top of page

Who We Are

South Asian Workers Center (SAWC), Boston, is a women-led 501(c)(3) non-profit organization serving mainly our immigrant and worker communities in Greater Boston.

Our primary goal is assisting women and girls in Boston area public housing to more easily integrate into US economic and social life.

Our work spans economic empowerment, workers’ rights advocacy, sustaining immigrant women’s support networks, mental health and wellness education, political mobilization, and building solidarity through educational activities for children and youth.

SAWC was awarded the Community Partnership Award by Asian Women for Health, and  was nominated for the 2022 Community Service and Activism Award by the Eastern Ecological Society.

Our Mission

To help low-income South Asian women, girls, and communities thrive by connecting to each other and to resources.


Meet Our Team

Jyoti Sinha

President/Founder/ Director of Programs

Jyoti is the founder and president of the South Asian Workers’ Center-Boston. She directs SAWC's programs and research based on the needs of the varied neighborhoods we operate closely in. Being one of the Board members, she is involved in overall governance and designing the training modules and workshops within the immigrant’s community. Her focus on women's social and economic equity arises from an intersection of her own experiences and the lives of people she’s met through the South Asian community. She believes that the immigrant story can be a very shared and powerful experience.  


She is also a mother of two young children, who provide her with the strength and reason to do everything she does for the Center. She hopes that as they and their generation grow up, they will become the main beneficiaries and torchbearers of SAWC's mission to create a compassionate, connected, and communicative space for all--particularly--those who need it the most. 

Dr. Sinha teaches with the Sociology Department and the Honors College at the University of Massachusetts-Boston.  

Laxmi Timilsina

General Secretary

Laxmi has been a longtime member of SAWC. She is a Biomedical professional with leadership and excellent time management skills. She has a Masters in English from Tribhuvan University, Nepal and has secured certificate courses in PC and network support specialties from Bunker hill community college.

Nilofer Yesmin/ Jackie



Nilofer immigrated to the US from Bangladesh in 2006 to start a new life, embracing a new country as her home. Belonging to a family that owns a restaurant in Dubai, she has had a keen interest in catering and engaging in a cooking cooperative. She is also responsible for outreach within the Bangladeshi community at the Rindge tower. Nelofer has an associate degree from Chittagong, and graduated from Quincy college with a biotechnology GMP certification. She is a mother of three beautiful daughters.

Gaurang Garg

Accounts Manager


Gaurang's expertise lies in budgeting, finance detailing and overall management of accounts activities at SAWC. As well as everyday detailed book keeping, he is skilled at troubleshooting at the center.


Gaurang is a full time student in Finance at UMass Boston and volunteers at SAWC.

Riaz Begum

Area Manager, Cambridge, MA


Mrs Riaz Begum, fondly known as “Aunty jee,” is a  certified nurse assistant from Pakistan who worked as an assistant matron in Multan government hospital. She went on to run her own clinic there, aiding as a midwife. Riaz aided immigrant Pakistani women to cater to their health in the United Kingdom and Libya as her husband relocated for job prospects. As an immigrant she faced many hurdles finding financial stability in new countries and believes that a worker center  can prove resourceful for anyone trying to establish themselves in a foreign land. Riaz is engaged in outreach programs and is our one stop shop for planning our events. As site manager, she coordinates all events and meetings within the Cambridge area. She leads the elderly people’s group and helps the Fresh pond apartment residents to access all available resources - specially following the global pandemic.

Sangeeta Subba Rai

Area Manager / Coordinator, Everett, MA

Sangeeta is originally from Nepal and also lived in India for some time. She is very enterprising and innovative, especially during family crisis. She has experience in various professions such as kindergarten teacher, beautician, and was in the pharmacy business in Nepal. She practiced Yoga and meditation for self-care. Now in Boston, she lives with her husband, son, daughter-in-law, and their dog whom she sometimes babysits. She is an avid gardener and lead the Go Green project the center has been involved in.  Sangeeta coordinates different programs and activities from the Everett, Malden area, as well as and organizes people from Nepal. She has been with SAWC since the pandemic started and has been adding members to her team from the North shore.

Rizvana Shaukat Fakir

Operations Coordinator


Rizvana brings to SAWC her wealth of experience in organizational efficiency and expertise in the minutiae of general operations, .  bringing together all our coordinators and teams. She specially focuses on the educational Programs at the center.

Rizvana serves as the Head Teacher at Peabody Preschool, where she leads a team dedicated to fostering a nurturing and stimulating learning atmosphere for young children. 

Lubna Dar

Auxiliary Aide

Lubna  is also known as the nightingale of our center as she sings on occasions to ease our mind, body, and soul. She is invaluable to the center, assisting us in a myriad of ways. A beautician by training, she is also  a mother of two beautiful children.

Manikala Rai
Program Assistant, Everett

Shamim Akhtar
Events Coordinator


Hasina Sheikh

Indian Coordinator

Farjana Rahman

Bangladeshi Coordinator

Tabassum Naveed

Quincy Coordinator

Hazra Africawala

Sales, Events fundraising


Field and Gofer

Dr. Soumya Ganapathy

Medical Professional for healthcare programsr


Haitian coordinator

Nasiraben Kathawala

Educational Program Assistant

Bina Padusaini

Somerville/ Cambridge Coordinator

Rama Adhikari

Programs, Data Equity and educational project

Marguerite Chatelier

Executive Assistant

Janaki Blum, PhD

Operations, Social media  Consultant

Indu Verma

Wellbeing Consultant

Mona Mandal


Our Board

Sister Marie Tess

Massachusetts Interfaith  Worker Justice, Boston- MA.

Somnath Mukherji
Association for India's Development (Boston), MA 

Abhi Adhikari
Venture Development Center,
UMass, Boston, MA.


Roshanara Begum

Resident of Rindge Avenue, Cambridge. MA

Jyoti Sinha
Faculty, UMass Boston, MA.


Our Volunteers

Gaurang Garg

Accounts Manager

Shanawaz  Shaukat Fakir

Technology assistance

Subahan Shaukat Fakir
Media, digital assistance

Our Advisors

Kamal Bawa

Professor Emeritus

UMass-Boston, MA.

Founder & President , Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment (ATREE). Bangalore, India.

Rajini Srikanth
Professor, Dean of Faculty UMass Boston. MA

Smitha Radhakrishnan
Professor, Sociology 

Wellesley College, Wellesley, MA.

Gowri Vijaykumar
Associate Professor, Sociology

Brandeis University Waltham, MA. 

Our Partners

Many of our clinics and events are possible by grants and support from these organizations. 

We Need Your Support Today!

bottom of page