Who We Are

Board of Directors

Anju Saigal: Founder Director

Anju Saigal is the Founder-Director of CEQUE. Active for 20 years in the arena of public education, she has worked in senior leadership positions at the NGO Pratham and ICICI Foundation, designing and executing large community-based and public-private partnership programs for improving schooling access and quality. She has also researched and taught at the graduate level at Harvard and at the undergraduate level at Simmons College, Boston.


Anju holds a Masters degree in Social Work from TISS and a Masters and Doctorate in Education from Harvard University.

Mitesh Thakker: Director

Mitesh Thakkar advises on the Business Development strategy and operations. He is the Team Lead of SDSN’s Education Solutions Initiative and is in charge of the VOS initiative in partnership with Pratham. He is the founder of Fieldata.Org a mobile technology venture with projects in Asia, Africa and Latin America. Mitesh has worked globally – as Director-Social Research at Altai Consulting in Afghanistan; Research Analyst at the World Bank; Education Specialist at Pratham-India; and as a Curriculum Consultant to Ministry of Education, Vietnam.


He holds a B.A. in Astronomy from University of Texas-Austin; an Ed.M. in Education Policy from Harvard University; and an MBA from INSEAD

Pushkaraj Gumaste: Board Member

Pushkaraj Gumaste is a Managing Director based in India. He is responsible for the client franchise for the Corporate and Investment bank in India.


Pushkaraj joined Barclays in 2004 and has over24 years of experience, spanning multiple roles. Pushkaraj is responsible for leading the Corporate Banking franchise in India, as well as expanding and strengthening client relationships. He is also jointly responsible for the Investment Banking business for Barclays India.


Over the course of 13 years in Barclays, Puskkaraj has been involved in managing many key relationships across different sectors including Oil and Gas, Metals and Mining, Industrials, Technology for the Barclays franchise and let transactions for the clients across Financing, Risk Management and Corporate Finance.


Prior to joining Barclays, he held various roles in Citibank, Credit Lyonnais and ANZ Grindlays.


Pushkaraj holds a B.E. (Electrical Engineering) degree from Mumbai University and a postgraduate M.B.A from Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning, Prasanthi Nilayam.


Outside of work, he is associated with a few non-profit organisations in social work and is an avid cyclist.

Executive Team

Uma Kogekar: Chief Executive Officer

Uma Kogekar, an IT-professional turned educationist, oversees the overall operations at CEQUE. She has over 20 plus years of experience, with the last 7 years at Muktangan, a Mumbai based non-profit. As a SAP, FI/CO, consultant she has advised clients spread across Europe, Australia and US on financial processes. Involved in implementation of ERP systems, she has been a senior systems analyst for different projects at HCL Technologies with clients such as Ebara Pumps, Italy, Alcatel, Australia and AMD, US. After a brief stint at IIM, Ahmedabad at their Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, she moved to the field of education. Using her global experience, she was able to chart a vision for and implement ICT integration across all the schools under Muktangan.


She holds a B.Com (Honours) from University of Delhi, Post-Graduate in Systems Management from NIIT and a SAP FI/CO certification from SAP, India.

Varsha Parchure ceque

Varsha Parchure: Senior Program Manager

Varsha Parchure – Senior Program Manager, Project Lead –Kendra Pramukh Academic Leadership Program (KPALP)


Varsha Parchure is a senior program manager at CEQUE, leading the academic leaders training project. She has over 15 years of experience in various domains but has focused on the education sector for the last six years. She has developed educational modules for tribal children.


She has an MBA in Social Entrepreneurship from NMIMS, and a Masters of Social work in Family and Child Welfare from Karve Institute of Social Services, Pune University.

Ashish Kelshikar ceque

Ashish Kelshikar: Mathematics Pedagogue

Ashish Kelshikar is the Mathematics pedagogy specialist at CEQUE. He has over four years of experience in elementary and secondary Maths education as a teacher and teacher education faculty. He has designed curriculum understanding plans for teachers and assisted in the conduct of Maths workshops.


He holds a Bachelors degree in Physics and a master degree in education from Mumbai University.

sonal nagarkar ceque

Sonal Nagarkar: Operations Manager

Sonal Nagarkar is the Operations Manager at CEQUE. She provides administrative support wherein she ensures that organizational processes are followed. She maintains documentation and manages the existing stakeholder engagement for all programmes.


Sonal’s artwork has contributed to raising funds for Concern India Foundation. She has worked with the documentation and the cataloguing of artworks for art collectors.


Sonal has a Diploma in Interior Design from the Sophia Polytech, Mumbai, and has worked as a designer. She is fairly well travelled in India and abroad.

manisha shreyasi ceque

Manisha Shreyasi: Lead, Social Learning Platform

Manisha Shreyasi is Social Learning Platform Lead at CEQUE. She plans and executes strategies to promote the use of CEQUE’s proprietary social learning platform.


In her professional journey of 18 years, Manisha has worked successfully with projects related to education and social development. She previously worked as a Program Management Expert (PME), planning, coordinating and managing the World Bank Teacher Education Project that aimed at enhancing the effectiveness of pre-service and in-service teachers from government schools. She conceptualized, planned and implemented the projects in totality for their successful ground level implementation.


Manisha has a Post Graduate Diploma in Public Policy & Management from Management Development Institute, Gurgaon, with an international component at Science Po, Paris, France.


She writes poems in Hindi and English.

Trupti Chavan

Trupti Chavan: Master Mentor

Trupti Chavan is a Master Mentor for Kendra Pramukh Academic Leadership Program (KPALP) in collaboration with Maharashtra State government and UNICEF at CEQUE. She has over 5 years of experience in education, primary health care, and the management consulting sector. Her NGO journey started from being a ‘Teach for India Fellow’ and conducting teacher training for MCGM teachers as a community project. Prior to joining CEQUE, she held the position of Associate Consultant in Learning and Organization Development Consulting practice.


She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Biotechnology from the University of Mumbai and Master’s in Human Resources and Organizational Development from Mumbai.

Rashmi Musale ceque

Rashmi Musale: Language Pedagogue

Rashmi Musale is a Language Pedagogue at CEQUE, coaching and mentoring Teacher Innovator Fellows. She’s worked for three years in the field of education, formerly at QUEST (QUEST- Quality Education Support Trust) as a Project Coordinator in Palghar and Thane districts, where she provided pedagogical inputs to teachers. She was also involved in teaching pre-school to primary students.


She has done her Masters in Computer Science from Mumbai University.

sagar rahate ceque

Sagar Rahate – Accountant

Sagar Rahate is the Accountant at CEQUE. He handles the day-to-day accounts of all departments.


Sagar has worked in Welworth Engineering Co. Pvt. Ltd in the sales team. He holds a B.Com and is, at present, pursuing a Masters in Commerce.


Sagar loves sports, especially cricket.


Harshawardhan Dange ceque

Harshwardhan Dange: Programme Co-ordinator

Harshwardhan Dange has 20 years of experience as a master trainer and resource person in the sectors of Education and children’s health and sanitation, working closely with departments in the government of Maharashtra as well as UNICEF and non-profits. He has also been the sub-editor of a Chandrapur daily and an announcer on All India Radio.


Harshwardhan has a Master’s in Labour Studies and Bachelor’s in English Literature from Nagpur University.

Sambhaji Bhise ceque

Sambhaji Bhise: Programme Co-ordinator

Sambhaji Bhise is Programme Coordinator at CEQUE. He looks after the Kendra Pramukh Academic Leadership Programme (KPALP) in Jawahar and Professional Learning Circles (PLCs) in Pune and Palghar. He has over three years of experience working with Ashram school teachers in a literacy enhancement program with Quality Education Support Trust, Thane.


He holds a Master’s degree in Social work from Pune University and a Bachelor’s degree in English Literature.

Sunil Sonavane ceque

Sunil Sonvane: Programme Co-ordinator

Sunil Sonavane is a Program Co-ordinator at CEQUE. He looks after the Kendra Pramukh Academic Leadership Program (KPALP) in Aurangabad. He has over 3 years of experience and has worked on the issues of Tribal education, especially the social and educational issues of De-notified Tribes. He has also been associated with various institutions such as Tata Institute of Social Sciences, University of Leeds, UK and Aide et Action, Gujarat, and has been proactive in research, management of the educational center, networking and coordination with non-profit organizations on tribal issues in his previous assignment.


He has a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Social work and M.Phil in Education from TISS, Mumbai.

Avi Ghodke ceque

Awghadi Ghodke: Programme Co-ordinator, TPIF

Awghadi Ghodke is a Programme Co-ordinator for the Teacher Pages Innovator Fellowship Programme.


For 23 years he has worked with various non-profits in the area of education and livelihood programmes. He has worked in many states across India to initiate projects of change. His focus has been chiefly on child labour in Maharashtra, Karnataka, U.P, and Bihar, working with government functionaries to facilitate rehabilitation and repatriation of affected children. At the slum-level in urban and rural areas, he has worked successfully with youth in leadership development and employment generation.

Gouri kulkarni phatak ceque

Gouri Kulkarni Phatak: Master Mentor

Gouri Kulkarni Phatak is a Program Manager and a Master Mentor for Kendra Pramukh Academic Leadership Program (KPALP) in collaboration with Maharashtra State government and UNICEF at CEQUE. She has worked in the development sector for the past ten years, with children in rural areas. She has trained teachers to teach music and skill development and worked with SHGs in Raigad and Thane. She completed her Sugam Sangit Visharad in 2008.


Gouri has a Masters in Social Work, Rural Development, from Tilak Mahavidyapeeth, Pune.

Mayuri Kulkarni ceque

Mayuri Kulkarni: Master Mentor

Mayuri Kulkarni is a Program Manager and a Master Mentor for Kendra Pramukh Academic Leadership Program (KPALP) in collaboration with Maharashtra State government and UNICEF at CEQUE. She has 5 years of experience in the field of Education, largely focusing on Teacher Professional Development.


Prior to joining CEQUE, she held the position of a Research Associate with Connected Learning Initiative (CLIx), Mumbai.


She holds a Bachelor’s degree (Hons) in Rural Development from Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Tuljapur, Maharashtra, and a Master’s degree in Education from Azim Premji University, Bangalore, Karnataka.

Chatura Rao ceque

Chatura Rao: Communications Specialist

Chatura Rao is the Communications lead at CEQUE. She creates and facilitates written and video communication, and updates CEQUE’s presence on social media, to communicate the impact of CEQUE’s work to donors, stakeholders, funders and to the wider world.


A fiction writer and journalist for 20 years, she has won The Hindu Prize, 2018, for Gone Grandmother (Best Picture Book) and the Laadli National Award for Gender Sensitive Reporting, 2017, for Women and the Trouble Within/ Without Homes (Best Web Feature). Chatura facilitates creative writing workshops for children at Prithvi Theatre in the summer.


She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in English Literature from Sophia College and a Diploma in Social Communications Media from Sophia Polytechnic, Mumbai University.

Vishal Shinde ceque

Vishal Shinde – Monitoring and Evaluation Manager

Vishal Shinde designs M & E Plans, tools for data gathering and managing logistics of data collection. He analyzes collected data and documents and reports on data, closely working with the concerned department at MSCERT, Pune, for data management for the Kendra Pramukh Academic Leadership programme (KPALP).


He has worked as MEAL (Monitoring Evaluation Accountability and Learning) officer at Save the Children (Bal Raksha Bharat) for Tamil Nadu and Karnataka State projects. He additionally has experience in M & E of DRR, Health and Nutrition, and Education projects.


Vishal has an M.Sc in Statistics from Shivaji University, Kolhapur

Kshitij Johri Ceque team

Kshitij Johri – Technology Specialist

Kshitij Johri is Technology Specialist at CEQUE. He has a decade of work experience across Media, Education and Non-profit sectors, setting up vendor relationships in CRM, Contact Centres and Marketing/Media agencies. He has worked at premier organizations including Madison, SPJIMR and Piramal Foundation. He is an alumnus of JBIMS, who completed Masters in Management Studies (Marketing) in 2008. An avid reader who also follows what Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg read.


Varsha Sahasrabuddhe

Varsha Sahasrabuddhe is a senior language consultant at CEQUE for the Teacher Pages Innovator Fellowship programme.


She has been associated with various schools and NGOs in urban, rural and tribal area in Maharashtra for teachers’ training programmes for transformation since the year 2000. She has conducted over 1000 education workshops for school teachers, students of D.Ed./ B.Ed. colleges and parents in various Marathi as well as English medium schools in Maharashtra .


Varsha has worked as a member of the committee of State text -book bureau, Government of Maharashtra to work on new text-books of Marathi grade I-V. She has written various articles in Marathi periodicals on the theme teaching and learning. She has also authored books like Amchya goshti, Dwibhashik Wachan Sahitya Mala,Tipik Pom Bhurrr to name a few.


She has developed context based bilingual reading material for early readers- 100 titles- in various tribal languages under Parag Initiative, Tata Trusts and Maharashtra State Council for educational Research and Training. Varsha is also the Founder Member and former principal of Aksharnandan School in Pune.


Varsha holds an M.A degree (in German) and M.Ed degree (specialization in evaluation and measurement). She has also successfully completed her B.Ed.

Jennifer Thomas

Jennifer Thomas is a Team Lead of the English domain for CLIx at Tata Institute of Social Sciences with 7 years of work experience in elementary and middle school education and higher education.


She oversees English curriculum design, development and production and teacher professional development. She brings to the team varied field experience in roles as teacher, teacher educator, curriculum designer and educational researcher.


In her last stint, she has worked with Muktangan, a Mumbai based NGO where she led the English department, focussing on Instructional Leadership and Teacher Professional Development. Prior to this, she had been an education consultant for Mexus Education, The Pomegranate Workshop, TISS-NUSSD and the Tata Trusts.


Jennifer holds a Masters in English from the English and Foreign Language University, Hyderabad and a Masters in Elementary Education from TISS, Mumbai. Her interests include Second Language Pedagogy, Curriculum Design, Children’s Literature and Teacher Professional Development.

Santosh Sonawane

Santosh Sonawane has been working in the field of education for the past 25 years.  He has been a teacher who believes in activity-based learning and experiential teaching. He has presented many projects at the state level on Action Research, Population Studies and Mathematics Education. He has worked as a textbook reviewer and a guest writer and has been conferred the Ideal Teacher award by the Govt of Maharashtra. Four books as well as over 500 articles in the areas of education and society are proof that he is an expert writer. He is, at present, a  Mathematics expert at the Regional Education Authority, Mumbai.


Santosh Sonawane has a post graduate degree in Social Sciences and Education Sciences and has also cleared the NET and SET exams, with a first class.


He extends his expertise to CEQUE as an Advisor.