Meet the SAAPRI Team

Dhara Puvar

Executive Director

Dhara joined SAAPRI as its Executive Director in 2017. She graduated with a B.S. in psychology from Loyola University Chicago, where she served as the coordinator for the first international, interdisciplinary conference on South Asian womanhood and girlhood. Prior to SAAPRI, Dhara completed a contract at the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs to help develop their Junior Professional Officer Program. Much of Dhara’s experience lies in community-based research. Dhara conducted research on the impact of peer mentoring on students in Chicago public schools in low income neighborhoods with high rates of violence. She also conducted independent research abroad in Kathmandu, Nepal, where she studied risk factors for suicide among female migrant workers and worked for a nonprofit that provided legal aid and rehabilitation services to displaced Nepali migrants. She is passionate about issues surrounding equity and social justice, workers’ rights, public health, and migration. As SAAPRI’s Executive Director, Dhara looks forward to continuing her work engaging those in Chicago and beyond through social justice initiatives and research that can empower and unite the South Asian community.

Anil Methipara

Community Research Fellow

Anil has a B.A. in economics from Carleton College and has been involved in research in several public policy areas. His undergraduate thesis developed a model examining the relationship between income inequality and population health outcomes in developing countries and was presented at a 2016 conference held by the World Bank and the Institute for Human Development. As a research intern at the Centre for Public Policy Research in Kerala, India, he examined the infrastructure sector in Kerala from an Ease of Doing Business framework. In college, he served as the chair of the Carleton Responsible Investment Committee where he helped develop corporate social responsibility policies for the college. He has also worked on projects seeking to understand the history and diasporic experiences of St. Thomas Christians in the U.S. As a Community Research Fellow, Anil is focused on using both data and the voices within the South Asian community to advance public policy solutions.

Meet SAAPRI’s 2018 Interns!

SAAPRI is thrilled to welcome new interns to support our research, advocacy, and outreach efforts.

Tanvi Singh

Research Intern

Tanvi Singh is an undergraduate student at Roosevelt University, studying Social Justice Studies and Mathematics, and will graduate in May 2019. Tanvi has worked as an Undergraduate Research Fellow at the Policy Research Collaborative at Roosevelt University, where they assisted in research projects in collaboration with community partners to address interdisciplinary policy issues including racial and ethnic inequity, housing and economic mobility, health justice, and youth development. Tanvi is also currently a collective member of Chicago Desi Youth Rising, working with young South Asians to help them become leaders in movement building.

Meghal Seth

Research Intern

Meghal Sheth is a rising senior at Washington University in St. Louis pursuing a B.A. in Anthropology with minors in Biology and Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. At WashU, Meghal is actively involved with South Asian community as Co-President of WashU Ashoka, and is involved in making minority voices heard through her role as Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion for the Women’s Panhellenic Association. Meghal’s interests lie at the intersection of South Asian identity, gender based violence, and activism as a form of civic engagement, and Meghal is pursuing these passions as a member of the Gephardt Institute’s Civic Scholars program. Meghal is very excited to be engaging in non-profit work this summer and hopes to learn more about radical South Asian advocacy!

saapri website

Himanshu Dhamija

Tech Intern

Himanshu Dhamija is a computer science student at University of Illinois at Chicago. He first came to the U.S. in 2015 to pursue his Bachelors degree. He has completed various projects within UIC’s computer science department which has allowed him to gain knowledge on different programming languages, graphics, and has enhanced his creativity and ability to imagine new uses for technology. Himanshu has also held positions at UIC and New Rainbow Fabrics that have helped him improve his inter and intra personal skills. The experience and skills Himanshu has developed through his undergraduate program and professionally, especially his expertise in web development, will help SAAPRI expand its digital presence.