Purnota Dutta Bahl

Founder and CEO

A visit to the Tata Memorial Hospital, Mumbai, initiated Purnota’s Cuddles journey. As a mother to three wonderful girls, when she realized that nutritious meals and basic supplements are a luxury to most cancer-afflicted children from underprivileged families in India, she felt the need for change. Having spent her childhood in the city of Nawabs; Lucknow, and now following her dreams in the city of opportunities; Mumbai, Purnota has always believed in working towards making a difference. To move away from her well-heeled career and make a fresh start towards bringing nutrition to these children at leading government and charity hospitals in India was a choice she made, and she loves it every day! An MBA from Indian School of Business with expertise in fundraising, strategy and marketing, Purnota has represented Cuddles at international platforms such as the International workshop on Nutrition under the aegis of the International Society of Pediatric Oncology (SIOP). While at work, she constantly tries to encourage and maximize the team’s efficiency, with her inspiring words and a smile – always!

Aparna Chand

Executive Director

A philanthropist at heart, Aparna graduated with a BSc degree in Computer Science with a minor in Business administration. She is the co-founder and French program Director at Chante Avec Moi and Canta Conmigo, which is a language academy that focuses on teaching children and adults French and Spanish using music, arts, crafts and theatre. Aparna is also the Co-Chairperson, an Executive Board Member of the Mumbai Hopping Bunnies expat group in Mumbai. Having worked with several multinational corporations like Merrill Lynch and Goldman Sachs, she brings with her many years of experience and knowledge. And she has worked with various NGOs in the past like Akanskha, Aseema, Concern India and Muktangan. Aparna plays a large part in helping shape the future of Cuddles Foundation. She is a travel junkie who has been to over 45 countries; she also enjoys swimming, running, dancing, music, movies and is an avid reader.

Denise Gasque

Volunteer – Nutrition Director

Denise is one of our senior team members who has amassed a great amount of knowledge and experience working for the health and welfare of the underprivileged. She is the co-founder and Spanish Program Director at Chantec Avec Moi & Canta Conmigo, which is a language academy focussing on teaching children and adults French and Spanish using music, arts, crafts and theatre. In the past, she has worked as a clinical psychologist, an English teacher and co-coordinator at the Educational Center Bilingual School in Mexico, Director for Cultural Center for Children and as a Psychologist at the Red Cross Cancer Hospital in Mexico. Apart from learning Hindi and developing a taste for Indian cuisine.

Suhani Mehta

Chapter Lead – Bengaluru

Suhani has been instrumental in setting up our Bengaluru Chapter. She coordinates and implements the operations for our team in Bengaluru. An MBA (Marketing) from Cardiff University, Wales, she has been a Public Relations professional working with leading companies in India. A travel junkie, Suhani has trekked in Tibet and China as part of the Kailash-Manasarovar trek. She is a trained Bharatanatyam dancer who also enjoys practicing yoga and Buddhism.

Architta Rawani

Fundraising and Marketing Associate

Peppy and perky, Architta started her career after a degree in Bachelors of Computer Engineering and further pursued MBA in finance. After a few years of working in the corporate world, her passion for understanding the community and social service introduced her to charity. Her zeal for understanding both the business and the community makes her a great marketing associate. Today she is also helping us raise funds to help the cancer kids. Outside the office, you might either find her at a restaurant or at a gym.

Chumki Sarcar

Administrative Associate – Lucknow

She graduated with a B.A degree in Economics with honors from Magadh University in Patna. She also holds a diploma level qualification for All India Educational & Vocational Teachers training and for a Computer training course through Society for Information Technology Development.

Janhavi Sawant

Finance and Program Associate

Happy to help always, Janhavi graduated with a degree in Bachelor of Commerce from Mumbai University. She has worked as an account executive, team leader and customer contact executive in the past years. She has worked for companies such as Procter & Gamble, Norscot Oil and Gas services, Lawkim Pvt. Ltd. (A Godrej Company) etc. A committed individual, Janhavi has extensive knowledge and experience of working in a challenging environment. She has a much needed skill set that is extremely valuable to Cuddles Foundations growth story.

Kshama Kajania

Admin Assistant

Polite, dedicated and accommodating, Kshama is a B.A in English literature from the University of Mumbai. Kshama has also done a one year Craftsmanship Course in Food production from Kamats IHMCT from Maharashtra Board and worked as a trainee in Hotel Ambassador in food production Department. Her past work experience includes working at WNS as a Senior Customer Service Executive, Intelenet Global Services Pvt. Ltd. as a Senior Customer Service Advisor, IBM Daksh in the Executive Operations department & Hinduja TMT Ltd. as a Customer Relations Officer. She has several awards to her name for her commitment towards her work.

Manali Patil

Nutrition Associate – Mumbai

Manali is our Ms Gorgeous Hair and Smile. A post-graduate in Clinical Nutrition and Dietetics, Manali is a registered Dietitian and a certified diabetes educator who has worked with Anjali Mukherjee’s ‘Health Total’ in the past. An active and enthusiastic individual, she is really passionate about dancing and loves reading in her spare time. Her love for working with kids makes her extremely happy to be a part of the Cuddles team.

Meera Biswas

Friend of Cuddles, Bengaluru

Meera did her B.Sc in Nutrition from Bengaluru and MSc. in textiles from Mumbai. She also has a Post Graduation Diploma in Marketing from MCC in Bengaluru. Distance running and fitness is her passion and food science and gourmet is her obsession. Having taught primary school children and enjoyed it immensely, her experience in nutrition helps her to keep a balance between all things she loves. She has always believed that nutrition is of great importance in staying healthy and fit. With Cuddles she has an opportunity to do everything she enjoys.

Miral Gosalia

Program Associate – Mumbai

The very calm and quite worker, Miral has been an active part of the workforce and has a special interest in areas dealing with women empowerment, social work and social research and development. She holds an M.A in Sociology and has good knowledge and understanding of various aspects of working in the social sector. She is currently pursuing her Masters in Population Studies from the International Institute for Population Sciences. She has volunteered with Akanksha and assisted teachers in classrooms (teaching) and during field trips for underprivileged children. She worked as a Program Officer at Population First (Mumbai). She is also a trained and certified Bharat Natyam dancer.

Nikita Mahakal

Head Pediatric Nutritionist – Mumbai

Our in-house guide to healthy eating and lifestyle, Nikita holds a Masters Degree in Clinical Nutrition and Dietetics and has a lot of experience working in the field of nutrition and dietetics. Making all the children in the hospital comfortable with her presence, Nikita hears all the stories of struggle, pain, recovery and joy directly from the children and their families. Constantly interacting with all the doctors and nutritionists in every hospital, Nikita also actively participates in workshops and seminars dealing with health and nutrition across the country. She enjoys her time with the kids and never misses an opportunity to make them smile.

Pooja Goenka

Volunteer – Bengaluru

Pooja is a qualified Chartered Accountant, She has been with Cuddles since its inception in Bengaluru. Being nimble with numbers, Pooja handles our financial matters in Bengaluru, besides planning and executing various programs for us. With a background in Interior Design from the New York Institute of Art and Design, she also runs her own paper craft venture. With an ever ready to help attitude, Pooja is a key member of the Bengaluru team.

Ritu Poddar

Admin and Procurement Associate

She handles one of the most important aspects for Cuddles – Money! Ritu oversees all the finances and also does administration work at Cuddles. She graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce degree. Being from a Marwari family, she is known to keep a tight leash on unnecessary expenses. This trait of hers helps Cuddles Foundation in keeping auxiliary spend ratio optimally low. She is very affectionate towards the cancer kids and believes in the cause. In her free time she practices acupressure therapy on family and friends. She also enjoys cooking, traveling, surfing the internet and stitching.

Sarah Paul

Fundraising Consultant – New Delhi

An art enthusiast at heart who loves to explore the art and culture in different countries while traveling, Sarah has a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from St.Stephen’s College and has done Law from New Delhi University. She also has a Master’s Degree in Law from Columbia University, New York. Her professional experience includes working as a corporate finance associate, both in New Delhi as well as New York. While in college, she was involved in the Tihar Jail Project, a legal aid program for under-trial Tihar Jail inmates. She also helped research the Juvenile Justice System’s move from welfare to rights under Professor Ved Kumari.

Tasneem Mukadam

Friend of Cuddles, Mumbai

Forever smiling, inquisitive and always ready for new challenges, Tasneem has been a sales and marketing professional with 17 years of work experience. She has worked in the media for a while before she went abroad to pursue her MBA in luxury fashion management. Now with her own line of luxury clothing, she is a part of our team and more than just a friend.

Uma Seshadri

Volunteer – Bengaluru

An advertising professional to start with, she has worked as a client servicing manager for 10years. When she had her children and she had to take a break from her full time career she realized how passionate she was about working with children with special needs. A special educator by training, she worked with children with Autism in India for 5 years and Singapore for the last 10years. She did a Diploma in early childhood learning difficulties in Singapore and simultaneously volunteered with the Singapore Art Museum as a docent and worked with guiding student tours especially for children with special needs. She moved back to India and started volunteering with Cuddles in Bengaluru Chapter from October 2015. A Buddhist by practice she believes that the world largely works on compassion. It is not about what you give that makes you do what you do, it is about what you get. She loves music, both Hindustani and Karnatak. She continues to learn to sing and loves being with her daughters.

Urvi Jhaveri

Head Paediatric Nutritionist – Mumbai

Urvi is the lead dietitian and nutritionist at Cuddles. She holds a B.Sc. degree with a specialization in Nutrition and Dietetics and a post graduate diploma in Dietetics and Applied Nutrition. Urvi is a hard working and committed individual who takes her work very seriously and believes greatly in our cause.