The Child Welfare Trustees comprise a diverse group of professionals, including senior pediatricians, clinical psychologists, rehabilitation psychologists, experts in learning disabilities, experienced counselors, and behavioral scientists. They are all deeply committed to the cause supported by Child Welfare Trust and are dedicated to the comprehensive development of the students under their care.

About Founder

Late Dr. Shantuben Patel

Late Dr. Shantuben Patel, a woman overflowing with compassion and kindness.
Her perspective shifted while working in the UK, prompting Dr. Patel to make a life-altering decision to devote herself to providing free treatment to those in need.
She relocated to India and established Dhanvantri School in Kutch, dedicated to educating mentally and physically challenged children.

This remarkable woman ensured that underprivileged individuals have an equal opportunity to receive an education and thrive.
By granting these children an opportunity to develop and experience what they are often denied, Dr. Patel brightened and enriched the lives of all these young individuals.

In addition to her involvement with the Child Welfare Trust, she also pursued the roles of a Vipassana teacher and practitioner.
The combination of her pursuits encouraged a multifaceted approach to her life, where she was dedicated to both external service through her work with Child Welfare Trust and internal self-development and spiritual growth through her Vipassana practice and teaching.

This balance between outward and inward focus helped her in a powerful way to lead a meaningful and fulfilling life.

Dr. Shantuben Patel in Media:

About Trustees

Prof. Dr. Madhuri Kulkarni M.D. Ped, D.C.H, PGDJJJJ
Managing Trustee

Dr. Prof. Dr. Madhuri Kulkarni M.D. Ped, D.C.H, PGDJJJJ
Managing Trustee at The Child Welfare Trust

Currently, Professor Madhuri Kulkarni holds the position of Honorary Senior Consultant Pediatrician at the Mumbai Port Trust Hospital in Mumbai. She has a rich history of involvement in pediatric healthcare and education.

Since 1998, Dr. Kulkarni has served as a Founder Trustee of the Child Welfare Trust in Bhuj. Additionally, she acts as a consultant Pediatrician affiliated with the Dhanvantri School for Special Children, which operates under the auspices of the Trust.

Dr. Madhuri Kulkarni retired as a Professor and Head of the Department of Pediatrics from L.T.M. Medical College & L.T.M. General Hospital in Mumbai in 2008. Her educational journey includes completing her medical graduation and post-graduation in Pediatrics at Seth G. S. Medical College, Mumbai.
She embarked on her teaching career as a Pediatrics lecturer at T.N. Medical College, eventually ascending to roles such as Associate Professor, Professor, Head of Department, and Dean In-charge at L.T.M. Medical College and General Hospital, Mumbai.

During her tenure at L.T.M.G. Hospital, Dr. Kulkarni initiated several pioneering clinics, including the Early Intervention Clinic for children with developmental challenges in 1985, the Pediatric Neurology Clinic in 1992, and the Learning Disability Clinic in 1995. Notably, this multidisciplinary clinic was the first of its kind in Maharashtra, authorized to certify children with learning disabilities for educational accommodations from its inception.

In 1996, the Government of Maharashtra issued a Resolution granting provisions for children with learning disabilities at the 9th and 10th grade levels. The Department of Education and the Education Board of Maharashtra recognized the L.D. Clinic at L.T.M.G. Hospital for assessing and certifying children with Learning Disabilities.
Dr. Kulkarni and her team at L.T.M.G.H. conducted numerous awareness programs for school teachers, psychologists, counselors, general practitioners, and pediatricians nationwide. This program gained momentum in Maharashtra, Gujarat, and Goa, leading to children with Specific Learning Disabilities receiving provisions from the 1st to 12th grade and at the university level. This disability has since been acknowledged on a national scale.

In recognition of her significant contributions, Dr. Kulkarni received several awards. In 2009, she was honored with the “Top Ten Women of The City” award by the Junior Chamber International-India Zone XI Mumbai. In 2011, she received the ‘Samaj Shakti Award’ in the field of Medicine from the Hariharputra Bhajan Samaj, Mumbai. Additionally, in March 2015, Dr. Kulkarni was bestowed with the ‘Mahila Gaurav Purskar’ by the Brahman Sabha Girgaon, Mumbai.

Ms. Neelam Sarda
Member Trustee

Ms. Neelam Sarda
Member Trustee at The Child Welfare Trust

Neelam Sarda, originally from Jamnagar, is a highly acclaimed Audiologist and Speech Pathologist. She embarked on her career at a time when the field of Speech Therapy was relatively unfamiliar in Gujarat. Neelam Sarda has played a pivotal role in raising awareness and fostering understanding about speech therapy among parents, educators, and the broader community.

Her dedication to the cause of special education has extended far and wide, as she has shared her expertise and invaluable insights in diverse locations. Neelam Sarda’s contributions have been instrumental in supporting various initiatives aimed at enhancing the quality of special education.

Ms. Anita Chitra
Member Trustee

Ms. Anita Chitra
Member Trustee at The Child Welfare Trust

Ms. Anita Chitre currently operates as an independent clinical psychologist, offering her services to a diverse array of clinics located in Mumbai.

In 2004, she became associated with the Child Welfare Trust in Bhuj and assumed the role of consultant psychologist at the Dhanvantri School for Special Children, which operates under the aegis of the trust.

Ms. Chitre holds an MPhil in clinical psychology, which she earned at the Post Graduate Institute of Behavioral and Medical Sciences in Raipur during the academic session of 2015-17. Her academic journey also includes a master’s degree in clinical psychology, awarded by the University Department of Applied Psychology in Mumbai in 1999. In 2008, she completed a foundation course in special education through Bhoj University, accredited by the Rehabilitation Council of India. Furthermore, she is certified by the Rehabilitation Council of India as a Rehabilitation and Clinical Psychologist.

From 2001 to 2010, she served as a psychologist at the Learning Disability Clinic within LTMG Hospital in Sion, Mumbai. During this period, she played a pivotal role in diagnosing and certifying children with learning disabilities through her rigorous assessment work. As an integral member of the team, she spearheaded various awareness programs on learning disabilities across the country.

From 2010 to 2015, Ms. Chitre worked as a senior psychologist at the Spandan Holistic Center, Barvalia Foundation. Her primary responsibilities involved conducting assessments for children with autism and learning difficulties. She actively participated in periodic medical camps and workshops organized by the organization. Over the years, she provided guidance and training to other psychologists in the administration of diverse psychometric tests. Additionally, she supervised projects supported by the institute, funded by Ayush, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

Since 2002, Ms. Chitre has been serving as a consultant psychologist at Mann Clinic in Bandra. Her role has encompassed conducting clinical assessments for young adults and adults grappling with a wide range of psychological concerns. Furthermore, she has contributed as an art therapist for patients within the center’s daycare unit.

Ms. Meena Shiledar
Member Trustee

Ms. Meena Shiledar
Member Trustee at The Child Welfare Trust

Meena Shiledar made a significant career shift, leaving behind her 17-year-long tenure in banking and economics to pursue a Master’s Degree in Psychology. Over the past 18 years, she has devoted her professional life to working as a Counseling Psychologist in government-funded institutions, including the Learning Disability Clinic within the Department of Pediatrics at LTMG Sion Hospital, Seth G.S. Medical College, and K.E.M. Hospital in Mumbai, India. Additionally, she has been involved in the Dementia Clinic Project at the Psychiatry Department of L.T.M.G Hospital in Sion, Mumbai, India.

Throughout her career, Meena has had the privilege of guiding, counseling, and assisting a multitude of young, aspiring, and special children. Her impact extends further through the facilitation of approximately 350 training programs and participation in nearly 100 television shows centered on behavioral sciences and social awareness.

Meena Shiledar has also served as a counselor in various institutions, including Shradhhanand Mahila Ashram in Mumbai. Notably, she received recognition for her contribution when she authored a counseling book in the Marathi language in 2014—an unprecedented resource in addressing these critical issues. She has further shared her insights on mental health through numerous newspaper articles.

Her commitment to advancing her field is evident in her presentation of two research papers at the “International Psychology Congress” in Beijing, China, and the “International Congress of Pediatrics” in Melbourne, Australia. In September 2016, she received an invitation from the Karolinska Institutet Center of Neurodevelopmental Disorders (KIND) and the ICF Research Branch, a WHO Collaborating Center partner, to participate in the preparation of ICF Core Sets for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in Stockholm, Sweden.

As a testament to her outstanding contributions, Meena Shiledar was honored with the Mahila Gaurav Puraskar (Women’s Pride Award). Her unwavering passion lies in nurturing holistic development and fostering brighter prospects for special children, thereby playing a crucial role in guiding them towards a more deserving and fulfilling life.

Ms. Aarti Kumari Jadeja
Member Trustee

Rani Saheb Aarti Kumari Jadeja
BSc (HSc),DIME,M.Ed,
SENCO ,Career Counsellor.
Member Trustee at The Child Welfare Trust

Rani Saheb Aarti Kumari Jadeja, hails from the royal family of Tera-Kutch. She is a pioneer in innovative education and social work.

Her contributions and ongoing work in the field of education, women’s rights and environmental conservation is commendable . She is the Founder Principal and Director of Little Steps Montessori School, established in 2000 ,a prototype for the National Education Policy 2020.

A visionary educator, Rani Saheb emphasizes on a child-centric curriculum that nurtures each child’s unique qualities, her commitment to a child-centric curriculum aligns with modern educational principles that recognize the importance of nurturing each child’s unique qualities. By establishing a prototype for the National Education Policy 2020, she has contributed to shaping the future of education in her region and potentially throughout the country.

She is also a Special Educator, Educational Consultant, and Career Counselor, ensuring inclusivity and guiding students toward meaningful futures.
Rani Saheb Aarti Kumari Jadeja has inspired her community with her dedication to education, empowerment, environmental and heritage conservation.

Our History

In the late 1970s, Dr. Shantuben Patel left her successful career as a neonatologist in England and moved to Kutch, Gujarat.

She noticed a high number of physically and mentally challenged children and wanted to make a difference.

Read more about Child Welfare Trust’s Journey.

Your Voice Matters

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