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.

 

Vedant Bhatnagar

Board Member

 Vedant is a Chartered Accountant, possessing over 7 years of professional experience broadly into Accounting Advisory Services, Financial Reporting, Statutory Audits.  Vedant currently works with KPMG lend his financial management skills to the board compliment.  Prior to working at KPMG, Vedant worked for Pricewaterhouse Coopers.  Having worked with two of the Big 4 consultancy firms, Vedant brings along valuable experience, and an innovative and result oriented professional approach towards work.  He understands the requirements of business processes, policies, and information systems and effectively liaising among stakeholders to understand business problems and opportunities in context of requirements and recommend solutions that enable the organization to achieve its objective.

Raajan Aery

Student Member

Raajan is a law student at Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto, Ontario. He is currently participating in an intensive poverty law placement at Parkdale Community Legal Services (a student legal clinic affiliated with his law school).  Raajan has always had an interest in advancing issues of justice and equality within the South Asian community.  Raajan has previously volunteered his time at SALCO as a summer student.  Raajan has also been an active member of Osgoode’s South Asian Law Student Association and the Worker’s Action Centre.


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.

Mathura Karunanithy
Member

Mathura will be a new addition to the SALCO board. Mathura has a background in public policy and currently works at the Motherisk Commission.  Prior to that she worked in policy and programming at the Ministry of Citizenship, Immigration and International Trade.  Mathura has an interest in gender-based issues / feminism and is hoping to bring her significant skills in project management, project evaluation, advocacy, and education to SALCO.  Her long-term career goal is to increase the effectiveness of programming and policies for women’s empowerment.


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.

Anu Bakshi

Member

Anu Bakshi was called to the Ontario Bar in 2002.  She was one of the founders of the South Asian Legal Clinic of Ontario as a law student.  She has practiced disability law at Carranza LLP for over 1 5 years. Her practice focuses on all types of disability claims including LTD, CPP, ODSP, Human Rights, Accident Benefits and serious personal injury claims.  She has presented legal training to the Ontario Trial Lawyers Association, Health Justice Initiative at St. Michaels as well as to various other organizations.

Sultana Jahingir 

Board Member

Sultana Jahingir is the founder of SAWRO and has been its Executive Director since 2007.  South Asian Women’s Rights Organization (SAWRO) is a grassroots member-led non-profit community-based organization operated by community women to serve the Bengali community and other South Asian communities.  Sultana has 23 years of diverse experience building grass-roots organizations among equity seeking groups, including work with impoverished Bangladeshi urban workers, undocumented immigrants in New York City and marginalized immigrant women in Scarborough, Ontario.  Sultana is deeply aware of the legal issues that impact low-income South Asian communities in Canada.

Iqra Rafique.

Board Member

Iqra is a lawyer, a member of the Canadian Association of Muslim Women in Law, the Canadian Muslim Lawyers Association, the Social Assistance Action Committee, and was a board member at Community and Legal Aid Services Program Board of Directors.  She brings valuable perspective gained by her lived experience and extensive knowledge of the Legal Aid system gained by working and volunteering in different legal settings.  She has experience serving as a Board Member on the Board of Directors of the Community and Legal Aid Services Program, where she was responsible for taking meeting minutes, drafting and updating policies for the clinic, providing input on the clinic’s student program, assisting in hiring replacement staff and selecting student caseworkers and volunteers, brainstorming funding initiatives, and leading the process for adding an alumni member to the board and creating the clinic’s first alumni network.