareness about Manavi’s work in the community. She accomplishes this through managing fundraising activities, event management, marketing initiatives, the newsletter, and social media content.

W. Lois Kahagi

Staff Attorney

W. Lois represents survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence and stalking who are in need of legal assistance. Lois has over 12 years of experience in Family Law in New Jersey. In addition to her work at Manavi, she serves in various social services agencies in Central New Jersey.

Nahrin Khan

Sexual Violence Advocate and Outreach Coordinator

Nahrin provides trauma-informed and culturally responsive services to her clients. She also promotes community events and developes collaborative partnerships with organizations, to help raise awareness about sexual assault in the South Asian community.

Manoj Mahato

Finance Officer

Overseeing a steadily growing budget, Manoj manages accounting records, ensures compliance with regulations, publishes financial statements,analyzes financial data, forecasts revenue, and coordinates the auditing process at Manavi.

Amandeep Pannu

Advocate and Transitional Housing Coordinator

Aman manages the day to day operations of our safe home, Ashiana, to ensure that all residents’ needs are taken care of. As an advocate, she provides support for survivors of domestic violence along with giving them the tools and resources they need to become self-sufficient and independent.

Poonam Saxena

Advocate and Transitional Home Coordinator

Poonam works at Manavi’s transitional home, Ashiana, caring for the residents, and managing their case work. She works with each resident individually, providing them with resources and services according to their specific needs.

Shanti Shah

Advocate and Transitional Housing Coordinator

Shanti empowers survivors, and connects them with appropriate  resources. She assists with tasks including rental assistance applications, resume building, job searches, social service benefits,  housing research and coordination with volunteers.

Ritu Shrivastava

Advocacy and Outreach Coordinator

Ritu’s work at Manavi focuses on the prevention of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, stalking, and sex trafficking. This includes managing the Engaging Men as Allies program, which aims to develop South Asian males as role models and public influencers.

Harmain Sohail

Outreach Coordinator

Harmain joined Manavi to make a difference in the community and to raise awareness about sexual violence in South Asian community. His work revolves around outreach for Engaging Men as Allies where we have South Asian support in preventing gender based violence.

Amritha Sridhar

Advocate and Transitional Housing Coordinator

Amritha supports and empowers the residents of the transitional home to become self-sufficient. Amritha helps survivors understand their rights, as well as safety planning. Amritha is currently pursuing her Masters degree in Social Work from Rutgers University.

Vimmi Surti

Legal Advocate

Vimmi coordinates the Immigration Legal Clinic, provides court accompaniment, legal information delivery, interpretation, translation, women support group, safety planning, and educates survivors about their legal rights and legal process. She also provides Immigration and Family Law Workshops each year to raise awareness about legal services and resources available to survivors of gender-based violence.