Meet Our Team

We are researchers, analysts, strategists, mobilisers, and communicators. Together, we have more than one hundred years of experience working on environmental sustainability and social justice.
We bring specialists and generalists together because we believe that collaboration creates the best outcomes.

Vinuta Gopal - CEO

Vinuta is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Asar. She excels at developing strategy, planning campaigns, and building collaborative platforms for change.
Vinuta has campaigned on a range of environmental and social justice issues in India for over 20 years. She led several successful campaigns on climate change and pollution at Greenpeace India, where she also served as Interim Executive Director and Program Director. She has supported Dastkar Andhra in its work with handloom weavers. She started her career as a chartered accountant.
Vinuta loves spending time with her daughter.

Brikesh Singh - Mobilisation Strategist

Brikesh has over 18 years of diverse experience in campaigning for the environment, mobilising people, communications, and fundraising for nonprofits. He has worked with Greenpeace and other international organisations in a number of roles in India and abroad.
Brikesh excels at conceptualising, planning, and implementing mobilisation and communications strategies that are both innovative and engaging. He also specialises in outreach and building networks.
Brikesh moonlights as a standup comedian.

Arundhati Muthu - Senior Researcher

Arundhati is interested in the water crisis, particularly the accelerating depletion of groundwater, its correlation with climate change, and the interlinkages between water and food systems. She has also done extensive qualitative and quantitative analysis of the coal and thermal power generation sectors. Her research on these sectors covers regulations, policy, costs, tariffs, finance/ investments, and associated environmental and social costs.
Arundhati studied physics and computer applications and worked as a software engineer and programmer for 8 years.

Natasha Chandy - Communications Specialist

Natasha brings research, strategy development, and communications expertise to Asar’s projects. She is interested in sustainability, justice, and equal rights for all living beings. She has experience working as a campaign and communications person on climate change at Greenpeace, child rights at Vaani, and animal rights at PETA and Freagles of India. She has a background in film and television production which she pursued as an Assistant Director working on non-fiction content in Mumbai.
Natasha has run a successful business as a Canine Counselor for over 7 years in Bangalore. She still spends most of her free time on issues related to animals.

Shivani Yerdoor - Operations Manager

Shivani brings to Asar a decade of experience in operations, account and project management, and process improvement. She has worked with Spice Telecom, IBM, and other organisations in a variety of roles such as web production, online marketing, and client servicing.
Shivani studied commerce and information technology. She loves baking and reading mysteries.

Abhishek Pratap - Senior Researcher

Abhishek has 16 years of campaigning and research experience. He is an expert on public policy and renewable energy. His interests span climate change, energy access, clean air, forest governance, development finance, and the international waste trade. He has worked with CEED, Greenpeace, Vasundhara and other organisations. He is interested in long-term strategic planning and advocating evidence-based policies.
Abhishek has a Masters degree in environmental science. He enjoys reading memoirs of controversial figures and cooking Bihari food.

Priya Pillai - Senior Researcher

Priya has worked on environmental and social justice issues for 20 years. She works closely with grassroots movements and non-governmental organisations that focus on climate and energy, the right to food, gender equality, and forest rights. She has worked with Greenpeace, the Right to Food campaign, ActionAid, and Oxfam. She is proud of her role in securing forest rights for the people of Mahan in Singrauli.
Priya has a background in law. She is currently doing a Ph.D. on the socio-ecological impact of large- scale renewable energy from the University of Technology, Sydney.
In her free time, Priya listens to music and experiments with Kerala cuisine.

Rachel Pearlin - Senior Researcher

Rachel has more than 22 years of experience in the environment sector in campaigning, research, policy advocacy, project management, and field studies. She has worked with Greenpeace, WWF India and other organisations in a range of roles. She has a strong interest in climate change and participatory democracy.
Rachel studied environmental science and trained in environmental education. She enjoys music and loves running marathons.

Harshit Sharma - Researcher

Harshit has over two years of investigative and campaign oriented research experience on air pollution and power sector particularly on coal and related environmental issues. He has worked with Greenpeace as climate and energy researcher and has exposure to varied research skills in researching regulations, finance, data to legals. He strives to use his research and analytical skills to bring regulatory and policy changes favourable for a smoother and faster energy transition.
Harshit has a background in Human Development and holds a Masters in Conflict Management and Development.

Medha Kapoor - Researcher

Medha is passionate about action-oriented research. She does quantitative research on India’s coal power sector. She is particularly interested in how the value chain of coal affects the environment and communities. As an intern at CEEW, she studied the coal sector’s compliance with new emissions standards. She has also done qualitative research with communities of Odisha and Rajasthan to design and implement a WASH project.
Medha has a Master’s degree in sustainable development practice. She devotes her free time to the pursuit of mental and physical fitness.

Ishani Sachdeva- Researcher

Ishani is passionate about sustainable development. She is interested in action-oriented research and citizen science as tools to make scientific knowledge useful for the public. She is skilled at social research, documentation, engaging stakeholders, and working with networks. She has worked closely with communities in the Himalayas on springshed management and climate adaptation. She has worked with Centre for Ecology Development and Research, Foundation for Ecological Security, and National Association of Street Vendors of India.
In her free time, she tends to her small home garden and enjoys art films.

Sri Raksha - Accounts Officer

Sri Raksha is a fresh graduate and has studied business administration. She interned with Asar before joining the team in a full time role.
Sri Raksha enjoys hands-on creative hobbies like crafts, baking, and photography.

Sanam Sutirath Wazir - Network and Engagement Specialist

Sanam has nearly a decade of experience working on human rights, civil rights, and migrant rights. He has campaigned against communal violence for several years, garnering support for the victims of the 1984 violence against Sikhs through grassroots mobilisation, national and international advocacy, research and reports. Other issues he has worked on include Indians trapped in Iraq, Rohingya refugees, and Kashmir. He has previously worked with Amnesty International. His specialises in strategy development, public engagement, and advocacy.
Sanam studied mass communication. He enjoys horse-riding and reading in his free time.

Meera Srihari - Finance Accounts

Meera has over 15 years of accounting experience in the development sector. She is skilled at strategic financial planning and auditing. She has previously worked with the Centre for Wildlife Studies and Greenpeace India.
Before switching to finance and accounting, Meera taught Mathematics to high school students. She still spends her free time solving Maths problems.

Virat Singh - Communications Strategist

Virat has worked as a journalist for 14 years, reporting on wildlife, environment, urban transportation, and road safety for Mumbai-based papers such as DNA and Mumbai Mirror. He is interested in air pollution, wildlife conservation, and effectively communicating environmental issues to the public. He is a member of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) SSC Human-Wildlife Conflict Task Force (HWCTF). He works with wildlife organisations and state forest departments to conduct workshops on the role of the media in wildlife conservation and sensitive coverage of human- wildlife conflict. He is also visiting faculty for a number of media schools in Mumbai.
z Virat studied zoology and journalism. He enjoys cinema and photography and loves spending time with his daughter.