Structure and Commitments

Sharana is comprised of a 7-member Governing Board, a team of about 50 staff members in the central office and at the rural centers, a community of volunteers who assist with specific projects and day-to-day activities as needed, and of course its beneficiaries.

Sharana’s Board was reconstituted in 2010, around the time that the organization celebrated its 10th anniversary, with the objective of drawing together more like-minded individuals and encourage their active participation in the running of projects. The Board meets three times a year.

The executive members of the Board are:

  1. Rajkala Partha: Founder of Sharana whose vision, academic training in a master’s programme in rural development and professional experience has propelled the organisation into social and economic development programmes in rural Pondicherry and TamilNadu. Presently in charge of all the activities and responsible for the funding and action of all Sharana’s programmes.
  2. Alo Sud: She is the treasurer of Sharana. She works closely with the donors of the organisation.
  3. Nalini Thakur: Mrs Nalini is a professor in the Pondicherry University, department of Social Work- she works with the social workers, and helps them with difficult cases on the field. She also trains the social workers on acquiring various skills sets.
  4. Sasi Somu: Entrepreneur and member of the Governing Body, he participates in annual meetings of the board and is responsible for the orientation of foreign volunteers to the organisation
  5. Murugan Sundarrassu: Translator in the law department in Pondicherry Government and a member of the Governing Body, he participates in annual meetings of the board.
  6. Venkatrayan Aadhinarayanan: Accountant employed at the Arryur Sugar Mill and a member of the Governing Body, he participates in annual meetings of the board. He assists Mr Murugaiyan in finalising the annual accounts of the association
  7. Deepa S. Reddy: Cultural anthropologist with the University of Houston whose research has focused on women’s NGOs in India and a member of the Governing Body, she participates in annual meetings of the board providing her expertise in the evolution of various development programmes, particularly the Bistro and the library project.

The “Sharana Team” is comprised of Social Workers, Administrative Assistants, Field Assistants, and Animators (staff who are involved in the hands-on implementation of Sharana’s initiatives).

More information on the members of the board and the team can be found in the Profiles section.

As an extension of Sharana’s fundamental commitment to grassroots social empowerment and respect for human dignity, members of the organization work daily to create a collegial, respectful, and happy office environment, fully acknowledging the distinct strengths and abilities that each person involved with Sharana contributes to the organization’s growth and success. In this same spirit, Sharana is also committed to maintaining complete transparency in our financial and other record-keeping, as affirmations of our accountability to its donors, staff, and beneficiaries.

Sharana is a non-ideological, non-sectarian organization that aspires to function without any distinctions of race, language, caste, or creed.

Partnerships and Collaborations

Sharana partners and collaborates with other local, national, and international organizations, to raise funds, identify sponsors for children, and to develop and/or implement its social programs. These organizations include (in alphabetical order):

  • Accounting for International Development (AFID), United Kingdom
  • Chemin d’enfances, France
  • Development in Action (DIA), UK
  • Fonds du Coeur, France
  • Mission Bambini, Italy
  • Pas sans toit, France
  • Sharana France, France: an independent but closely allied organization that assists with identifying donors for students, Sharana project financing, maintaining communication with donors in France etc.
  • Sharana Holland, Netherlands: also an independent organization like Sharana France, assisting with project financing
  • Souffle de l’Inde, France