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About About the SAA

About the SAA

Welcome to the Harvard South Asian Association Website! Since 1986, our organization has brought the Harvard community closer to South Asia and its Diaspora through academic, political, social, outreach and cultural initiatives. With over 300 members spanning myriad ethnicities, religions, and interests, the South Asian Association (SAA) is one of the largest and most active student groups on campus, putting on over 100 different events each year to celebrate and foster awareness of South Asia. As part of our continued effort to promote understanding of South Asian academic and political issues, we have hosted numerous discussions with esteemed faculty members, public figures, business leaders, artists and authors on campus, while also working to expand the focus of South Asia in the undergraduate curriculum. Every year, we seek to bring members of SAA closer together through a variety of social events, including weekly chai, parties and study breaks, allowing members to create friendships that will last long beyond their time at Harvard. Recognizing the unique role college students can play in development and community-building, SAA members serve communities within the Subcontinent and Diaspora by fundraising, interning with NGOs, and conducting other outreach efforts. Through high quality student-produced performances and dynamic workshops, SAA brings the culture of South Asia to Harvard. In fact, the hallmark of the year for SAA is its annual cultural show called Ghungroo, and celebrated its 24th anniversary in March 2012. Without a doubt, Ghungroo is one of the largest and most widely acclaimed shows at Harvard. With over 300 Harvard undergraduates directing, producing and performing a wide variety of dances, musical selections, dramatic pieces and poetry inspired by the traditions of South Asia, Ghungroo conveys the strength, enthusiasm and energy of our members.

Since its inception, SAA's size has grown with its scope. With activities and events ranging from the South Asian Journal, our journal of South Asian political and economic affairs, to Andaaz, a biennial South Asian Fashion show, SAA has expanded to reach out to students across Harvard's campus and beyond. We hope you take the time to explore this website and the many facets of SAA and our affiliate groups. There are many ways to get involved with the community from joining the leadership, to performing in shows or joining a planning committee. If there is something you'd like to see SAA do, don't hesitate to contact us at harvardsaa@gmail.com. We greatly appreciate your interest in our organization and the South Asian initiatives at Harvard.

Sincerely,
Sachin Patel and Fatima Mirza
2013-2014 Co-Presidents



Chairs The Chairs

Co-Presidents

Sachin Patel '15 | Co-President
email: sachinpatel@college.harvard.edu

Sachin is a Junior in Quincy House, planning a concentration in Statistics and a secondary field in East Asian Studies. Outside the SAA, he is a member of the Varsity Men's Squash Team, an Advertising Associate for The Crimson Business Board, and the Harvard Financial Analysts Club. In his free time, he loves teaching piano lessons through PBHAs HARMONY program. He is a die hard Philadelphia sports fan and loves to play soccer, golf, and basketball. If you have any questions, please contact him at sachinpatel@college.harvard.edu.



Fatima Mirza '15 | Co-President
email: fmirza@college.harvard.edu

Fatima Mirza is a junior in Adams House concentrating in Chemical & Physical Biology with a secondary in Global Health & Health Policy and a citation in Spanish. On campus, she is involved with the Harvard Islamic Society, World Model United Nations, and The Crimson. In her free time, she leads Code Orange, an organization that focuses on providing health education resources to Orangi Town, Pakistan. If you have any questions about SAA, especially about becoming involved with the largest student-run production on campus, Ghungroo, please contact her at fmirza@college.harvard.edu.

Secretary

Nithin Tumma '16 | Secretary
email: ntumma@college.harvard.edu

Nithin is a sophomore in Cabot from Port Huron, Michigan planning on concentrating in CS and Mathematics. Aside from SAA, he is also a member of the South Asian Men's Collective. He loves the word dope and at any given time, there is a high probability that he will be standing next to Neel.


Technology Chair

Neel Patel email: npatel@college.harvard.edu

Neel is a sophomore living in Cabot and planning on concentrating in Computer Science. He's originally from Orlando, Florida, and misses year-round flip flop weather. Aside from SAA, he's a member of South Asian Men's Collective, as well as working on various tech and entrepreneurship projects. He enjoys long walks to Chipotle, surfing, and free food.

Outreach Chair

Sreeja Kalapurakkel '16 | Outreach Chair
email: skalapurakkel@college.harvard.edu

Hello and Namaste! My name is Sreeja and I am a Sophomore. I have lived my entire life in the very distant city of Boston, MA; however, I make frequent visits to my motherland, Kerala, India, which in my humble opinion is the most beautiful place in the world. Above all else, I enjoy dancing in its every variety, reading, traveling, and spending time with family. I relish the chance to represent my culture wherever I am and to use culture to effect change for the better. Being a part of SAA has been incredibly fun, and I look forward to its thriving future!

Co-Academic/Political Chairs

Sidu Jena '16 | Co-Academic/Political Chair
email: sjena@college.harvard.edu

Siddhartha Jena is a sophomore in Eliot House studying Chemistry and Physics with a joint concentration in Mathematics and a secondary in Molecular and Cellular Biology. He is particularly interested in exploring the intersection of science and society with a focus on sustainable development, and plans to implement this rapidly changing field into campuswide discussions as Academic/Political Co-Chair. In his free time, Sidu enjoys cooking, long bike rides, and taking naps.





Ved Topkar '16 | Co-Academic/Political Chair
email: vedtopkar@college.harvard.edu

"Ved Topkar is a Sophomore in Eliot House planning to concentrate in Biology and Computer Science. Outside of SAA, he is involved with the Digital Literacy Project and the Triple Helix. He is incredibly excited to put together events this year with his co-Ac/Pol chair Sidu that encourage discourse in the Harvard community regarding a number of pressing South-Asian topics. He also does computational biology research at Harvard Medical School, and spends his free time running, playing classical guitar, or reading in a hammock. Oh, and he has an insatiable addiction for food from Punjabi Dhaba."

Cultural Chair

Mahnoor (Mahi) Mahmood '16 | Cultural Chair
email: mmahmood@college.harvard.edu

Salaam Namaste! Mahi is a sophomore in Eliot House concentrating in Human Developmental and Regenerative Biology and getting a secondary in Computer Science. Dil Toh Pagal Hai about international and race relations, politics, and cultural anthropology focused mainly in the Middle East and South Asia because Kuch Kuch Hota Hai… tum nahin samjho gaye. She is also an avid Bollywood fan (if that wasn't clear already), the future wife of Shahrukh Khan (Dilwale "Dulha" Le Jayenge), and may be the purest definition of an overly dramatic, filmy Punjabi. She loves to meet new people so be sure to stop by for a chat whenever you want :)

Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna.

Kya pata... Kal Ho Na Ho.



Co-Social Chairs

Saahil Siddoo '16 | Co-Social Chair
email: ssiddoo@college.harvard.edu

Saahil is a Sophomore in Dunster from Vancouver, Canada. He likes to think he is a real "international student" and uses the fact that he is Canadian to justify anything he does on campus. He is really excited to be a part of the SAA community and enjoys showing his culture to the rest of Harvard! Other than SAA, he is involved in Bhangra and plays Club Basketball. He has no idea what his academic future holds, but he enjoys trying new things and challenging himself! When Saahil is not dancing or on the court, he enjoys acting and making funny catch-phrases!






Ravi Shah '16 | Co-Social Chair
email: ravishah@college.harvard.edu

Ravi is a sophomore in Dunster House, concentrating in Government. Hailing from the suburbs of Chicago, he has a lot of pride for a city he doesn't technically live in. He is a member of the Institute of Politics, the Bhangra team, Dunster House Council, and a Dorm Crew Captain. He is also, unfortunately, a Cubs fan.

Treasurer

Jane Jacob '16 | Treasurer
email:janejacob@college.harvard.edu

Bio coming soon

Publicity Co-Chairs

Aniqa Hassan '16 | Publicity Co-Chair
email: aniqahassan@college.harvard.edu

Hello! I'm currently a sophomore in Adams house. I'm from Philly and I love it, though I don't actually love Philly cheesesteaks unfortunately. I was born in Bangladesh and love fuchka (essentially the Bengali version of pani puri). Outside of SAA I'm involved with the Interfaith Council and Harvard College Students for Bangladesh. In my free time I like eating and sleeping.






Tarik Moon '15 | Publicity Co-Chair
email: tmoon@college.harvard.edu

Bio coming soon

Historian

Prerna Bhat '14 | Historian
email: prernabhat@college.harvard.edu

Bio coming soon

Freshman Reps

Avni Nahar '17 | Freshman Rep
email: avninahar@college.harvard.edu

Avni is a freshman living in Holworthy Hall, originally from South Burlington, Vermont. She's completely undecided about a future concentration, but plans to eventually figure out her life. Hopefully sometime soon. Apart from SAA, Avni is involved with theater, the IOP, CityStep, and the Harvard Foundation. In her spare time, she loves skiing and eating Honey Bunches of Oats.









Nabig Chaudhry '17 | Freshman Rep
email: nabigchaudhry@college.harvard.edu

Nabig (aka Nabig-deal) is currently is Freshman in Canaday! He’s not currently entirely sure what he would want to concentrate or major in, but is highly interested in the global and public health! He loves taking naps, Harry Potter, Bollywood movies, and living life to the fullest! He also really enjoys South Asian culture, and food, and is really looking forward to making the most of his next four years at Harvard!!!









Saahil Mehta '17 | Freshman Rep
email: saahilmehta@college.harvard.edu

Saahil Mehta is a Freshman living in Weld and planning to concentrate in Physics (though he is still unsure!). Aside from SAA, he is involved in the PBHA Keylatch program and the Harvard Financial Analysts Club. In his free time, he enjoys conversing with friends and eating great food.









Nishant Kakar '17 | Freshman Rep
email: nkakar@college.harvard.edu

Nishant is a Freshman living in Matthews House. He is planning on concentrating in Computer Science with a secondary in Chemistry or Math. Outside the SAA, he is involved with the Harvard Pre-Medical society, the Harvard Computing Society and plays for the Men's Club Tennis team. In his free time, he loves to play ping pong (if you want a challenge hit me up anytime), basketball and pretty much any other sport you can name. He has a rather unhealthy passion for TV shows and fast food -- but yolo. He's so excited to be a part of the SAA community!









Other great frosh reps! '17 | Freshman Rep
email: email@college.harvard.edu

Coming Soon!









Alumni Welcome back, alumni!

Welcome back, alumni!

We're excited to improve our alumni connections - we have some great plans in the works! For now, don't hesitate to contact us at harvardsaa@gmail.com.

Contact Get in Touch

  • Address:
    Student Organization Center at Hilles
    Box #119
    59 Shepard Street
    Cambridge, MA 02138
  • Email: harvardsaa@gmail.com