Who We Are

SAPAC Executive Board, 2012-2013:

Vasundhara Jolly: Co-chair, ’2013

Vasundhara Jolly hails from New Delhi, India. She is majoring in International Relations, with a focus on Middle East and South Asia, along with a minor in Entrepreneurial Leadership Studies. With her demonstrated interest in human rights, she also serves as a co-cordinator of the Oslo Scholars Program. The Oslo Scholars program, an initiative of the Human Rights Foundation and the IGL, sends students to the Oslo Freedom Forum, a human rights conference held in Norway every year. This was the culmination of her interests in South Asia, human rights issues, conflict resolution and peace-building operations as her work as a Scholar took her to Kashmir over the winter of 2011 to work with BBC journalist and author Justine Hardy at Healing Kashmir, a mental health and suicide helpline center in Srinagar. Through her academic work, internships and extra-circulars, she has furthered her interests in social entrepreneurship, economic development and human rights.

Shayan Purkayastha: Co-chair, ’2013

Samujjal (Shayan) Purkayastha is a member of the class of 2013 majoring in Computer Science. Shayan is passionate about using technology as a tool for development and leads a non-profit startup, Spiritech (www.spiritech.co), that helps community organizations and NGOs integrate technology with their work. Spiritech has worked with organizations in India, Bangladesh, Kenya and Ghana across multiple fields like health, microfinance and education. Outside of Spiritech, Shayan helped develop an award winning voice based citizen journalism platform called CGNet Swara  (www.cgnetswara.org) that gives tribal people, mostly living in Naxal affected regions of Central India the ability to share news and information in their own language. During 2011-12, Shayan took a leave of absence from Tufts to work for an education technology startup in India called Pengala, coordinating the pilot of a technology driven after-school program in low-income schools in Bangalore, India. Shayan volunteers with Association for India’s Development (www.aidindia.org) through which he has worked with communities across India including tribal villages in West Bengal and IDP camps in Andhra Pradesh. Shayan is also a social activist and has engaged in a wide range of movements against social and political injustice, including the Bhopal Gas Tragedy and human rights violation in conflict regions across India. At Tufts, Shayan is a Synaptic Scholar and has also participated in the EPIIC colloquium on South Asia in 2010-11. He was also one of the speakers of the inaugural edition of the Tufts Idea Exchange.

Haris Iqbal: Event Co-ordinator, ’2013

Haris Iqbal is a junior from Pakistan majoring in Electrical Engineering and Economics.

Gautam Kapur: Social Media Representative, ’2016

Gautam Kapur is a freshman majoring in International Relations and Economics.

SAPAC Executive Board, 2011-2012:

Sanjana Basu: Co-chair, ‘2012

Sanjana Basu is from Mumbai, India majoring in International Relations and Economics Major at Tufts. She co-founded and lead a new initiative called Tufts Idea Exchange (TEX), a forum to foster intellectual exchange outside the classroom by creating an environment to allow new innovative ideas to thrive and be shared. She is on the executive board of OneWorld, an organization that creates programs like TEX and the Global Crafts Bazaar that bring people from across the university together in the pursuit of a more just and equitable world. In India, Sanjana designed and implemented a secondary education program for 40 girls in Gujarat, India, evaluated a health care project in West Bengal and worked on bringing India’s dynamic business community in the forefront of India’s foreign policy. Sanjana has a demonstrated passion for India’s growth and development and is driven to impact the communities she is part of by bringing people together.

Vasundhara Jolly: Co-chair, ’2013

Vasundhara Jolly is a Junior majoring in International Relations and Entrepreneurial Leadership Studies. She was born and brought up in the city of New Delhi, India. She has worked extensively on social inclusion programs in slums in Delhi with an NGO, interned with Tehelka magazine and also spent some time on a mental health project in Srinagar, Kashmir. She has no idea what she wants to do with her life but it involves making South Asia better.

Saanya Gulati: Web designer and blog manager, ’2012

Saanya Gulati is a senior from Mumbai, India majoring in International Relations and Sociology at Tufts. In the past has worked in the non-profit sector and media industry in India and the U.S. Combining her passion for South Asian politics, the media and writing, she designed the SAPAC website created the blog on South Asian politics, in order to disseminate information and start a dialogue on current affairs in the region where different opinions can be expressed by members of the Tufts community. She regularly contributes to the SAPAC blog and also maintains her own blog where she writes about issues related to the media, law, and other global issues. She previously wrote articles for the Tufts Daily, and The Viewspaper and upon graduating will be a Legislative Assistant to a Member of Parliament (LAMP) fellow at PRS in New Delhi, India

Haris Iqbal: Event co-ordinator, ’2013

Haris is a junior from Pakistan majoring in Electrical Engineering and Economics.

Zara Juneja: Assistant web manager and blogger, ’2014

Zara is a sophomore from India majoring in International Relations and Communications and Media Studies.

Currently SAPAC is looking for new members on the executive board. Contact us at sapac.tufts@gmail.com if you’re interested in applying.


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