MEET THE TEAM
CHAL-USA was founded by three animal lovers who came together for a common cause.
Viji Sundaram, Patricia Leslie and Radha Savaram saw the opportunity to mobilize funds from donors in the United States who want to hep make a difference in regions where stray dogs are often deemed a menace and animal rights organizations are fighting the odds to eliminate rabies and help scientifically reduce their numbers without subjecting them to inhumane culling.
Viji Sundaram is a San Francisco-based journalist.
She has an MS in Journalism from Boston University and a bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from Stella Maris College in Chennai, India. A veteran journalist, she is currently the health editor with New America Media, a web-based news service for the ethnic media in the United States. Over the years, she has won eleven journalism awards, the majority of them for investigative reporting.
Sundaram is also the co-founder of Narika, a San Francisco Bay Area-based helpline for South Asian victims of domestic violence.
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Radha Savaram is a software professional in Southern California.
She attended graduate school at the University of Kentucky in Lexington. Savaram grew up in a household full of cats and dogs in Chennai, India. She spent her summer vacations at her ancestral family farm in a village in southern India, where she observed at close quarters the interdependent, yet harmonious and respectful relationship between the farmer and his livestock. Later, she volunteered with animal welfare organizations.
At home, she indulges her pet cat, Kobe, and helps him with his blog.
Tirumala Ranganath retired from the high-tech sector in Silicon Valley in 2015, after working variously as an engineer in such companies as Intel, Hewlett Packard and Agilent.
Over the years, he has supported a number of animal conservation and welfare organizations here in the U.S, in Africa and India. Now, he is eager to invest his time and energy in an “organization that is involved in improving the condition of stray dogs in India.”
After working with students with special needs for more than ten years in North Carolina, Lakshmi Muralidharan went back to school and earned her Master of Arts degree in teaching from North Carolina Central University, in Durham. She came to the U.S. in 1993 with a bachelor’s degree in Economics from Justice Basheer Ahmed Sayeed College for women in Chennai, India.
She is a passionate animal lover and considered it a privilege working for the Blue Cross of India in Chennai for three years. While there, she saw first hand (and was deeply disturbed by) various forms of cruelty to animals, which the Blue Cross fought against.
Lakshmi adores and pampers her rescued grand dog, Benny, who has her twisted around his little paws.
Amulya studied Business Analytics & Technology at Trinity University before working as an IT Consultant in San Francisco. She decided to go back to school at the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising to study Beauty Marketing and Product Development with the hopes of one day working for a vegan, cruelty-free cosmetics brand. Amulya was famous for being constantly scolded by her family on childhood trips to India when she tried to feed stray dogs her own lunch.
She’s always loved dogs but never got the chance to have her own until working from home in 2020 allowed her to adopt a Goldendoodle named Bear who has achieved fame and notability in her own right. Amulya is excited to see how she can use her marketing and data analytics expertise to help CHAL USA gather more donations and save even more dogs in India!