Founding Members

The Founding Members of Bharatiya Stree Shakti – 1988

1. Smt. Urmila Balvant Apte

A person with multifaceted organizational skills, she was a Mathematics lecturer before becoming an office-bearer of People’s Education Society.

2. Smt. Geeta Balvant Gunde

She is a nationalist activist with an M.Sc. in Chemistry. She worked at Glaxo for 12 yrs as Production Officer before leaving her job in 1984, to pursue social work full-time.

3. Smt. Shubhangi Avinash Thorat-Pethe

A committed, hardworking social worker and a B.Com. graduate who formerly worked in Dhulia, Maharashtra.

4. (Late) Smt. Bakultai Jayant Deokule

She was a fearless, aggressive activist. She worked as a senior worker of Rashtra Sevika Samiti. She was the founder of Grihini Vidyalay, a training centre for women for leadership and economic activity. She also founded a women’s hostel in Thane.

5. (Late) Smt. Jaywantiben Navneet Mehta

She was a leader connected with the masses. An MLA who later became an MP – Former Union Minister of State for Power – Govt. of India.

6. (Late) Prof. Nirmala Pramod Vaidya

She was a very soft spoken VHP activist, sensitive to women’s problems. She founded a trust to help needy school children.  One of the founders & president of ‘Drishti Stree Adhyayan Prabodhan Kendra’, a research initiative and documentation centre.

7. Smt. Sunjeevani Hari Raikar

She is a teacher and an Ex-MLC who was elected thrice from the Teachers constituency. She was an office bearer of Shikshak Parishad, an all-India teachers organization. She is also the founder of ‘Vatsalya Trust’ – a reception and adoption centre for children.

8. Dr. Kirtida Ramesh Mehta

She is a Gujarati writer and presently works as a trustee in Vidyanidhi Educational Trust.

9. Smt. Shobhana Prakash Bhide

She is a teacher and expert in innovative teaching and learning processes. This Ex-ABVP worker was also a member of Maharashtra Rajya Madhyamik Pustak Mandal.

10. Smt. Chhaya Janardan Potphode

This passionate social worker was a founder member of a mahila mandal and a women’s cooperative credit society in Kamathipura, Mumbai.

11. Dr. Jyoti Shreeram Patwardhan

She is a former Professor and current HOD of the Chemistry Department – Ruia College, Mumbai. She has always been a committed social worker.

12. Smt. Jayashree Ravindra Pawar

She is known for her dedicated and sensitive approach to social work.

13. Smt. Swati Suresh Nagwekar

She is a committed social worker who contributed during the initial growth-phase of BSS in Mumbai.

14. Smt. Swati Padmakar Gokhale

She is a Vocational Trainer for Special children and currently gives vocational training at Pragati Sanstha.

The First Executive Council – 1988

Sr. No. Name Office or Designation
1 Smt. Urmila Balvant Apte President
2 Smt. Chhaya Janardan Potphode Treasurer
3 Smt. Shubhangi Avinash Thorat- Pethe General Secretary
4 Smt. Swati Padmakar Gokhale Vice President
5 Smt. Swati Suresh Nagwekar Office Secretary
6 Smt. Shobhana Prakash Bhide Member
7 Smt. Jayashree Ravindra Pawar Member