ABOUT US

Who Says Making a Difference Can't Be Fun?

OUR PURPOSE

Thaakat Foundation is a nationally recognized 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that believes in restoring hope and courage in the underprivileged by advancing the minds of those who are capable of lending a helping hand. Thaakat Foundation strongly believes in promoting charitable giving and humanitarian work among the youth by selflessly supporting the act of giving back.

We transcend cultural and religious boundaries to create a network of individuals that look to this organization as a project of their own; where no matter your race or creed, you are united with a group of people that share a similar desire to help. Thaakat is a non-religious, non-political organization.

100% of all donated funds go towards our projects. Any overhead expense is covered by kind corporate contributors and sponsors. That’s every $1 to people who need it most. Our entire board works around the clock as volunteers to help make this possible.

MEET THE TEAM

Uzma Bawany

Founder and Executive Director - Thaakat

Uzma founded Thaakat Foundation in 2007 with hopes that she could encourage students and young professionals to consider their ability to make an impact for those in need around the world. What started with a board of a few passionate team mates has now blossomed into hundreds of members across the world who have dedicated their days to making a difference. For Uzma, no challenge is too big and no need too small, her goal is to ensure our adopted communities can grow, progress economically and transform the lives of individuals who need us.

Uzma Bawany graduated from DePaul University with a Bachelor’s in Marketing and from Lewis University with an MBA. She works full time as Sr. Manager of Digital Marketing at a pharma company and is based out of New Jersey.

Nudrat Zoha

Nudrat Zoha

Chief Operating Officer - Thaakat

Nudrat Zoha received her Master’s in Journalism from Depaul University and is currently pursuing a full-time career in Digital Strategy. She joined Thaakat in 2010 while doing her undergraduate at the University of Illinois at Chicago. She started as a Social Media Manager for Thaakat and in 2014, she took on the role of Director of Global projects, working with her team and project managers around the world to help address community needs and how Thaakat can help. Currently, Nudrat is the Chief Operating Officer for Thaakat Foundation and oversees many different tasks and responsibilities that help Thaakat continue it’s mission, with the help of our supporters.

Azka Asif

Azka Asif

Director of Digital Marketing

Azka Asif is a graduate student at DePaul University studying Digital Communications and Media Arts. She works full time as a Communications Specialist at Rotary International, worldwide humanitarian service organization. Always drawn to helping others and looking to make the world a better place, Azka crossed paths with Thaakat during a bone marrow drive in 2013. She is now the Director of Digital Marketing, helping spread the message of Thaakat and volunteerism across various platforms and helping spread Thaakat to many parts of the world.

Afra Ashraf

Afra Ashraf

Global Projects Manager

Afra Ashraf is a recent graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with Bachelors degrees in Finance and Accountancy. She currently works full-time as a Strategy & Operations Analyst at Uber Freight. Afra was involved in many social entrepreneurship and volunteer efforts throughout college, and she felt that Thaakat was the perfect post-grad organization to continue her interest in providing creative, long-term solutions to communities in need. She is especially passionate about providing education and alleviating hunger and poverty through sustainable methods. Currently, Afra supports project operations and management for Thaakat and hopes to help the organization continue to deepen its impact.

Priyanka Patel

Priyanka Patel

Global Projects Manager

Priyanka graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a BS in Chemistry and Psychology. She is currently a a medical student at St. George’s University. On her first day of undergrad, she was introduced to Thaakat Foundation and immediately fell in love with the mission of empowering and inspiring charitable work. Thaakat was different in the sense that she felt connected to the people and the community through the Facebook, Instagram, and GroupMe posts. If her team fundraised $300 from a Crepe Sale, she knew that it was going towards something like creating public bathrooms for the community members in Sierra Leone. Since working with Healthcare Without Borders in Sierra Leone, she has realized her passion for maternal and child health. “I hope that as an Ob/Gyn, I can work to combat the rising maternal and child mortality rate by providing individuals with the access and education they need to take control of their health.”

Reema Patel

Reema Patel

Global Projects Manager

Reema Patel graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a Masters in Bioengineering. She is currently a medical student in Clearwater, Florida. She is passionate about improving children’s education and literacy in impoverished areas and believes that Thaaket embodies her values and beliefs about equality of education and healthcare for everyone. Reema has been volunteering with Boys and Girls Club for over 4 years now and continues to look for opportunities to help children reach their potential. Reema chose to become a part of the Thaakat team because of the direct impact she saw the organization made in local communities globally.

Puneet Soni

Puneet Soni

Special Projects Development

Puneet is a MBA graduate from Roosevelt University where he focused on Public Admin and Policy and received a Bachelor’s from University of Illinois where he studied health science. Puneet has been involved in leading a medical brigade overseas to help the people of Panama and has led youth Tedx talks to help push the path for education and health in third-world countries. He is passionate about helping build new schools and provide medical help to those in need. Puneet crossed paths with Thaakat while joining the team for the annual charity basketball tournament and wanted to make a real impact helping. Currently, Puneet supports special projects on global sites and serves as one of the leads on the basketball tournament. 

Sufyan Barkat

Sufyan Barkat

Director of Funding & Development

Sufyan is a graduate of Loyola University Chicago and received a BS in Physics and BS in Bio-Chemistry. Though technology is his expertise, he felt compelled to be involved somewhere where he could lend his care, services, and time to improve the world.  He’s in charge of helping us to grow our existing donor base so that we can support our growing projects and develop a sustainable plan for the future.

Outside of Thaakat, Sufyan works as a Systems Engineer at Cisco Systems.  He uses technology to help customers transform their business and to help them achieve aggressive business goals.

Aysha Qamar

Aysha Qamar

Campus Liason/Social Media

Aysha Qamar received her Master’s in Political Science: Global Policy and Sustainable Development from Rutgers University. She is a writer, poet, and advocate based in the tri-state area. While Aysha’s work can be found in various publications, she is a full-time trending news and politics writer for Daily Kos. Common themes in her work include advocating for immigration reform, gender parity, language access, and cultural competency. She also has extensive experience working with state officials and grassroots organizations on addressing issues of violence against women and language access. Aysha is a part of the Social Media Team and currently serves as a Content Curator. She is a strong advocate for gender equality and education and reflects that passion in her work with Thaakat Foundation.

Amal Amir

Amal Amir

Content Curator

Amal graduated from the Rutgers Business School with a BS in Finance and is currently a third year medical student at Rowan University School of Osteopathic Medicine. Her aspirations include working in women’s health and with under-served populations through her profession, but also through dedicating time to outreach programs like Thaakat’s global projects. Her journey with Thaakat began as a undergraduate in 2012 and since then Thaakat has served as an outlet for her to make an impact in her local community, in addition to the global community at large. 

Jay Raval

Jay Raval

Graphic Design Support

Jay Raval received his Bachelor’s degrees in Human Resources Management and Information Technology & Informatics from Rutgers University in 2019. His interest in graphic design helped him cross paths with Rutgers Thaakat in 2016, where he assisted with flyers and promotional materials. After learning more about Thaakat Foundation, he decided to involve himself with Thaakat’s mission post graduation.
Saad Bawany

Saad Bawany

Program Manager/ Annual Events

Saad Bawany received a Master’s degree in School Finance from Northern Illinois University and obtained his CSBO endorsement. He also has a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting from the University of Illinois-Chicago. Since the beginning of his career, he has always been tied to the business side of the Education sector. He went from auditing school districts to working as an Administrator for one; and now works for a software company that assists the public sector in all their financing needs. He developed a passion for helping the less fortunate get a fair opportunity with education and grow their communities. He has been volunteering with Thaakat since its inception, however, he accepted a more defining role when the annual basketball tournament became the staple fundraiser in 2010. Today, Saad manages the start to finish leadership and planning of our annual Feed the Need Basketball Tournament in Chicago, IL. 

Amani Memon

Amani Memon

Fundraising & Development Outreach

Amani Memon received a Bachelor’s of Science in Psychology with a minor in Chemistry and completed her Doctorate of Pharmacy. Amani became involved in Thaakat because she felt it embodied everything she believed in; kindness towards others, compassionate giving, and helping those who are unable under various circumstances. For her, Thaakat is the first of many steps towards being the change she wants to see in the world. Today, Amani has built a network and relationships which have helped our DREAMS for Kachra Kundi school grow and thrive in the face of challenge.

Ayesha Lodhia

Ayesha Lodhia

Treasurer

Ayesha Lodhia stepped into Thaakat Atlanta as a founding president of the student chapter at Oglethorpe University in Summer 2011. Her first successful year as a leader was topped off with Thaakat Atlanta receiving the Dean’s Award for Outstanding Achievement by a Student Organization at Oglethorpe University in Spring 2012.

Ayesha Lodhia graduated from Oglethorpe University with a Bachelor’s in Accounting. Now she has found a perfect spot as the Treasurer putting her experience with numbers and love for charity work together.

Megha Karnam

Megha Karnam

Fundraising & Development Outreach

Service has always been a part of my life, and when I joined Rutgers my freshman year I was looking forward to finding a service organization that I fit into. I applied to Thaakat because of a speech I heard given by the board members.A reason I was so happy to get onto board is because the genuine care and love for serving others that they conveyed was what I found in every member on the team. I had the opportunity to raise funds and see how we were making and impact and am glad I get to continue to be involved today. Currently I am a Patient care Coordinator at Memorial Sloan Kettering in Manhattan and wish to pursue a Physician’s Assistant Masters in the future.

Aqsa Bawany

Aqsa Bawany

Sponsorship and Events

Aqsa is a part of our Sponsorship and Events team. Aqsa started her journey with Thaakat when it was first established, working for many years as a volunteer and then as her campus chapter’s founder and president. She knew she wanted to take on a board role because Thaakat had always been a part of who she was. Aqsa also enjoys mentoring and advising incoming chapter leads and volunteers. 

 
Professionally, Aqsa works as a behavioral therapist with Autistic children.

Ayesha Lodhia graduated from Oglethorpe University with a Bachelor’s in Accounting. Now she has found a perfect spot as the Treasurer putting her experience with numbers and love for charity work together.

We are thankful to the following sponsors and partners for helping to make our work possible