History

Prayas' journey began in 2019 when a few friends came together to form an organization that would enable them to reminisce events from their childhood days in India and spread the spirit of Bangaliana among the Greater Portland community.  Prayas' prayas is to share the festivals and events that we grew up with our extended family and friends in the Greater Portland Metro Area. 

Although right from inception, Prayas' goal was to start a Kali Pujo as their flagship event, the first festival we celebrated was a ghoroa Saraswati puja with a few close families in a small clubhouse. When the world took a hiatus from events due to COVID, Prayas went on to reach out to the less fortunate residents of Portland and partnered with Transition Projects for a charity drive. The drive was immensely successful, thanks to the widespread support of our wonderful community.

Prayas was finally able organize their first Kali Pujo in 2021. While Kali Pujo remains Prayas' flagship event, fun events like Ananda Mela in spring which showcases home cooks from across the Indian subcontinent has been immensely popular. Prayas also organizes annual picnics in summer to connect and engage further with our ever-burgeoning local community. 

Prayas' strength lies in their members who are a constant source of support and inspiration. With love and encouragement from our members and event guests, here's hoping for years of celebration and togetherness with Prayas. 

 The Team

Sanjukta Chatterjee

President

Born and brought up in and around Kolkata, Sanjukta landed in Portland about a decade ago after completing her PhD in Physics from Switzerland. While she likes her day job as an engineer at Intel, she loves spending time with her 6 year old and 1 year old boys, Neo & Noah the most. In very rare free time, she enjoys reading, traveling, giggling with her friends, and watching movies. 

Ritu Ghosal

Secretary

Ritu Ghosal moved to the Portland metro area in 2014. She has a degree in public health from OHSU-PSU School of Public Health after completing her Masters from the London School of Economics. She is currently working as a public health researcher at Providence Health and Services. Ritu loves to travel, play silly games with her 2 year old and catch up on the latest crime thrillers and K-drama.

Avra Bandopadhyay

Cultural Secretary

Avra Bandyopadhyay is from Kolkata. He finished his BE and MS in Electronics Engineering in India. He came to the US in 2016; completed his PhD in Electrical Engineering in 2020, and presently works at Intel. He got married to Jayita Banerjee in 2021. They love travelling, listening to music; and meeting new people. Both of them have been actively involved in the activities organized by PrayasPDX since 2022.

Shouvik Rakshit

PR & Outreach Coordinator

Shouvik hails from Kolkata and moved to Portland in 2018 for MS at Portland State University. Prior to his masters he worked as  a Business Intelligence Consultant for 3 years and currently he is a EDA Software Engineer at Intel. Shouvik loves kayaking, exploring cuisines and his Kindle.

Srismrita Basu

Sponsorship Coordinator

Srismrita loves photography, music, and trekking with her 4 year old kiddo and her husband. Visiting all 7 continents is her goal as a traveler. Currently she is working as a Senior Process Engineer at Intel, and came to Portland 5 years back after completing her PhD in Electrical Engineering. 

Suchismita Ghosh

Treasurer

Suchismita completed her BE in Electrical Engineering from Jadavpur University, Kolkata and went on to complete her MS & PhD in EE from University of California, Riverside. She joined Intel and moved to Portland in 2009, and is currently working as a Silicon Power Architect. In her spare time, when she is not crunching numbers for Prayas, she enjoys music, painting, traveling, and reading.