Dr. Vasudha Prakash is a visionary educator, social entrepreneur and professional academician with decades of experience in the education and disability sector. After earning her Doctorate in Special Education in the USA, she excelled as a tenure-track faculty there, In 2001, she returned to India and started an NGO, V-Excel Educational Trust in Chennai, a pioneering initiative to provide life-span all-encompassing services to persons with cognitive and developmental challenges.
Dr. Vasudha is also a practicing professional psychotherapist who devotes a lot of her time to working with parents of children with special needs and people from all walks of life struggling with emotional and psychological problems. Her particular focus has been in helping teenagers and adolescents cope with this tumultuous transition stage of their lives. She is a trained hypnotherapist and a past life regression therapist and uses some of those techniques for her therapeutic work.
She has devoted considerable time in establishing teacher training initiatives and in conducting professional workshops. She is certified as an Independent Corporate Director and will be accepting appointments on corporate boards.
Her recipe for success is relatively simple. She is tenacious and not deterred by the first, second or third barriers. She strongly believes that the lessons learnt from special education has great relevance for, and should be applied to, regular education. And that she has been able to put this belief into practice has been particularly gratifying.
Mrs. B. Sundari is a tireless administrator and worker who is able to bridge the divide between governmental, private, and NGO sectors with consummate ease and professionalism. She was the Chief Administrative Officer and PRO for the prestigious Padma Seshadri Schools in Chennai, India for 40 years. She brings a wide array of experiences in the administrative and operational aspects of running a school. She has been a pioneer in getting the Government of India to entrust V-Excel with 10 school blocks in the Villupuram District of Tamil Nadu under the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) Program.
She oversees the conducting of medical camps, appliance distribution camps, and special events in these areas. She is also the contact person for accounting, audit, and all financial and legal issues of the Trust. She provides valuable input and direction in the day-to-day management issues of all initiatives that the Trust undertakes.
Ajita Panshikar is an Executive Director at V-Excel Educational Trust, an NGO that provides lifespan services to children and young adults with developmental disabilities. She has done Masters in Statistics and is an MBA in Marketing with over 33 years of work experience. She gave up her high profile job in the corporate sector to join V-Excel in 2003 after she met their dedicated team. She has been instrumental in shaping the organization and growth of services like special school, remedial services, counselling, early intervention, and vocational programs. She has also been a catalyst in increasing the sustainability of the NGO.
Ajita is a post-graduate diploma holder in Learning Disabilities from Spastics Society of Karnataka. She has taken courses at International Post Graduate Medical Training (IPMT), and gained significant knowledge in special education and child development. She is an integral part of our training and development resource team, an active body in promoting holistic educational practices.
She strongly believes that every individual has an equal right to be integrated in society, irrespective of their condition such as Autism or any other disability. Ajita's role is that of a facilitator in strengthening the delivery of programs for persons with special needs. She focuses on scaling and replicating quality programs that can cater to numerous special children across the country who have no access to it.
Mrs. Gita Bhalla, Associate Director , has been the principal of Kaleidoscope Learning Center and is a graduate followed by a B.Ed degree in Special Education from Delhi university, along with over 40 years of experience working with a cross-section of children with severe to mild disabilities. She has significant experience in child development and psychology. Her training ground has been Spastic Society of Karnataka where she had an opportunity to work for about twelve years with children having special needs from different socio-economic profiles. Her association with V-Excel Educational Trust is as old as the school itself.
Her philosophy related to practical living needs of a special child and her thoroughness in work has given a quality edge to our school program which is widely acknowledged in Chennai as a pivotal organization in Special Education.Her effervescent personality, commitment, and unique sense of purpose are keys to making our school a superlative platform for learning. Gita is also one of our ace trainers for Resource Development and Training Workshops. She believes in continuing education for self and others. She has completed six years of attending the International Post Graduate Medical Training conducted by the Anthroposophical Medical Society of India and has incorporated the curative education curriculum in her school for the last ten years.
Program Director - Vocational and Rehabilitation Services
Mrs. Usha Rajagopal is the managing Trustee of ESVI Sarada Foundation a Public Charitable Trust engaged in providing educational and medical relief for the poor and needy in addition to rural development programs.
A Commerce graduate by qualification Mrs. Rajagopal has brought to bear great organising capabilities from her school days. Besides, by virtue of her humane qualities, she has taken active part in helping people around her. Presently she is heading the Vocational Training Unit at the Research and Rehabilitation Centre of V-Excel run in association with ESVI Sarada foundation. She has been a part of this unit in its planning, growth, as well as the programs for the trainees from its inception in 2007.
Regional Director - West
Mrs. Jayanthi Vishwanath, Regional Director - West, holds a Master of Philosophy and PG degree in Biochemistry. She has worked in both corporate and academic sectors. During her tenure with V-Excel, Chennai, she worked as course co-ordinator for Diploma course in Special Education.
Her forte lies in teaching, planning, public relations and administration. As an answer to the V-Excel Management's vision to develop satellite centers in small towns and cities of India in service of the disability sector, she was instrumental in starting the first satellite center of V-Excel in Nashik, Maharashtra. Periodically, she has been contributing articles for a column called "Exceptional Child" in Nashik Times, a supplementary edition from "The Times of India" group.
The training center in Nashik began its operations on April 2, 2011. Thereafter, a special school was started in June 2013. In June 2016, the Vocational training programme called Youth Empowerment Services (YES) for young people with disabilities was started. Jayanthi was also a catalyst in incepting the V- Excel Satellite Learning Center in Solapur in November 2014.
Program Director - Counseling And Assesments
Parimal Pandit is a trained Clinical Psychologist and Counsellor who has 20+ years of professional experience in Counselling and Psychotherapy. She has a Masters degree in Clinical Psychology from the University of Pune and is a govt certified psychological counsellor. Her responsibilities at V-Excel are varied. She has recently taken over as Program Director for Resource Development and Counselling. She does consultations, guidance and assessment for children who have learning issues or behavioural and developmental problems. Many initiatives for parents were started by her like the art therapy and biography group workshops along with individual counselling for parents of children with special needs across all our centres. She also started the individual and group play therapy for children of the school to express themselves and get healing through non directive play.
At V-Excel we also run a counselling desk for corporate companies and along with her team, she runs the program as well as workshops on parenting, life work balance etc. She also provides counselling services for adults with emotional and psychological problem. Parimal is also a Lecturer in our various teacher training Special Education programs. She recently got certified as Anthroposophic Psychotherapist and is third in India to receive this certification. She has kept herself updated with a four year course as Biographical Consultant which is an internally recognized course which deals with people and organization's life story to overcome blocks in development.
Her prior experiences include tenures at the Maharashtra Institute of Mental Health, Ashnaa Health and Counselling Centre and at the Shishuvan Primary School. In these organizations she was responsible for providing counselling services, conducting group interventions, and teaching a variety of courses in psychology, psycho-diagnostics and psychotherapy.
Mrs. Lalitha Sridhar started her career as a physiotherapist in various hospitals in clinical intervention. She worked as a senior therapist at the Alzahra Medical Centre, Dubai and was the head of the therapy department at the Al Noor Training Centre for children with special needs in Dubai for 8 years. She has been involved in the whole process of assessment goal-setting and training staff of multi-disciplinary teams. Mrs. Sridhar has handled children with various early childhood development delays and cerebral palsy and syndromes.
In V-Excel, Mrs. Sridhar has been involved in setting up the Early Intervention Unit on the principles of sensory integration and neuro-developmental therapy. Her core areas are assessment, formulating development indices, setting of goals, effective therapy, planning work with regular schools on inclusion, providing training for teachers, parent counseling and training, and training staff of multi-disciplinary teams.
Lekshmi Ramesh started her career as a teacher, she commenced her journey as a special educator after completed her Intensive Training Programme in Dyslexia by from Madras Dyslexia Association (MDA) and from the transactional Analyst, Ms. Sashi Chandran in 1996. She worked with children with special needs for more than 18 years and a qualified facilitator for children with learning disabilities.
She worked in Vivekalaya Matriculation School , Coimbatore as a special educator for 9 years. She then joined Trivandrum International School as the Learning Support Co-ordinator where she set up a resource centre . She also was part of the Resource centre in Muscat during her stay for a year. She worked as the Resource person in Global Public School, Cochin for two years.
It was when she moved to Mumbai, got an opportunity to work with the famous developmental pediatrician Dr. Samir Dalwai and his team of therapists. She was involved in assessments, formulation of therapy plans, meeting parents and also curriculum planning. Her team got the best scientific paper award for the IR paper on the relationship between therapy and performance of children with special needs.
A B. Com graduate with B. Ed , she is currently pursuing MA Psychology.
Her ambition is to bring about positive change in the lives of children with special needs through innovative methods of remediation.
Gayathri Suryanarayanan .
Coordinator - Vocational Training
Meera Suresh is a Post graduate in Psychology and a B Ed with English and Psychology as her core subjects. Her main subject of teaching is English, Social Science, sports activities, dancing and other co- curricular activities. She has played a major role in counselling students in their adolescent stages. Was an active member in the preparation of the CCE Model assessment pattern for CBSE schools.
She has received the Best Coordinator award for the Republic day parade at Delhi while representing the South Zone Cultural centre-Government of Tamilnadu. The award was handed over by the then Governor of Tamilnadu Mrs. Fathima Beevi.
This was followed by a few years as a National trainer Pan India for spoken English and Soft Skills. My flair for spoken language made the company allow me to travel from Punjab to Kerala and Gujarat to West Bengal. Was a Panel member for the ISO certification for Veta- a Spoken English training Institute.
Was a Domain Lead Educational Partnership - and planned the Orientation and Review of Teachers in the classroom set up. This was for EZ Vidya Chrysalis curriculum, an activity based Teaching learning curriculum. Have been involved in the Cross selling, up selling and signing up of the curriculum in various school across Tamilnadu. Has been an SME in the preparation of the Social science curriculum for classes 1 to 5 of the chrysalis curriculum
Has been involved in the development, training and following up of the teachers, Principals, corporate officials after the Orientation on need based soft skill training.
Currently working with V-Excel educational trust providing my expertise in the Teacher training program for Special Educators - The course is in Collaboration with Annamalai University and Tech Mahindra Foundation
AGM - Administration
Coordinator - Early Intervention Program
Mallika Swaminathan holds a Bachelor’s degree in Science and a post graduate diploma in Home Science. She also holds a diploma in Special Education (Autism Spectrum Disorder) from V-Excel’s Academic Teaching Excellence (ATE) program in collaboration with Manipal University which has RCI accreditation. She has a passion for teaching young children.
Mrs. Swaminathan has worked as a primary teacher in Jaigopal Garodia Vivekananda Vidyalaya and at the Head start Learning Centre (an inclusive school) and privately with many under-privileged children, prior to taking up as a special educator at V-Excel in 2010, in the EI Unit. As a special educator and co-ordinator, her responsibilities include the implementation of V-Excel’s EI programme. Mrs. Swaminathan was also a part of the core team which developed study material for special education courses offered by Annamalai University and she served as faculty for Diploma in Inclusive Education course.
Lakshmi Sudhakaran is an accomplished physiotherapist with 20+ years of rich experience in the field of paediatrics. She holds a M. Phil in Psychology and a Bachelor of Physiotherapy (B.Ph.T).
She is currently the Program Director in V-Excel Educational Trust, Chennai. Her past professional experiences include:
· Group Principal for 7 years at Arvind Foundation, Chennai, where she headed a group of schools and a vocational center.
· Principal in Michael Center for Healing (Special School) – 3 years
· Chief Physiotherapist in Vidhyanjali Therapy Center, Chennai – 5 years
Lakshmi learnt Sensory Integration and Neuro Developmental Therapy (SI and NDT) from Dr. Asha Chitnis, the well-renowned physiotherapist. Lakshmi is a dedicated practitioner of anthroposophy. In this realm, she has completed several professional courses such as:
· Foundation course on Curative Education and Social Therapy - certified by General Anthroposophical Society, Dornach, Switzerland
· Higher level workshop on humanizing education and healing through Art, Movement and Rhythm (2013),
· The role of art and education (2013)
In her work, Lakshmi blends pragmatic amounts of traditional therapies with the best of anthroposophical practices to provide empathetic and comprehensive therapeutic care for those in her care. She keeps herself updated on current research and upgrades her skills often.
Lakshmi prides herself on her sense of organization who values and practices honesty and sincerity in every walk of her life. She attributes her success in her life to her leadership qualities, organization skills and administration abilities.
Executive Assistant - Founder-Trustee
Aparna Bubna is an accomplished educator whose driving passion is in working with children. She has traveled to various places both in India and overseas and has worked and taught in a variety of schools. Alongside, she volunteered to teach English to underprivileged children and housekeeping staff in these institutions.
She is driven by a deep sense of social commitment and of giving back to the community. This has led her to volunteer her time with various NGOs and to endeavor to do everything that is best for the growth and development of children. She prides herself on being a constant learner.
Outside of social service, her interests include painting, singing, meeting new people and coordinating activities.