Sara pic

Maria S Santamaria, CEO and Founder

A special educator by profession, Maria Santamaria (kown as Sarah), started by teaching at a school for children with special needs in Mumbai. A Masters in Special Education in the Cardinal Stritch College, Milwaukee, and work experience in job coaching uniquely equipped her to start a Vocational Training Centre for differently-abled adults and led to her founding the Diya Foundation in 1999.


Marguerita Lobo, Managing Trustee

A trained special educator, Marguerita has a long history of teaching differently-abled and underpriviledged children. She has also conducted many awareness programmes in schools and teacher’s training institutes.

Now on the board of trustees at Diya Foundation, she also helps with the structure and execution of our training programs.


Rajan Narayanan, Trustee

In addition to being a trustee at Diya Foundation, Rajan is also a panel member at ‘Whiteboard’, an initiative to help NGOs with their operational issues, and a trustee at ‘Baale Mane’, a home for girls.


Gerald D’Souza, Trustee

A graduate in Philosophy and a post-graduate in Human Resources Management and Industrial Relations, he has handled all aspects of the human resources during a career spanning over three decades.




Dhanya pic 

Dhanya D. S.

Dhanya, a MSW in Community Development and Post Graduate Diploma in Personnel Management and Industrial Relations joined the Diya team in February 2015.

Committed, Efficient, Responsible with a willingness to take initiative makes her a wonderful asset to the Diya Team.

Mary pic 

Mary Thomas

With almost 35 years of experience in the field of Social work Mary joined Diya in June 2008 and has been a valuable addition to the Diya family. Her indomitable spirit and high energy levels, her compassionate and caring nature are qualities that inspire us all at Diya.



 Shirley Metline

Shirley has been with Diya since 2000. Her passion to make a difference in the students she works with and her love for Diya are two qualities that make her indispensable. Her commitment, love and passion make her one of the most loved and needed staff at Diya. She has seen our students transform from dependent and needy adults to self dependent and mature adults.

namrata pic

Namrata  D’Souza

Namrata, a Masters in Counselling Psychology and a Bachelor’s in Education joined the Diya team in June 2015.

Creative, Bubbly, Organized and Systematic – her skills and knowledge make the day of our trainees’ organized and impactful.


Arun Kumar N

Arun, an electrician by profession but wheel chair bound since an accident on the job joined Diya in 2007. His commitment and desire to make a difference makes him a wonderful team member and a very important part of the Diya family.

Raghu A.

Raghu has been an inspiration with his fine sense of quality and perfection in every product he works on. Getting over his accident and reaching a stage where he is able to think of others instead of his accident has been a journey of discovery and learning and our trainees benefit from his sense of perfection and quality.

Raju pic

Raju N.

Raju, a spinal cord injured young man has been with Diya since 2004. His determination and commitment to be a part of every activity and sense of enjoyment makes him a valuable part of the Diya family. His fun loving nature makes it fun for the students to work with him.



Esther is the housekeeper at Diya, charged with maintaining the hygiene and cleanliness of the Diya premises. She joined us in 2013 and has proved a diligent and caring member of the staff, ready to pitch in and help with the trainees when needed.