Board Members

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Kruti Patel

Chair

Kruti was called to the Ontario Bar in 2003 and the State Bar of New York in 2006. She worked as a corporate and securities law associate in both Toronto and New York for several years prior to taking time off to stay home with her children.  During that time Kruti has volunteered in various capacities, and upon her recent return to Toronto is looking forward to contributing her time to a community based organization that can utilize her various skills.  Kruti is fluent in Guajarati.

Saleha Haji
Treasurer

Saleha is a Senior Staff Accountant and Manager at Ernst and Young LLP, Assurance, where her role includes financial oversight and management internally and for external clients (ex: auditing).  Saleha herself is a recent immigrant to Canada and has witnessed firsthand the struggles that new South Asian immigrants face in terms of immigration and settlement in Canada.  Saleha joined the SALCO board a few months ago to fill the vacancy of a departed board member.  She is hoping to use her skills and background to support SALCO’s work with low-income communities.  Saleha has also volunteered with the Pakistan Development Fund and Ascend Canada.  Saleha currently serves as the Treasurer of the SALCO board of directors.

Payal Ratanshi

secretary

Payal was raised in a South Asian (Konkani) household, and grew up against a backdrop orthodox, racialized, and patriarchal belief systems.  In her personal and professional experience she has encountered cultural attitudes such as shame, abuse and victim-blaming within the context of family violence in the South Asian community, and has seen an alarming rate of women (in particular) increasingly facing these circumstances, coupled with low income / poverty.  Payal is committed to the mandate of providing access to justice for such marginalized clients.  Payal has a professional background in mental health treatment, including counseling for clients facing addictions and co-morbid mental health impairments.

Mohini Datta-Ray

Board Member

Mohini would be new to the SALCO board. Mohini has a strong commitment to social justice and has worked on the issue of health equity and intersectional access both within and outside the South Asian community for over 10 years. SALCO’s mandate and work is integral to the social justice work in this province. As the ED of an emergency VAW shelter, Mohini is all-too aware of the impact that a lack of legal access and justice can have on women and families impacted by violence (and vice versa). There is an over-representation of women of colour, including South Asian women in the work she does and she is interested in volunteering to provide Board support to such a critical organization.
 

Fahad Siddiqui 

Board Member

Fahad would be new to the SALCO board. Fahad is lawyer called to the bar in Ontario and is currently an Associate at Lax O’Sullivan Lisus Gottlieb LLP. Fahad has a strong commitment to social justice and comes to SALCO with an international and domestic back ground in public interest law, including human rights / constitutional work in Egypt, India, the U.S., and Canada. Fahad recently co-authored an article in the Toronto Star entitled “Time to Name An Aboriginal Justice to the Supreme Court”.

Sarah Quayyum

Student Board Member

 Sarah is a law student entering her second year at the University of Ottawa. She is hoping to use her legal education to address systemic oppression faced by marginalized groups. As a first-generation Bangladeshi immigrant, Sarah has witnessed the barriers created by language, poverty and gender within the South-Asian diaspora. She grew up watching the ways in which these walls impact South- Asian’s social well-being and functionality. Her ultimate goal is to pursue a career in academia and policy-making, with a focus on access to justice and healthcare for racialized groups

Mary Chrisanthus

Board Member

Archana Sridhar
Member

Archana is Assistant Provost in the Office of the Vice-President & Provost at the University of Toronto. She received her Juris Doctor (JD) degree from Harvard Law School and was a Fulbright Scholar in Guatemala City, investigating the legal frameworks of Guatemala’s philanthropic sector. Archana has experience as a university administrator at the University of Toronto Faculty of Law, York University and Indiana University. She has practiced tax and non-profit law as an attorney in Boston and worked at the humanitarian organization ReSurge International. She is also a co-founder of The South Asian Philanthropy Project, a charitable organization that fosters philanthropy among South Asians in North America.


Saman Wickramasinghe

Member

Saman has completed his first 2-year term as a SALCO board member, where he provided expertise in test case work and working with low-income clients.  Saman articled with the Criminal Law Group at Sack Goldblatt Mitchell LLP and was called to the bar in 2007. Soon after his call Saman co-founded Gosio and Wickramasinghe LLP and practiced in criminal defence and regulatory offence litigation. In 2011 Saman joined Lockyer Campbell Posner where he continues to practice in criminal defence at both the trial and appellate levels.  Saman brings a great deal of knowledge and experience working with clients in criminal matters and working with clients who access legal aid services.


Rahool Agarwal

Member

Rahool is an Associate (Barrister & Solicitor) with Norton Rose Fullbright Canada LLP where he specializes in civil and commercial law.  In addition, Rahool also has a robust pro bono practice, and is currently representing SALCO pro bono at an intervention at the Supreme Court of Canada.  Rahool was called to the bar in 2007 and studied law at the University of Toronto.  In 2013, Rahool received the “Precedent Setter” award from Precedent Magazine.  Rahool will bring considerable legal expertise to the SALCO board and has a track record for pro bono work with the South Asian community in the Greater Toronto Area.


Godha Rangaraj
Member

Godha has been a long-time volunteer working with South Asians in the Greater Toronto Area.  She served for many years as a board member at Kannada Sangha Toronto, including taking on the role of Secretary at the board of directors.  Subsequently, she volunteered as a board member with AWIC (an organization whose early work was to support immigrant woman from the South Asian Diaspora).  Godha has an excellent background in governance and service delivery for South Asian clients.  Godha is a retired from over 40 years of work with in medical research with Sick Kids Hospital.  Now that she has a little bit more, she is hoping to expand her volunteer work, and strongly believes in SALCO’s mandate to help low-income clients and to address larger issues of poverty and race.