Founding Members

Dr. Shashikant Y. Kulgod
MS., FRCS(Ed), FRCS(Glasg)

Dr. Shashikant is a surgical gastroenterologist and a Director of the BHS Lakeview Hospitals, Belagavi. He has immense interest in strengthening government schools and promoting health education among children. He founded the Rajalakshmi Children Foundation, and has been spearheading its various initiatives.

Dr. Ravindra N. Guravannavar
M.Tech., Ph.D. (IIT Bombay)

Dr. Ravindra, a former faculty member of IIT Hyderabad, is a computer scientist specializing in the areas of large scale data management and distributed systems, and works as an independent consultant in the software industry. He enjoys spreading the joy of Mathematics and Computing among school children. He initiated the Sharada Pratibha Poshan Upakram and the Pratibha Poshak project.

Dr. Vijayalakshmi S. Kulgod
MD. (Paed), MRCPCH (London)

Dr. Vijayalakshmi is a pediatrician at the BHS Lake View Hospitals, Belagavi. She co-founded the Rajalakshmi Children Foundation and leads the child health care services initiatives of RCF.

Board of Advisors

Dr. Rina Panigrahy
PhD (Stanford University)

Dr. Rina Panigrahy is a Research Scientist at Google. He works on theoretical and applied algorithms for machine learning, prediction and large graph analysis. He obtained B.Tech. (CS) from IIT Bombay, M.S. from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Ph.D. from Stanford University. He won a Gold Medal at the 31st International Mathematics Olympiad, 1990, Beijing, and the top rank (AIR 1) in JEE 1990. Dr. Panigrahy is interested in promoting Mathematics education, and nurturing talent. He has been closely associated with Pratibha Poshak since its inception.

More about Dr. Rina Panigrahy:

Dr. Aruna Pawashe

Dr. Aruna Pawashe is a faculty member in the Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry department at the Yale School of Medicine. A very caring, compassionate and attentive teacher with three decades of teaching experience is now dedicating a significant part of her time to promote STEM education and building modern infrastructure in Indian public schools. She initiated the buddy program: to connect children face to face in real time from different parts of the world, to help them understand each other’s living conditions, economic backgrounds, culture, heritage, dress, language and ethnicity, so as to help improve the sense of “Belonging”. Dr. Aruna is a patron of Pratibha Poshak and has been mentoring several students.

More about Dr. Aruna Pawashe: :

Dr. Sarasija Suresh
M.Pharm, Ph.D.

Dr. Sarasija is a Project Director at the Institute for Drug Delivery and Biomedical Research (IDBR), Bangalore and also a co-founder of RGV Research & Innovations. Dr. Sarasija obtained M. Pharm from Government College of Pharmacy, Bangalore and PhD from College of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Manipal. She has 28 years of teaching and research experience, and has taught in the National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research (NIPER), Mohali and M.S. Ramaiah University of Applied Sciences. A recipient of several national and international fellowships and awards, Dr. Sarasija has more than a hundred research publications, several patents and has authored two books. Dr. Sarasija loves teaching Chemistry and has been devoting her time to teach the subject to children of Pratibha Poshak.

Executive Team

Dr. Kirti Shivakumar
MA , MHRM , DIRPM , DPR , PhD , Dip in CSR.

Dr. Kirti is a Certified TESOL and POSH Trainer. She has over 33 years of experience in teaching, administration and HR. Dr. Kirti was with Tata Sons for six years. She has held positions of Professor, Dean – Academics and Director – Academics. Dr. Kirti is the Project Director at Rajalakshmi Children Foundation for “Pratibha Poshak”.

Praful Chikkamath

Praful is the Project Coordinator for Pratibha Poshak. He takes care of most of the execution functions – obtaining student performance data, shortlisting of students, conducting selection tests, timetable and coordination of online class and organizing Pratibha Sammelans along with Dr. Kirti Shivakumar.


Akash Kulgod

Akash is a researcher and writer with a degree in Cognitive Science from UC Berkeley. He works to add value wherever he can with the foundation’s initiatives.

Mallikarjun S. Deshnur

Mallikarjun Deshnur is a teacher in Government Kannada Higher Primary School, Fulbag Galli, Belagavi. He has served as the Cluster Resource Person for the Mahantesh Nagar Cluster of Belagavi in the past. He has been crucial in interfacing several of Rajalakshmi Children Foundation's activities with the government schools. He is helping the talent search process of Pratibha Poshak by connecting with schools, teachers and the community.

Our Mentors

Sowmya K S

Sowmya is a software engineer in Bangalore. She loves teaching and mentoring children. She has been taking tuitions for her classmates and juniors since she was in high school

Bipin Datar

Bipin Datar is an industry Management professional, with 36 years of global experience, with 13 MNCs across domains like manufacturing, engineering, chemical, automobiles, ITES in the field of sales, marketing , after sales, business development and training. Having traveled over 40 countries he has a passion for photography, traveling, music, art and experiential learning. Strategic management, brand and reputation management, training, bridging gaps between academia and industry, honing skills in communication, body language, entrepreneurship, decision making, leadership and intuitive Management are some of his areas of expertise.

Dr.Sampath Jinka
B.Tech., Ph.D.

Dr. Sampath is a textile engineer working in the area of design for over 20 years. He started his career as a lecturer in Engineering colleges and moved to IIT Delhi to pursue his Doctoral work in 1995. The work was creating a braided structure using jute and coir yarns for applications in the civil engineering department and was credited with Best Student Award by International Geosynthetics Society, Pennsylvania, USA. He has then worked in various design institutes across India to the grade of Associate Professor. He then moved to the corporate sector to work in skill development areas in garment and fashion related companies and gain experience to set up his own company. He has written around 45 modules in skill development for the Ministry of Labour, Government of India.

Deepak Samaga
B.E. (CS)

Deepak Samaga is the Vice President - Business Development at Vayavya Labs, handling business development and customer relations with a focus on new & emerging technology markets. He has over 30 years of industry experience in business development, customer relationships, and product management.

Mohan Saboji

Mohan Saboji is an Engineering graduate having more than 30 years of experience in the IT/Software development industry. Since 25+ years he's been working with IBM India Software Labs (Bangalore) and he has held strong leadership roles in IBM in the middleware product/platform development space.

Giridhar Jogin
B.E., M.Tech.

Girihar is a senior structural engineer. He has contributed his expertise and time to many of RCFs initiatives such as the Life Coach programme and construction of maintainable washrooms in government schools.

Nita Lathiya

Nita has volunteer work experience teaching English to an Afghan family, mentoring 10th grade students, and researching circular economy. She also has extensive professional experience in the shipping and logistics industry, having served as Vice President at Passport Shipping and Pitney Bowes. At Passport Shipping, Nita led the implementation of a cross-border service for micro shippers and developed business models for various types of businesses.

Nita holds an M.S. in Geology from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and a B.S. in Geology from the University of Bombay Bombay India. She has also completed professional development courses in Disruptive Strategy, Brand Strategy, Product Strategy, and Innovation Strategy.

Chandrika Desai

Chandrika Desai is a highly educated and experienced professional with a passion for economics. She holds an MA in Economics from a prestigious university and has worked in various mid-level leadership positions at multinational corporations such as Capgemini and Sri Ram Finance. Chandrika is also a talented musician with proficiency in vocal and light music. She is a loving mother of two daughters who are currently in high school. Chandrika's husband works as an audit manager at Google.

Chandrika is a well-rounded individual with a wide range of interests and talents.

Deepa Joshi

Life gives us a plethora of opportunities to explore the bountiful it has to offer. I love aligning myself to things that bring me joy. Immersing in music, exploring colors & fragrances and sharing these unmeasurable modes of happiness with people around me.

An IT analyst based out of the US by profession, and a cultural entrepreneur & ambassador by passion. I run a podcast called The Raaga Room that brings to fore the nuances of music through the experiences of musicians. Threads of Sarwaa is another product of my passion. Flowy silks, vibrant colored sarees, that have gained popularity in the Indian community. A platform that gives me the opportunity to connect with women who radiate at a frequency to bring value and purpose to life.

Janhavi Rao

I am a teacher by profession, and have served in Karnataka State Education Department for 37 years. Teaching History Geography and Kannada literature. It has been a great passion of my life to educate the younger generation and instill the pride of patriotism in them.

Since my retirement, I like to spend my time reading and traveling. Over the last 5 years, I have developed a passion for reading Hindu Mythology and I love to learn and share my understanding of this topic with my friends. I am in my free time, I also love spending time with my 3 grandsons.

Milind Katti

Milind Katti is currently Confounder and COO at DemandFarm. Previously, he co founded multiple companies including DemandShore, which was acquired by US based Ziff Davis. Milind is a strong proponent of goodness (Shubh-Labh) as a business strategy and a precondition to success. He loves working with startups in the area of business planning and international expansion.

Milind was born to a college professor in a small village Ramdurg in Belagavi district. He went to Kannada Boys School No 2 in Ramdurg before going to Sainik school Bijapur for high school. He then went on to study BE and MBA. He loves sports and history and studying Indian philosophy. Always curious and hungry to learn. He lives in Pune with his wife Ranjana Avadhani and their daughter.

Volunteering Teachers

Dr. Yogesh Murarka

Dr. Yogesh is a computer scientist and engineer specializing in Distributed and Parallel Computing, Virtualization, Cloud Computing and Program Analysis. He obtained M.Tech. and Ph.D. from IIT Bombay and currently works for Adobe. He teaches analytical skills and reasoning to students of Pratibha Poshak.

Trivikram Nayak

Trivikram has vast experience in the software industry. He was a co-founder and CTO of Vizury Interactive. In the past, he has worked with LinkedIn, Versata, Trilogy and Persistent Systems. Currently he works for Google. Trivikram has a masters degree in Computer Science from IIT Bombay. He is interested in building strong analytical and reasoning skills in students of Pratibha Poshak. He has been consistently taking them classes every Sunday.

Parikshit Samant

Parikshit is a seasoned software professional with over two decades of industry experience. He is an expert in design and development of enterprise scale software products, with special focus on data management and analytics. Parikshit holds an M.Tech. (CSE) from IIT Bombay. He is passionate about instilling strong reasoning and analytical skills among kids. He takes classes for Pratibha Poshak students every Sunday.

Our Teachers

Bharathi Rao

    Bharathi Rao has over 40 years of experience in teaching Mathematics in schools following the syllabi of Karnataka State Board, ICSE, CBSE, GCSE, and American and UK syllabi. She has worked in various capacities such as headmistress, academic supervisor, teacher educator, head of the department, educational content developer, and educational broadcaster, online tutor USA, UK and ARABIA, and as a translator. Along with teaching in schools such as the Kumaran's Girls High School, Bangalore and Kingstree Senior High School, USA, Mrs. Rao has also worked with children of rag pickers and several NGOs.

Shubham Ranasubhe M.Sc. (Physics)

    Shubham is a passionate Physics teacher. He obtained B.Sc. (PCM) from RL Science Institute, Belgaum and M.Sc. (Physics) from Christ University, Bangalore and has completed a Fellowship at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore. Shubham has worked as a lecturer of Physics in KLE Independent PU College, Belagavi and is currently a lecturer in Maratha Mandal PU College. Shubham has also involved himself in several community service activities.

Sathi Chakraborty and team

    Sathi Charaborty is a TESOL certified English teacher and the founder of Tagore Institute, Bangalore, which offers quality training for communication skills and test preparation for leading English language proficiency exams. She has a Masters Degree in Comparative Literature from the prestigious Jadavpur University, Kolkata, India. Mrs. Sathi and her team from Tagore Institute is involved in teaching English and Communication skills to the students of Pratibha Poshak.

Preeti Pradeep Wadekar B.A., B.Ed., PGDELT

    Preeti Wadekar is an English teacher with over nine years of experience working for reputed schools such as Vanita Vidyalaya, Jyoti Central School and MVM English Medium School in Belgaum. She has a post graduate diploma in English language teaching (PGDELT). She has served as resource person in training government school teachers and has recently served as Observer at NAS.

Santosh M.

    Santosh is a physics teacher with 21 years of teaching experience in different schools and colleges holding positions of HOD and coordinator. He has taught physics in multiple engineering colleges and has a YouTube Channel " Belaku Classes".

S P Hakkennavar

    Hakkennavar is a Mathematics teacher. He has inspired and training many students of Adarsha Vidyalaya Katkol to write the NMMS and NTSE Exams.

Internship Students

Shashikant Gadiwaddar
Pradeep Awubaigol
Deepa Hugar
Naveen Dodamani
Abhishek Dodamani
Vijaykumar Lenkeppanavr
Vishal Vaddar
Sakshi Birje
Aishwarya Metri