Governing Body

Butterflies India Board 

Olinda PereiraDr. Olinda Pereira - Founder Chairperson 
Since 1989

Dr Olinda Pereira, a renowned social worker, is the Founder Principal of Roshni Nilaya School of Social Work in Mangalore, South India and Founder Director of Vishwas Trust which was launched in 1999, The International Year for the Elderly. Throughout her lifetime Dr Pereira has been a source of inspiration to thousands, specially the elderly and has been felicitated on numerous occasions for her contribution to the society and dedication towards education. 


Rita Panicker PintoRita Panicker Pinto - Founder Director 

Since 1989

Ms. Rita Panicker Pinto is the Founder Director of Butterflies. She has been a faculty member in the Women’s Studies Unit, at Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai and was also the Founder Member of MASHAL – Maharashtra Association for Social Housing. In 1990, Rita was appointed Consultant to UNICEF New York and Nigeria to assist UNICEF Nigeria office to formulate a national policy and programme for Children Especially in Difficult Circumstances (CEDC). Today this whole area is known as Child Protection. From 1988-1992, Rita also served as the Director of the Board of ChildHope International, an international organization working on issues of street and working children. Rita was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 1993.Currently she is also the Vice Chair of the Board of Family for Every Child, a global alliance of local civil society organisations working together to improve the lives of vulnerable children around the world.

Vilas Khopkar - Founder Vice Chairperson   

Since 1989

Vilas Khopkar worked with UNICEF for 20 years. He was the communication project officer in New York Office. After his early retirement from UN he returned to India and worked as a free lance consultant to the UN and other bilateral agencies. He has done several assignments for various organizations. He is committed to the cause of child rights.          


Purnima Rao- Founder Member

Since 1989

Purnima Rao is a graduate from the premier design institute National Institute of Design.She is a professional photographer and documentary film maker. She has done several consultancies for UN developing communication materials as well as short films on women’s rights issues and child rights. She is women’s rights activist and has been part of the women’s movement in India since the early years of its formation.  


Manojit Sen - Member 

Since 2003

Manojit is currently Head of Learning for Shell’s Supply & Distribution, Strategy & Portfolio and Alternative Energies businesses and is based in Singapore. Prior to this Manojit has been the Global HR Manager for Marine and the Global Talent Manager for Shell’s B2B businesses in Downstream. He has worked in regional and local HR roles in Shell, Coca-Cola and Marico. He advises Butterflies on organisational development and has helped in fund raising and building new partnerships. Manojit Sen is a Management Graduate from Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai, India. Although Manojit works in a Corporate, he is a sensitive person who is concerned about children and their rights.  

Kalpana Sarathy Prof Kalpana Sarathy - Member

Since 2016

Prof Kalpana is currently Dean of School of Social Work, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Guwahati. Her work & interest areas lie in the areas of Health and Mental Health, Gender and Sexuality, Disability, Social Work across Life Span and Research through Qualitative and Participatory Research Methods. 


Dr.Saju PP- Member 

Since 2017

Dr.Saju is a Social Scientist and currently a consultant with Butterflies.  He has coordinated a number of research studies on socially relevant issues under the auspices of International agencies, Central / State Ministries and agencies. He was also part of the design, development and implementation of a number of developmental projects. He has been a visiting faculty to Schools of Social Work on Research Methodology, Project Planning and Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) used for Data Analysis. 


SujataSujata Khanna- Member

Since 2018
Sujata is a social documentary photographer based in India. She takes deep interest in children’s and women’s issues, human rights and the environment. Sujata has worked for several humanitarian organizations like Clinton Health Access Initiative, Family for Every Child, Railway Children UK and CARE India. Prior to immersing herself into photography, she worked for eight years in India and other international locations for organizations focused on children’s rights issues, child protection and emergencies like the Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami, Jammu & Kashmir earthquake and the Java Earthquake in Indonesia. Sujata continues to meld her interests of photography and advocacy. 

Deceased Members

Muneer AlaviLate Muneer Alavi- Founder Member (1989-2017) - Mr Muneer Alavi,  was one of  the main Founders and Promoters of an NGO - RURAL COMMUNES, a platform for ex-GVS students and other youth for getting involved on a long term basis for Sustainable Rural Development in rural areas of Maharashtra, South Gujarat and in Bastar,Chattisgarh. He was also the Honorary Secretary and the Honorary Programme Co-ordinator at Rural Communes, actively involved in Training Grassroot Level Workers of other NGOs and implementing Sustainable Development Programmes in the tribal areas such as Environment Regeneration Programme, Watershed Development Programme (NABARD), Conservation of Medicinal Plants, Bio-diversity & Agro Bio-diversity Conservation, Joint Forest Management, Women’s Development, Basic Health Programme, Bastar Tribal Art Promotion, Skills & Technology for Rural Women.

We are indebted to him for his invaluable contribution in helping Butterflies become what it is today. May His Soul Rest in Peace.


Abanti Sarma, Member- 2011-2017

Abanti is the CEO & Managing Director of A-Line Apparel & Uniforms and has close to three decades of experience in sourcing, manufacturing and retailing apparel. She also has expertise in uniform solutions for education and hospitality industry, schools, colleges & hotels. Prior to this she was with India Tourism Development Corporation looking after manpower planning & development. Abanti is a Masters in Personnel Management from Tata Institute of Social Sciences and is deeply concerned about children and their rights. 
We are extremely grateful to her for her invaluable support to Butterflies.

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