In the past couple of years, Veena has helped me immensely in meeting important deadlines, by providing editing and proof-reading services. I find her thorough and critical. She leaves no aspect unturned – questioning the flow and meaning, swooping down on the details, contemplating the choice of words so that lay readers can easily grasp the more difficult, technical aspects of the writing. Veena is a professional, whose editing and proofreading is creative, of the highest standards and delivered on time. I find her an invaluable resource.
Neena Sachdeva, Ottawa - based international consultant, working on social development and gender equality issues, 2009
Iworked with Veena in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania at the country's leading education advocacy organization HakiElimu (education rights -- see www.hakielimu.org). Veena was, among other things, responsible for developing and editing popular booklets. This was a challenge, because it involved preparing materials that would work with diverse audiences, that were on the edge, and yet would not cause offense among the powers that be, and that young people would find of interest. Veena did a terrific job of pulling together different strands and wrote compelling texts. Her job included overseeing all aspects of the production and quality assurance process.
Veena also developed tools to improve the quality of HakiElimu publications. These included a photo bank, an in-house style guide and evaluation questionnaires that were incorporated in the booklets.
She contributed to other tasks -- editing, writing reports, managing outputs and budgets -- and did so responsibly and effectively. She was an asset to HakiElimu at a key moment in our history, and some of her work continues to be enjoyed by hundreds of thousands of young people in Tanzania today.
Rakesh Rajani, Tanzania-based Founding Executive Director of HakiElimu2001-2007
I worked with Veena for 4 years at South Asia Partnerhsip Canada. She successfully wrote a proposal for a project in South Asia which was accepted by the Canadian International Development Agency. She was the Program Manager for this complex, 2 million dollar project that was executed from 7 offices in 6 countries. As the Director of Finance I worked closely with her and handled the financial management of the project.
Veena acted as a mentor and provided guidance to her counterparts in South Asia. She is straightforward, efficient, thorough and professional in everything she does. She has good writing and analytical skills and is a good communicator. She is also a good team player and I enjoyed working with her. I consider Veena to be an asset to any organization that she works for.
Vijaya Sitaram, Ottawa-based Principal, Heragu Financial Management Services, 2005
FarmFolk/CityFolk (FFCF) is is a non-profit organization that works with farm & city to cultivate a local, sustainable food system. It had an even broader mandate when I worked there as Executive Director.
Veena worked with us for 2 years as our communications and information person. She was also involved with organizational planning, fund-raising and programme implementation. She planned our communications strategy, designed a good deal of material, provided counsel on media and public presentations. She worked directly with me and consulted and advised the rest of the staff and regular volunteers.
Veena is an exceptional worker and an amazing person. Her intelligence and skills made for a stellar performance on the job. She understands complex situations, thinks and communicates clearly, speaks and writes extremely well, is open and frank in her views, uses non-dogmatic approaches and flexible solutions. She is enthusiastic, has high stress tolerance and constantly strives to improve.
Herb Barbolet, Vancouver-based, consultant, educator, writer and public speaker, 2005
I was impressed by Veena's dynamism and industriousness when I first met her at the Environmental Studies Masters Program at York University in the early 1990s. Over the past 15 years, Veena has worked for and with me in a professional capacity on numerous occasions. Her skills and personality can be a great asset to any organization, big or small.
When I worked as coordinator at the Community Bicycle Network, Veena led a forward-looking research project investigating sustainable transportation curriculum interests, needs and models within the Toronto Board of Education. Later we volunteered together, promoting awareness of environmental justice issues, with the Multi-Racial Network for Environmental Justice. In the late 1990s, Veena worked for me on contract, writing articles for the Ontario Women's Health Network.
Veena is a great pleasure to work with. She has a solid understanding of key environment, social justice and health issues. She provides exceptional professional expertise in the area of communications and she is an imaginative, collaborative and productive task manager. I look forward to working with her again.
Gillian Kranias, Toronto-based Community Health Promoter, 2000
I got to know Veena in 1988-1990 when she worked as a Feature Writer for Mid-Day, a popular afternoon tabloid in Bombay, where I was the Features Editor. We also worked together in 1990-1991, at The Independent, a newspaper published by the Times of India group.
I always found Veena reliable and meticulous in her research, good with deadlines and enthusiastic about taking on a variety of subjects. The arts, social and environmental issues were her special interests. She could always be relied upon to file a lively and well-written story.
I first met Veena in 1982, as a Visiting Lecturer in journalism at the Sophia Polytechnic, where she was a student. I have known her since as a fellow journalist in Bombay, and she worked with me as a member of the editorial team I headed as editor of Postscript, the Sunday magazine of The Indian Post (1987-1988).
Veena is intelligent, motivated, energetic and enterprising. She is also an independent, self-confident woman with a mind of her own and the determination to use it productively. I always found her eager and willing to learn and push herself to do her best.
She has a range of interests, which keep her multi-dimensional and lively. At the same time, she has considerable staying power, as seen in her commitment to the voluntary organization HELP, despite a heavy professional workload. HELP runs a crisis hotline for women and children in distress, in Bombay.
Veena is also warm, friendly and adaptable, which allows her to adjust well to new situations and environments.
Ammu Joseph, Bangalore-based, Independent Journalist and Author, 1991
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