Our Team

The leadership team of Dogs of the Ganges Society include animal lovers who have travelled to India and have felt compelled to do something to better the lives of the dogs there, as well as professionals with strong management skills to ensure that donor funds are effectively and efficiently spent.  Our collective experience includes not-for-profit management, fundraising, volunteer and community engagement, strategic planning, and financial management.


Derek Barber – Derek traveled to India in late 2012 with the intention of sight-seeing and volunteering.  He was in awe at the history of the city but was shocked at the lives of street animals – not only the plights that they face in daily life, but also at the sheer number of them.  Upon returning to Canada, he simply wanted to help – to make a difference in the lives of dogs who live each day with hunger and fear.  As someone who grew up with dogs and has volunteered with them, he knows that the best way to help the dogs is to empower and teach the people who surround the dogs to make a difference.

Outside of the Dogs of the Ganges Society, Derek has spent the past 20 years working in the financial industry and has volunteered with several groups such as the Pacific Assistance Dogs Society, Canadian Cancer Society, Transition Toronto, Toronto Green Community and Paper Kite Foundation.  His passions outside of work and volunteering include vegetable gardening and woodworking.


Vinyse Barber – After visiting Varanasi for the first time in December 2012, Vinyse fell in love with this beautiful city full of contradictions, but more importantly, her heart was captured by the street dogs there.  She left Varanasi immediately knowing that she and her husband had to do something to help.  Vinyse feels strongly about turning passion to action, and that everyone has the ability to make a difference in the lives of others.

A lifelong animal lover, Vinyse shares her home with her husband, their two dogs, Teaka and Claymore, and they foster palliative cats. After starting a career in the corporate sector as a Chartered Accountant, Vinyse followed her heart and completed a Master’s degree in not-for-profit management.  The shift in focus led her to find her calling in the field of volunteer engagement, and she finds nothing more inspiring than going to work every day, speaking with people who want to make a difference.


Manmeet Bhatia – Manmeet’s trip to India and Nepal in 2009 was eye opening in many respects.  He had not been to the country of his birth in nearly 20 years and was overwhelmed with how much had changed during those two decades.  While there were significant improvements in technology, there remained rampant pollution and poverty.  The starving children and animals in the streets were memories that he found difficult to escape.  When approached by Dogs of the Ganges Society to assist with the escalating stray dog issue in the region, Manmeet was eager to assist.

Outside of the Dogs of the Ganges Society, Manmeet has worked for nearly twenty years in the financial industry.  He has been featured in several publications and is an avid supporter of sustainable investing.

Robin Cyna


Sara Parmar – A huge animal lover and a vegetarian for over 12 years, Sara shares her home with her husband and their two furry friends, Shadow and Simba. Sara has a huge passion for helping those in need and currently works at a not-for-profit organization helping cancer patients. Her love of animals started at a very young age, so when given the opportunity to join Dogs of the Ganges Society, she joined the team to make a difference in street dogs that live day by day hungry and abused. Sara believes in speaking for those that can’t speak for themselves, and strongly believes every single person can do something small to make a difference. In her spare time she loves to travel and have movie nights at home with her family and friends.