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Raksha Leadership & Team

The Raksha team is a vibrant and diverse group of professionals, united by a common mission and guided by organizational values. We are deeply committed to the healing, empowerment and justice of survivors and strives to empower and serve the South Asian community.

Raksha’s Board of Directors are accomplished professionals and leaders, who deeply care about our mission. Each one of our Board members brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise that augments the impact of our work.

*Keeping up with our promise of providing confidentiality, some staff and board members might not be represented on this page.

Aparna Bhattacharyya, Executive Director

Aparna graduated from Georgia State University with a  Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice. Her experience and skills come from volunteering and working as  a Victim Advocate for 5 years for the city of Atlanta’s Victim Witness Assistance Program (VWAP). She also  worked as a Project Coordinator/Employment Specialist for the Newcomers’ Network’s Refugee Family  Violence Prevention Project (where she developed and implemented the License to Freedom Project).  Prior to becoming an employee of Raksha Inc., she also volunteered and served as a steering committee  member of Raksha Inc. since its inception in 1995. As a representative of Raksha, she has served as a Task  Force member and the Board Secretary for International Women’s House and a founding member of  Tapestri, the Immigrant and Refugee Coalition, challenging gender based oppression. Over the last 9  years, she has trained law enforcement, victim advocates, social workers, community members,  refugee/immigrant women, and healthcare providers on the dynamics of family violence and the needs  of refugee and immigrant families. She was awarded the Indian Professionals Network (IPN) award in 1997  and 1998 for her service to the community. She serves as a member of the Georgia Advisory Committee  for the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, Board Vice President for Tapestri, Inc, an Advisory Board member  for the National Network to End Violence Against Immigrant Women, and a board member for the DeKalb  County Domestic Violence Task Force. Aparna has been the Executive Director of Raksha since 1998. Ms.  Bhattacharyya was recently awarded the Director’s Eagle Award from the Criminal Justice Coordinating  Council. Ms. Bhattacharyya was recognized as A White House Champion of Change in 2013 and was  named by Georgian Asian Times as a 2013 Top 20 Influential Asian Community Leader. In April 2014,  Aparna was recognized by the Georgia State University with The Distinguished Alumni Service Award by  the Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies and by Desi  Express Magazine for her Community Services. In 2016, Aparna was recognized by the Jeanette Rankin  Foundation as "Smart Woman" honoree. In 2018, Aparna was given the Hope for Tomorrow Award by the  International Women’s House. In 2019, Aparna was recognized with the Shakti (Strength) Award.

The Advocates Team

Raksha advocates work towards helping individuals and families cope with life's problems by providing confidential support services. Specifically, our advocates work with survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault and child abuse. Our advocates are particularly concerned for those who are vulnerable or are unable to speak up for themselves.

Education: Raksha’s advocate team consists of staff members with Masters degree in counseling, international studies, psychology, social work and english literature. Advocates participate in continuing education, training and workshops to increase their knowledge and capacity to serve clients.

Experience: Raksha advocates have a combined total of 55+ years of professional experience. Our advocates have worked in different settings including, out-patient clinics, non-profit organizations, schools and hospitals. Our advocates have trauma-related and conflict management experience and work with both adults and children.

Specialities: Raksha advocates complete intakes and assess client needs, which includes safety planning and developing personalized case management plans specific to each client. Our advocates are non-judgemental and never tell clients what to do. Instead, advocates empower clients to make their own, informed  decisions. Specifically, our advocates provide support and referrals for legal (family law and immigration), housing, career, medical, transportation and other services as needed. In addition, advocates coordinate outreach activities such as training, workshops and support groups. Advocates engage with other immigrant/refugee organizations as well as ally organizations that work with underserved populations to collectively address the intersectional issues that impact survivors.

Languages: Raksha advocates can speak English, Hindi, Telugu, Tamil, Kannada and Tulu.

The Counselors Team

Education: Our therapists’ education and degrees range from Masters in clinical counseling psychology, clinical mental health counseling, to masters in social work to masters in professional counseling and a doctorate in counseling psychology. 

Licensure: The therapists’ practicing licenses range from associate professional counselor (APC) to Licensed professional counselor (LPC) to licensed psychologist (LP) in the state of Georgia. Some are on track to become licensed masters social workers.

Experiences and Interests: Our therapists have worked in a variety of settings including different university counseling centers nationally as well as community mental health centers, hospitals, non-profit organizations as well as private practice. Our therapists also well-experienced in working with adult victims of sexual abuse/domestic violence/victims of crimes; ptsd; anxiety, depression, immigrants, families and children. 

Training: We at Raksha value the importance of ongoing learning and training and thus engage in continuing education to stay well informed about the latest most effective ways to serve our clients’ needs. Majority of therapists are trained in providing crisis assessment, safety planning, counseling assessment and treatment planning in addition to providing competent therapy services based on their specialized approaches. Some of the training our staff has undergone include: mandated reported training, suicide assessment, cultural competency, Diversity and Multiculturalism, EMDR, Leadership, Communication, Domestic Violence, Telemental Heath, Advocacy services, psychological assessment and intervention, and support for sexual assault survivors. 

Certifications: Additionally, some of our therapists are nationally board certified counselors (NCC) as well as certified in QPR (an approach to risk assessment). 

Approaches to Counseling: All our therapists are trained to be integrative in their approach to counseling. Some of the approaches include: Person-Centered, Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Eye-Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy (REBT), Solution Focused, Family systems, Motivational Interviewing and Mindfulness based approaches. 

Specialties: Collectively, the therapists at Raksha specialize in working successfully both as advocate and counselor with survivors of domestic violence, trafficking, victims of crime, mood disorders, anxiety, adjustment issues, ptsd, self-care, safety planning, and providing substantial support for immigration relief letters of support through mental health evaluations. The therapists are well engaged with the referring sources in order to provide the best care for the clients we serve. 

Languages: Our therapists are equipped to provide therapy in multiple languages including: Urdu, Hindi, Gujarati, Punjabi, Arabic, and English. 

Professional Affiliations: The counselors at Raksha have professional memberships with American Psychological Association, American Counseling Association, and National Board of Certified Counselors.

Community Engagement, Communications, Events

The Raksha Outreach staff has a Masters degree in public administration and a background in print journalism from India, research and coordination roles at environmental nonprofit organizations in the United States.

Raksha outreach staff undertake diverse yet overlapping roles as community connectors, communicators and coordinators.

The Raksha outreach functions range from organizing events, identifying  and engaging in community awareness and education opportunities, coordinating volunteer recruitment and community liaisons and strategic communications to advance the mission and goals of Raksha.

Meet our Board!

Nisha G. Kapil President, is a public health analyst, employed through Veritas Management Group, Inc., in the Office of Environmental Health Emergency Management within the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC), National Center for Environmental Health/Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (NCEH/ATSDR).  For the past 19 years, Nisha has been working at CDC/NCEH/ATSDR in emergency preparedness and response. Her responsibilities currently include project management, fiscal allocation process and performance measurement/evaluation lead, strategic alignment, and director/coordinator for the Agents of Opportunity: Medical Management of Chemical and Radiological Emergencies course.  

She has traveled in the United States to deliver the course to vulnerable cities as well as to New Delhi and Mumbai, in conjunction with the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) and the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS).  Nisha holds a BSE in Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science from Duke University and a Master’s in Industrial and Systems Engineering from the University of Michigan.  She was raised in Massachusetts and North Carolina, then resided in Michigan and Ohio for 12 years before moving their family to Georgia in 2002.  

One of the first NGO events that the Kapil family attended after moving to Atlanta was Ek Shaam RAKSHA ke Naam! Nisha’s involvement with Raksha grew from regularly attending Ek Shaam events to helping coordinate the Ramp it Up for RAKSHA event and to now proudly serving on Raksha’s Board. She has always enjoyed volunteering with service organizations, supporting the arts, traveling, and especially spending time with family. Though having grown up in the United States, Nisha is strongly connected to her South Asian heritage and is passionate about supporting RAKSHA’s work in the community.

Monika Mittal, drives all her initiatives with a true passion for making it successful.  As a digital Media Strategist Consultant, I love to work with companies that I believe are on the right path of growth and need that extra push for generating the relevant marketing assets based on their values and mission. I recently launched aloradzigns as a clothing accessory brand and am spending time and energy in bringing wearable art in everyday life.

As an artist,I have shown my artwork in galleries in Atlanta and at non profit fundraising events. I am also involved with Johns Creek Arts Center and am currently on the board of Directors with JCAC. I strongly believe every person needs to bring art in their lives and enrich their life’s experiences of travel, food and work with art.

I bring the same passion to Raksha because as a child growing up in India, I would always feel compelled to speak up for people in need.  When I found that Raksha here aligns with my values to protect and nurture women around me, I felt at home.  I have been involved with Raksha for almost a decade now and am proud to become a board member and promote awareness for Raksha’s mission.  

Monika has a Masters in Information Technology, from NJIT, New Jersey. Her career path started in the corporate world as an IT Professional, in New York, at various financial firms like Goldman Sachs and Merrill Lynch.  After a few years of success in the technology field, she wanted to explore the field of education and business.  She spearheaded an early childcare education center alongside her husband and had been successful in growing the company. In that role, she got an opportunity to lead marketing initiatives and design effective curriculums for early education, which sparked interest in digital content creation. 


Bhavya Chaudhary, is the Founder and Managing Attorney at Bhavya Chaudhary and Associates Law Firm, located in Atlanta, GA. Bhavya is admitted to the Georgia and Tennessee Bars. Ms. Chaudhary practices in all areas of the U.S. Immigration Law including investment and employment-based, family-based immigration, removal defense, federal and appellate court litigation, victims of violence and abuse in VAWA, U, and T visa cases, criminal matters in imigration and other areas. Ms. Chaudhary does active pro bono work and volunteers for several charitable organizations. She is the Secretary of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) GA-AL Chapter and serves on other non profit organizations’ boards. Bhavya Chaudhary is fluent in English, Hindi, Urdu and several other Indian languages. Bhavya loves music and good books.

Karina Deochand, Founder of Deochand and Jayswal Law Group.  Ms. Deochand graduated from Georgia State University, receiving a Bachelor of Science in Economics and a minor in Philosophy. Ms. Deochand graduated from Georgia State University College of Law with high pro bono distinction. While there, she was a member of the Vis Moot International Commercial Arbitration team.  

Before founding Deochand & Jayswal Law Group, Karina K. Deochand was an associate at a local boutique law firm. During her time there, she practiced complex civil litigation with a focus on white-collar crimes. Ms. Deochand worked with a Special Assistant District Attorney on civil and criminal RICO cases, filed on behalf of the State of Georgia. These cases focused on racketeering allegations within the gaming and timber industries, including but not limited to, money laundering, structuring, fraud, tax evasion, commercial gambling, and theft.

Before that, Ms. Deochand worked at a boutique personal injury firm in Norcross, Georgia for over 5 years.

Ms. Deochand is a member of a number of local and national associations, including the Atlanta Bar Association, the South Asian Bar Association of Georgia, and Georgia Asian Pacific American Bar Association.

Bidisha Sinha, PhD, MPH Vice President
is a seasoned public health professional with extensive strategic leadership, program and policy development, operations and management experience in nonprofits and the federal government. 

Currently, Bidisha serves as a Senior Director in the Health Equity and Strategy Office at the CDC Foundation and works on implementing the Foundation’s healthy equity agenda and strategic plan both internally and externally. Previously, Bidisha was the Director of Tobacco Control Initiatives for the Center for Tobacco Control at the American Cancer Society where she directed the programmatic and operational aspects of a national center; and a Program Manager for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health, in Region V, where she oversaw programs related to tobacco control and childhood obesity prevention. 

Bidisha's interests in health and human rights drove her to focus her entire career on achieving health and social equity for groups that are traditionally disenfranchised. She is especially passionate about working with/for women and children and on issues that disproportionately affect the poor. Fueled by a commitment to prevent violence against women and children, Bidisha has been intimately involved with organizations that change social norms through advocacy and education and help survivors and their families after trauma, like Raksha.

Bidisha resides in Atlanta, with her husband, and their beloved cats, Zander and Zara. A "foodie" who is also a huge travel, music and dance enthusiast, if she's not trying the newest restaurant or traveling the world with her husband, she can be seen teaching and performing music and dance around town. Bidisha received her B.A. from Rutgers University, Masters of Public Health (M.P.H.) from Columbia University and a Ph.D. from Loyola University, Chicago. 

Sangeeta Sheth, Treasurer has worked for over 20 years in the financial industry most recently in the areas of Regulatory Compliance and Audit. She has also spent a good part of her career as a wedding coordinator, decorator and designer.  Sangeeta has a passion for the Arts and her Indian culture and heritage and has had several years of training in Bharatnatyam and Indian Folk Dance. She has been a dance instructor for over twenty years for children ages 5-18 and has taken her dance groups to several national folk dance competitions. 

Sangeeta grew up in North Carolina and attended North Carolina State University for her Bachelor’s Degree. She moved to Atlanta in 2012 and has been an active part of the Atlanta community. In North Carolina Sangeeta served as an elected member of the United Arts Council of Wake County NC, a charitable organization focused on enhancing arts education in schools and the community.  As a member she was involved in organizing annual events, fundraisers, galas and formal dinners.   She has served as Youth Group Advisor / Mentor for a period of over 10 years for the Triangle Gujarati Association of NC. There she organized efforts to involve pre-teen and teens in activities to serve the community locally and internationally. The organization also held annual fundraisers to benefit CARE organization.  Sangeeta was involved with the Helping Hand Mission and spearheaded efforts which involved getting together large groups of individuals in assisting families who needed food, clothing, furniture and shelter. She has also spearheaded efforts at the Food Bank of North Carolina assisting with providing food for the underprivileged.

Sangeeta has always been passionate about serving the community, especially activities centered around helping children and the elderly. She believes that it is her moral obligation to support and empower the people of the community in every way she can.

Raunak Tejani: Raunak Tejani joined the board in March 2022. Raunak started her social work career at Raksha Inc, from 2000-2004. She was a case manager, volunteer recruitment and youth services. Raunak has vast experience in the social work field, working in substance abuse, mental health, domestic violence, medical social work, and other areas of the profession. 

Currently, Raunak is obtaining her doctorate degree from Barry University and hopes to complete her degree in August of 2022. Raunak is currently an adjunct professor at Barry University Social of Social work, she is teaching in the online masters level program. 

Tina Thapar
serves as a Board member and the head of Raksha’s Governance Committee. She currently works as Associate Counsel at Novelis in Buckhead. Tina is admitted to the Georgia State Bar. She previously served on the Board of the South Asian Bar Association of Georgia and as a member of the Georgia Association for Women Lawyers. 

Tina began volunteering for Raksha in 2016 and is extremely passionate about working on issues that directly impact women and girls. Tina is fluent in Hindi and Punjabi. Tina and her husband live in Sandy Springs. When she is not working, she enjoys playing soccer, traveling, and dancing.


Email the Board at [email protected].

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