Our Story

Governing Body

Dr. Olinda Pereira
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 Pinto
Executive Director
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
Vice Chairperson
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 freelance 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.

Manojit Sen
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.

Purnima Rao
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.

Prof Kalpana Sarathy
Prof Kalpana is currently Dean of School of Social Work, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Guwahati, Assam. 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. She is committed to the cause of children and their rights and strongly believes in children’s participation.

Dr.Saju PP
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.

Sujata Khanna
Sujata is a social documentary photographer based in New Delhi, India. She takes deep interest in children’s and women’s issues, human rights and the environment. Sujata loves being part of an era where it’s possible to create images digitally and print them using historical processes in the darkroom. Sujata has worked for several humanitarian organizations like Family for Every Child, Railway Children UK and CARE India. Prior to immersing herself in photography, she worked for eight years in India and other international locations for organizations including the British Red Cross and Save the Children UK. Her work for these non-profits focused on children’s rights issues and child protection. Sujata has lived and travelled extensively in India, UK and USA.