Abhishek Anicca is a writer, poet and performer. He identifies as a person with locomotor disability and chronic illness which shapes his creative endeavours.
Aditi Mittal is a writer, comedian and not related to the rich Mittals in any way. She has performed in comedy festivals all over the world and has had her comedy featured in several documentary films. She has 2 specials on Netflix (Girl Meets Mic, Things They wouldn’t let me say) and one on Amazon Prime (UK, Aus)(Mother of Invention) Dr. Lutchuke - With a PhD in Kuch Nahi, Dr. Mrs. Savitri Lutchuke is one of the best fake sexologists and psychologists in the country.
Aditi Patil is a researcher and writer currently studying the drivers of illegal wildlife trade in India's North East. Her first book titled 'Patriarchy and the Pangolin' attempts to look at overlapping conservation, forestry, climate change and social issues in the country. Aditi has a post graduate degree in Development Studies and six years of work experience with diverse organisations – Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, WWF India, Columbia University and state forest departments. In her spare time, she likes to read Urdu poetry in the company of cats.
Akanksha Kadam is a Mumbai based Lavani artist. She is known for her playful, sensuous adakari which captivates her audience within no time. She has been practising this art form for over 20 years. She conducts Lavani workshops by Kali Billi Productions and has trained many girls and boys in footwork and adakari. She has won numerous awards. She has choreographed Lavani songs for Marathi and Hindi films. She has also appeared in TV reality shows. Akanksha currently works as a freelance Lavani dancer.
Anish Gawande is a writer and translator. He is the director of the Dara Shikoh Fellowship, an interdisciplinary arts residency in Kashmir, and the founder and curator of Pink List India, a queer political advocacy organisation. Anish graduated with a degree in Comparative Literature and Society from Columbia University and is currently a Rhodes Scholar pursuing his master's in Intellectual History at Oxford, focusing on queer histories in the global South.
Dr. Anja Kovacs is Director of the Internet Democracy Project, which works towards realising feminist visions of the digital in society by exploring and addressing power imbalances in the areas of norms, governance and infrastructure in India and beyond. Her current research focuses especially on bodies, data and governance. In addition, Anja has lectured in the UK, India and Brazil and worked as an international consultant. Previously a Fellow at the Centre for Internet and Society in Bangalore, she is currently also a CyberBRICS Non Resident Fellow at the Fundação Getulio Vargas (FGV), Rio de Janeiro. She obtained her PhD in Development Studies from the University of East Anglia in the UK.
Anne is a public health professional, pleasure propagandist and 'guerrilla girl' of HIV prevention. She founded The Pleasure Project in 2004. The Pleasure Project forges connections between the world of public health, academia and media and is globally recognised as the agency that has championed putting pleasure into safer sex education. The Pleasure Project received the WAS Award for Innovation in Sexuality Education in 2021. Anne is published widely in health journals and the media. She has a BSc in Psychology and an MSc in Health Policy. She has worked in sex education and public health promotion in communities, research agencies and for government donor agencies.
Anshu is a queer particle hoping to become a crazy cat lady by age 25. They do graphic design and illustration, and most of their work looks at gender, queerness, and the intersection of the personal and political.
Anuja Ghosalkar is the founder of Drama Queen—a documentary theatre company, evolving a unique form of theatre in India since 2015. Her practice focuses on personal histories, archival absences and blurring the hierarchies between audience and performer—to extend the idea of theatre to create audacious work. Iterations around form and process, modes of (social) media, sites, technologies, reclaiming narratives on gender and intimacy are critical to her performance making and pedagogy. Her performances and workshops have been programmed by University of Oxford, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Serendipity Arts Festival, National Centre for Biological Sciences, Forum Transregionale –ZMO, Frankfurt University, among others. Anuja is the co-curator of the international workshop series on documentary theatre with Kai Tuchmann—that programmed artists like Gob Squad, Boris Nikitin, Rimini Protokoll, Zhao Chuan. With Tuchmann she curated VR based performances for the Serendipity Arts Virtual 2020. As visiting faculty at Srishti Institute of Art, Design and Technology she leads practice based pedagogy. She has written on film and performance for Nang Magazine, Art India, Bioscope, Hakara.
Anurag is a multimedia artist and host of Anurag Minus Verma podcast. He has pursued Masters in Arts and Aesthetics from JNU, Delhi. His bylines and opinion pieces have appeared in The Print, Newslaundry, The Wire and Roundtable India to name a few.
Anurupa Roy is a puppeteer, puppet theatre director and puppet designer. She is the founder and managing trustee of The Katkatha Puppet Arts Trust, a puppet theatre group based in Delhi, India since 1998. She has a Diploma in Puppet Theatre from Dramatiska Institutet for Film, TV, Drama and Radio at The University of Stockholm (Sweden) and has been trained in traditional glove puppetry, from La Scoula Della Guaratelle (School of Traditional Glove puppetry) (Naples, Italy) under Bruno Leone in 2002. She has been a Researcher in Residence- 2011- Deutches Forum DFP (Bochum, Germany) and at Institute International de la Marionette Charleville- Mezeires (France). She has been a Pro Helvetia Artists at Residence at Rote Fabrik in Zurich and guest faculty at World Arts and Cultures at UCLA (Los Angeles, USA). Anurupa has directed performances for Katkatha, TIE Company National School of Drama and Jana Natya Manch and is a recipient of the Ustad Bismilla Khan Yuva Puraskar 2007 National award for contribution to puppet theatre by the Ministry of Culture. She is currently the General Secretary of UNIMA India, the Indian chapter of the Union Internationale de la Marionette.
Most of Aparna’s friends are imaginary, and she is happiest when she’s making things up. When she isn’t writing or editing children's books, she can be found poring over a book or pouring herself a large cup of coffee.
Aprajita Sarcar has a doctorate in history from Queen's University, Canada. She is currently a postdoctoral researcher at the Centre de Sciences Humaines (CSH) in New Delhi. Her doctoral thesis was on the everyday governance of the small family norm in India, from 1950s-70s. Her fields include histories of birth control, eugenics, public health, postcolonial governance and urban health in India. She has written for the Economic and Political Weekly and the India Forum. She is currently engaged in turning her thesis into a book manuscript.
Dr. Aqsa Shaikh (She/Her) is an out and proud trans woman. She is Associate professor of Community Medicine, Nodal Officer for Covid Vaccination Centre, Hamdard Institute of Medical Sciences and Research. Aqsa is one of the investigators in the clinical trial of Sputnik V, investigator in TransCare Project, and WHO Unity Studies on Covid. She is co-investigator in transgender studies on health access and medical curriculum at Sangath India. Aqsa is Founder-Director of Human Solidarity Foundation.
Arzoo is a Coordinator in the Know Your Body Know Your Rights program at The YP Foundation. Her work majorly involves building capacities of adolescents and young people by equipping them with rights based information on issues of sexual and reproductive health, gender and sexuality in school and community settings across Delhi- NCR, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar as well as advocating for comprehensive sexuality education with gatekeepers of adolescents. She is also representing TYPF as youth focal point for FP2030 commitment process and is advocating to ensure accessibility of contraceptives to young people and adolescents. Prior to this, she has led research projects on health related impacts of menstrual hygiene management in Mumbai among adolescent girls in collaboration with Tata Institute of Social Sciences. Arzoo holds a masters degree in Environmental Studies and Resource Management from TERI School of Advanced Studies.
Avinash Kumar is a dancer, puppeteer and choreographer, trained in a variety of dance forms – Chau, Contemporary, Jazz & Bollywood. He honed his puppeteering skills from Dadi Pudumjee and Anurupa Roy. He has performed extensively in India and overseas. Also trained in Modern Contemporary Dance under the guidance of Astad Deboo. He regularly holds workshops in schools, colleges, NGOs and different communities to share his skills with the youth. He was the recipient of the META Award for Best Choreography for Mahabharata in 2017, Best mover Award at the Poland Theatre Festival for Mahabharata in 2018 and the Rex Karamaveer Chakra (Gold) Award in 2019.
Bhanupriya is the founder of Behanbox - a digital multimedia publication for gender journalism which produces deep evidence driven reportage on women and gender diverse persons in India.
Bishakha Datta (@busydot/@dizibot) works on gender and sexuality in digital spaces, runs the non-profit Point of View in Mumbai, writes and films non-fiction and is part of the Wikipedia family. In all her work, Bishakha gets the most pleasure from exploring marginal, invisible, and silenced points of view - or those considered illegitimate. Her documentary work includes 'In The Flesh', a film on the lives of three sex workers, and Taza Khabar, which explores a unique women-run rural newspaper. She’s edited two anthologies, one on on rural women in politics, the other on gender-based violence. Bishakha is also a co-founder of Deep Dives, an award-winning online publication which publishes long-form narratives.
Biva Rajbhandari is a Program Manager at Quilt.AI - a technology firm that uses big data to tackle issues like online violence, climate change, and gender equality. Prior to Quilt.AI, Biva worked at the Children's Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF) in New Delhi where she partnered with NGOs to implement programs around adolescent sexual and reproductive health, nutrition, and WASH. Biva also has experience working on child protection and mental health in Thailand and the United States.
Brindaalakshmi K is an intersectional queer-feminist researcher, writer and advocacy professional. As a researcher, they work at the intersection of human rights, identities and technology. They authored the study, ‘Gendering of Development Data in India: Beyond the Binary’ for the Centre for Internet & Society for the Big Data for Development Network. Brindaa’s advocacy efforts are informed by their experience as a queer rights activist and peer supporter working with the LGBTIQA+ community. They also lead workshops on consent, intersectionality and digital security.
Dr. Charu Gupta is a Professor in the Department of History, University of Delhi. She is the author of Sexuality, Obscenity, Community: Women, Muslims and the Hindu Public in Colonial India', and 'The Gender of Caste: Representing Dalits in Print'. She has published several papers in national-international journals on themes of sexualities, masculinities, caste and religious identities.
Debarati is a Program Co-lead, Digital Security at Point of View. They anchor projects at the intersections of gender, sexuality, digital rights and the internet. Their interests lie in 'de-binarising' gender and sexuality, and striving for a safe, free and feminist internet.
Dipta Bhog has worked on gender and education for close to three decades. At present she is the Head of Research, Partnerships and Innovations at The Third Eye, a portal that seeks to put the feminist in learning. She co-founded Nirantar, a Centre for Gender and Education in Delhi, and has extensive experience of working on women’s literacy, adult and girls' education and rural journalism. She coordinated a five-state study titled Textbook Regimes that analysed school textbooks from a feminist lens and has worked on writing textbooks for both national and state governments. She has been part of the women's movement, working on issues of violence against women. More recently, her research work focused on women leaders from rural areas and small towns who run non-governmental organisations. She redesigned and conducted CREA’s Institute on Feminist leadership and Movement Building in South Asia and East Africa. Dipta Bhog was instrumental in initiating Khabar Lahariya, which started as a newspaper in 2002, and has been involved in training the team of rural women journalists. Her research on young girls and their collectives resulted in Birdbox, an audio-video installation in the shape of a re-engineered bioscope, where you can bear witness to conversations of young girls from Bhopal, Lucknow and Karvi, on desire, love, shame and freedom. Dipta loves walking her dogs and dreaming of living next to the sea.
Gracy Andrew , a clinical psychologist by profession and presently Vice President and Country Director in India at CorStone. CorStone works in the area of Emotional resilience and wellbeing and has been implementing programs in government schools in Bihar and other states in India. Before joining CorStone in 2012, Gracy was with Sangath Society, a Goa-based NGO that has been a leader in the field of mental health since its inception in 1996. At Sangath she worked in various capacities including as program head of the adolescent program for several years and Executive Director for two years. She has been involved in developing various interventions and training programs for youth in the areas of mental health and adolescent health. Gracy was recently appointed as a member of the World Health Organization’s guidance development group for promotional programs on global adolescent mental health.
Hansa Thapliyal, 50, has tried to work between diverse forms and materials to ease up expression, for herself and for others. Her films and writings have tried to look, with some care and pleasure, at gender, childhood and how in the less regarded spaces occupied by women and children, lie a wealth of crucial practices and resources for life.
Ms Indira Pancholi is a feminist-human rights activist and a founder of Mahila Jan Adhikar Samiti (MJAS), a women-led organisation based in Rajasthan, India. Indira has closely worked with rural and urban women, children, adolescents, women elected to local self-governments for over 25 years. Her experience encompasses grass root action, training women leaders, documenting the experiences of women, knowledge management, and research in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Orissa, Karnataka, Maharashtra, West Bengal, Delhi and Tamil Nadu. She has widely networked on social issues, and actively engaged with different stakeholders in various advocacy and policy implementation programmes. Her areas of specialisation include promoting gender justice and social development, enforcing an understanding of governance and citizenship, and addressing violence against women. In 2014, Indira conducted a study on ‘Assessing young, resource poor women’s livelihood aspirations and opportunities in Delhi’ for Azad Foundation, New Delhi, and designed training modules for women representatives in Panchayats in Rajasthan. Recently she led a research project titled ‘COVID19: Impact on Girls, making their voices heard’ conducted in 13 districts of Rajasthan. Indira is an advisory committee member of a national study on witch-hunting practices in India, and is presently an advisor to the Women and Child Rights Project in Rajasthan. In addition, Indira has published extensively on sexual and reproductive health and rights, women’s safety and leadership, and child marriage in the larger context of women’s rights. She holds a Master’s in Philosophy.
Jaya trained as a physician in India and then earned a masters and doctorate in Public Health from the Hopkins School of Public Health, USA. She worked as the Programme Specialist, Adolescents & Youth at UNFPA’s India Office between 2008-2021 and is currently working as an independent consultant. She is inspired by young people’s enthusiasm, resilience and ability to experiment with new ideas. She is a youth advocate who believes that huge public health benefits can be realised by investing in young people. Jaya has more than 15 years of experience in conceptualising and managing large scale health and development programs both within and outside the Government.
Judy Amina is a young woman passionate about the Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) of young people in Kenya. She has been pivotal in steering SRHR projects targeting youth, women, and vulnerable populations in the country. She is currently the Advocacy officer at the Center for the Study of Adolescence working to improve the SRH of young people through advocacy programmes to include Comprehensive Sexuality Education in the Kenyan School Curriculum. Previously, Judy worked as the Youth Country Coordinator for the Kenya SRHR Alliance an international network of Civil Society organisations present in 7 different countries globally all working towards achieving SRHR for all people.
June Low is a sex educator from Malaysia. She is the creator of Malaysia's first comprehensive sex education web show 'Popek Popek' and is passionate about developing creative approaches to sex ed. June trained in the law and has a Master's degree in Public Health. She is deeply-committed to delivering rights-based sex ed. In 2019, she was named one of the top global family planning leaders by Johns Hopkins School of Public Health and the Gates Institute for Reproductive Health. She is currently based at Kyoto University in Japan where she is pursuing a PhD in Medicine.
Jyotsna Siddharth is an India Lead for Gender at Work. They are also an actor, artist, intersectional queer activist and writer. Jyotsna co-founded social art projects - Sive (2017), founded Project Anti Caste Love (2018), Dalit Feminism Archive (2019). They have Masters in Development Studies from Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai and Social Anthropology from School of Oriental and African Studies, London. Jyotsna is a recipient of Chevening Scholarship, British High Commission, United Kingdom (2014-15), in 2020 was featured as 40 under 40 by Edex and The New Indian Express.
Dr. Kavita Mangnani is a clinical psychologist by profession and has completed her Ph.D in psychology in 2018. She is currently working in HAQ: Centre for Child Rights as Director: Restorative Care. HAQ: Centre for Child Rights is a Delhi based non-profit organisation working for the rights of children. She has extensive experience of dealing with children with psychiatric illness and disabilities. She has been active in the field of child protection from the last 7 years and has provided psycho-social support to children who are victims of abuse and violence. She has provided training to various key stakeholders such as teachers, students and principals on the issues of children sexual abuse and its psychological impact. She has also been a part of various capacity building programs for different stakeholders dealing with cases of abuse and understanding its effect on the mental health of children.
Lakshmi Sharma is very passionate about her work. She is a voiceover artist, reporter, producer, film editor and anchor by profession and a proud mother by heart.
Leeza is a pleasure positive digital content creator. She established her platforms on YouTube and Instagram in 2017, with the intention to normalize conversations around sexuality, sexual health, gender, and the body–with a particular focus on women and pleasure. She was recently named a Pleasure Fellow by The Pleasure Project for 2021, an organisation which works to incorporate pleasure into SRHR communications and policy making worldwide. She was also named one of India’s 25 Most Influential Young Indians by GQ magazine earlier this year. Her videos reach millions of young people across India and the world.
Louisa Allen is a Professor, in the Faculty of Education and Social Work at the University of Auckland. She has spent 24 years researching young people, sexualities and schooling to understand how schools offer messages to students about gender and sexual identities via the official and unofficial curriculum. A special interest for Louisa has been the way in which pleasure and desire have been missing from sexuality education and young people's requests for its inclusion. Her work has explored what this omission means for young people of diverse genders and sexualities and the way they understand themselves as sexual subjects. A prolific author, she has published 8 books in these areas and is currently finalising her latest one entitled ‘Breathing Life into Sexuality Education’ to be released by Palgrave next month.
Madhu Mehra is a feminist lawyer, heading the research and training initiatives at the Partners for Law in Development (PLD), a legal resource group working on women’s rights and social justice in India. Her work in relation to the law explores themes of gender, sexuality, violence against women, access to justice and the UN CEDAW. She has contributed towards law reform processes relating to sexual violence and harassment, and advocates for decriminalising homosexuality, adultery, and adolescent sexuality.
Manak is a feminist, queer activist and the Executive Director of The YP Foundation. His work aims to enable, legitimise and make visible youth leadership of social and policy change, particularly on issues of gender, masculinities, sexuality, health and inclusion.
Manjima Bhattacharjya is a feminist researcher, writer and activist based in Mumbai. She has been part of the Indian women’s movement for over two decades. She holds a PhD in sociology. Her areas of specialisation include gender and sexuality, and labour and the body. She is the author of Mannequin: Working Women in India’s Glamour Industry (Zubaan 2018) and Intimate City (Zubaan 2021).
Mathangi Krishnamurthy is Associate Professor of Anthropology at the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, IIT Madras. Her book 1-800-Worlds: The Making of the Indian Call Centre Economy chronicles the labour practices, life-worlds, and media atmospheres of Indian call centre workers. She also writes occasionally for popular press and currently maintains a monthly column for The Hindu titled Culture Mulch bringing together observations from popular media, culture, and anthropology.
Maya Indira Ganesh is a technologist and writer. She is a co-course lead of a new Masters program at the University of Cambridge on AI, Ethics, and Society. Prior to her academic work, Maya worked at the intersection of feminism, digital activism, and data politics in India, Europe, and SE Asia. Thus, her work across academia, civil society, and arts and cultural organisations bring questions of power, justice, and global inequalities to those of language, knowledge, and the body mediated by digital technologies. She lives in Berlin, Germany.
A feminist, Maya Sharma is a writer by accident and a queer activist by choice. Working at the grassroots in Delhi's resettlement colonies in Jagori on issues of single women, organising and building a political identity, it was their intersectional vulnerability that brought the paper and pen together for her. She writes in Hindi and English. She has co-authored a book on Single Women in Hindi and a path-breaking piece of work - ‘Loving Women: Being Lesbian in Unprivileged India' published in 2006, Currently, she is working with LBT community in Vikalp ( Women’s Group) Vadodara.
Meena Saraswathi Seshu is the General Secretary of the Sampada Grameen Mahila Sanstha [SANGRAM], a health and human rights NGO based in the rural districts of western Maharashtra and north Karnataka in India. In 1992, Meena was instrumental in guiding SANGRAM in the change of direction of its work. Under her stewardship, SANGRAM began to address social inequality and to promote justice among marginalised communities, discriminated against because of sexual preference, sex work, HIV status, gender, caste and religious minority. Meena has steered this women-centered organisation to focus on building solidarity among diverse and marginalised communities by using a rights-centered approach to self-determination that organises the voiceless to collectivise. SANGRAM is an umbrella organisation that has initiated communities to collectivise to fight for their rights. Veshya Anyay Mukti Parishad [VAMP],[ Female sex workers], Muskan [Male and Transgender women in sex work], Mitra [Children of sex workers], Vidrohi Mahila [rural women's collective] and Nazariya, [Muslim Women's collective].
Meera Jatav is a feminist-journalist from Bundelkhand in Uttar Pradesh. She is a founder-editor of Khabar Lahariya, a grassroots media, where she has worked for 20 years. She was also part of the Mahila Samakhya movement in Bundelkhand. In 2020, she founded Chitrakoot Collective, a feminist research collective. She is also a consultant to Pixstory, a new ethical social media platform.
Michael received his Bachelor’s degree in Metallurgical Engineering from Northeastern University in China, and his Masters in Social Development from the University of Sussex, England. He used to work as the Vice Director and Project Manager at the Consultation Center of AIDS Aid and Health Service for 10 years. He also works as a Consultant at Northeast Transgender Support Network. These two non-governmental organisations both advocate for LGBTI+ rights, HIV/AIDS support services, and sex workers' human rights advocacy in Asia and the Pacific region. In May 2020, Michael joined APNSW as the Communications and Policy Officer to work on sex workers' human rights protection.
Neha Bahuguna aka Nehabhai is a Communication Designer, who hails from the mountains and has been working as a writer/conceptualiser, poet and storyteller for children and adult content in Mumbai. Her medium of works/writings vary from projects, like comic books, animation to live action films. She also loves practicing sustainable fashion and making things by hand.
Neha Bhat is a sex focused trauma therapist with a practice between India and the U.S. She employs insight oriented, trauma-focused depth psychotherapy as a tool to help people, especially survivors of sexual violence, to expand fully into their best sexual, emotional and relational selves. Neha believes in the power of decolonial mental health work which uses art as a radical tool of living and coping against systems of oppression. She is queer and brings kink and poly affirming narratives into the clinical setting with Indian families, couples and individuals across the world.
Neysara is the founder of TransgenderIndia (TI). TransgenderIndia is an online platform that helps transgender and gender non conforming people in India to navigate the complex journey of gender transition and gender non conformity in India. How do I change my gender marker in my college id? Which doctor can help me transition? Whom do I talk to to know more? TI publishes How-to’s for these and other questions that pop up during gender transition/non conformity
Nidhi is a feminist who has worked with young men on creating safer public spaces in Delhi, Kolkata, Guwahati and Pune. At TYPF she coordinates youth led evidence generation and advocacy initiatives across Delhi and UP. Her work involves training, research and advocating with government stakeholders for capacity enhancement and perspective building on SRHR. Nidhi is a nature and animal-lover and also a dancer by passion.
Nikita Sonavane has worked as a legal researcher and an advocate for over three years. She is the co-founder of the Criminal Justice and Police Accountability Project (CPAProject), a Bhopal based litigation and research intervention focused on building accountability against criminalisation of marginalised communities by the police and the criminal justice system. She has previously worked as a Research Associate with the Centre for Social Justice (CSJ), Ahmedabad, on issues of local governance, forest rights, and gender in the Adivasi region of Dang in Gujarat.
Niranjana S is a creative assistant at Parodevi Pictures. She has an interest in telling, writing and reading stories. Sometimes, she tries to illustrate too. She can often be found singing to herself or rewatching Hindi and Tamil films.
Nisha Susan grew up in India, Nigeria and Oman and lives in Bangalore. She is the co-founder of the award-winning media company, The Ladies Finger. Her non-fiction is focused on culture, gender and politics. The pandemic year saw the release of her critically acclaimed debut collection of short stories, The Women Who Forgot to Invent Facebook & Other Stories.
Nitasha is an experienced visualiser with a demonstrated history of working in the information technology and services industry. She is a strong professional skilled in graphic facilitation, sketching, painting, and creating creatives for visual communication.
Paromita Vohra is a pioneering voice in the conversations on feminism, desire and culture in India. She is an award winning documentary filmmaker, whose films include the landmark documentaries Unlimited Girls, Q2P, Where’s Sandra? and Partners in Crime, among others. She founded Agents of Ishq in 2015, completely changing the way that sex, love and desire were discussed in India, creating a new language and aesthetic to talk about sexuality rooted in an Indian context. Agents of Ishq is now a conversation leader in the field of sexuality, and Indian’s best loved site on all things sex, love and desire – recognised the world over for their music videos on consent, their playful, irreverent sex-education content, and the incredibly sensitive personal narratives on their website . Paromita is also the writer of the film Khamosh Pani, the comic Priya’s Mirror and writes the weekly column Paronormal Activity in Sunday Mid-day.
A former badminton player/dropout and coach, Dr Mitra is a prominent athlete rights activist and leading campaigner in the abolition of sex testing policies in women’s sport, working closely with affected athletes across Asia and Africa to enable them to address human rights violations in sports. Mitra was instrumental in helping Indian athlete Ms. Dutee Chand challenge the Hyperandrogenism regulations at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in 2014-2015, as the Government-appointed advisor to Chand. She was also one of the ten-member expert team who testified for South African athlete Caster Semenya at the CAS earlier this year. Mitra had been consulted on gender and sport issues and on issues of inclusion in sport by national governments, the International Olympic Committee, Council of Europe, Office of High Commissioner on Human Rights and has recently collaborated with Human Rights Watch to publish the most extensive research on lives experiences of athletes with variations in sex characteristics. Mitra is a Director and Trustee at the Centre for Sport and Human Rights in Geneva and is a member with the WomenSport International.
Prabhleen is a feminist activist, with more than ten years’ experience with grassroots feminist organisations, youth led spaces and research based programme and action. Her work involves training, research, policy advocacy and program management. She has directly led and pioneered work on creating safer public spaces in Delhi and Jharkhand and has worked on programmes with a focus on violence prevention. sexual and reproductive health and rights and gender justice. She has led research on adolescent girls' empowerment and employability, access to non-traditional livelihoods and analysis of impact of early and child marriage prevention programmes in India. Currently, as Director of Programmes at The YP Foundation, Prabhleen believes in championing for feminist rights based lens as the only way to dismantle patriarchy.
Purvi Yadav, co-founded Sahas in 2016 with the vision to create a world free of gender based violence. Her curiosity to write and passion in journalism inspired her to work in the media for 5 years. Though she had been constantly amazed by the opportunity to communicate news, but experienced lack of sensitivity, fair and responsible journalism concerning reporting of cases of gender based violence. This led her to begin the journey of social change by establishing Sahas Foundation. Purvi, designs and facilitates gender and sexuality programs with adolescents, young people, women and the police. She is also TEDx speaker.
Rukmini S is an independent data journalist based in Chennai. She is the former Data Editor of The Hindu and HuffPost India. Her work focused on inequality, gender, caste, crime, politics and health. She also hosts a pandemic podcast, The Moving Curve. Her first book, 'Whole Numbers and Half Truths: What Data Can and Cannot Tell Us About Modern India' will be published by Amazon Westland in November this year.
Rumi Harish is a transgender queer person who has been working with marginalised sexualities and genders, sex workers, sanitation workers for the past 21 years along with Sunil Mohan a trans man activist and researcher. He has written research based reports, scripts and songs.
Rupsa is Director, Programs and Innovation at CREA. Rupsa has over two decades experience in advocating for SRHR and gender equity and justice. Previously, she has worked with the National Foundation for India, Centre for Health and Gender Equity in the US and IPPF South Asia Regional Office. Rupsa’s work has been on critical SRHR issues that continue to remain significant fault lines that divide movements such as the issue of disability and abortion and denial of legal capacity for persons with disabilities. She has conceptualised and managed CREA’s SRHR infoline 'Kahi Ankahi Baatein’ that has been operational since 2014.
Saisha is a grants manager with the Mariwala Health Initiative, an advocacy and grant-making organisation in mental health. She also holds the Orygen Global Youth Mental Health Advocacy Fellowship (2021). As a psychology student, she wrote a thesis evaluating community-based trauma interventions as accessible forms of mental health care. Apart from community-based mental health work, Saisha’s interests include media analysis on issues of identity.
Sameera Iyengar is a creative producer and theatre person. She loves conjuring up delightful ways to share theatre and the performing arts with people – and has created, curated and run festivals, arts addas, school programmes, carnivals, workshops for children and theatre exhibitions. She co-edited 'Our Stage: The Pleasures and Perils of Theatre Practice in India Today' (Tulika 2009). She co-founded the India Theatre Forum, SMART (Strategic Management in the Art of Theatre), and the arts outreach organisation Junoon. Her tryst with theatre began at MIT as a Maths major; she has a PhD on theatre from the University of Chicago.
Dr. Sana Contractor is a public health researcher and practitioner with an MPH from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and over a decade's experience in health systems research in India. Her body of work in the domain of Sexual and Reproductive Rights focuses on its intersections with identity and social exclusion, and interrogates policy making from local to global health spaces using this lens. Dr. Contractor has worked with leading rights-oriented research organisations, and has published in national and international academic journals. She has also been associated with feminist and health rights movements in India.
Sandeep TK works with the idea of human relationships and desire in the context of space, memory and time through his personal experiences, oral histories and the exploration of his identity and surroundings. His practice involves photographs, moving images and text, which often involve himself in them.
Dr Sangram Kishor Patel is a demographer and public health researcher with seventeen years of experience working in the field of public health and social issues. Dr. Patel is currently working as Technical Lead in Udaya Project, Population Council. Over the years, Dr. Patel has worked extensively in the areas of RMNCH, Adolescents and youth, gender, HIV, marginalised population, policy and program evaluation and survey research in India, South Asia and African countries. Dr. Patel is a PhD in Population Science from IIPS and he has twin Master degrees in Statistics and Population Studies. Dr. Patel has nearly 100 research publications based on various evaluation and research studies and his findings have been presented at both national and international platforms.
Sanjida is a Research Officer at CEHAT. CEHAT carries out socially relevant and rigorous academic health research and health action for the wellbeing of the disadvantaged masses. The thrust of CEHAT’s work is to recognise violence as a public health issue, making the health system accountable to VAW and establish models of psycho social health care for women and children survivors.
Santosh Desai is an author, columnist and media critic. His first book on contemporary India, 'Mother Pious Lady: Making Sense of Everyday India' is a collection of essays that traces the evolution of middle class India over the last two decades. In his professional life, Santosh heads a brand and consumer consultancy company and has previously headed an advertising agency. Santosh’s principal area of interest lies in examining the evolving nature of consumer culture in India. He has been writing a weekly column in the Times of India for over 16 years.
Sapna works as a Gender Specialist at ICRW. She specialises in qualitative research, program design and implementation. At ICRW, Sapna works on issues of sexual health and reproductive rights of women, public policy, gender and governance and men and masculinities. She led the 3D Program for girls and women on convergence and public policy , ICRW’s study on Male Involvement in Pre-Marital Abortions in Delhi and supports the Gender Equity Movement in Schools Program in Rajasthan. Currently Sapna is involved in a stocktaking of male engagement for promoting gender equality across India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Maldives and Bhutan.
Saptarshi Mandal is an associate professor at the Jindal Global Law School, Sonipat, Haryana. He researches how the law shapes our intimate relationships, and how we in turn shape the law.
Satyendra Kumar is a Co-Founder of Centre for Social Equity and Inclusion (CSEI) and currently evolving a national collective of Dalit, Adivasi, Muslim, NTs/DNTs young leaders known as National Youth Equity Forum (NYEF). The organisation is concerned with deepening democracy and developing our body politic by promoting equity and social inclusion of marginalised children and young people for their social, economic and cultural (SEC) rights. Satyendra has completed his studies from Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) and Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) along with several international exposure and training around leadership, community development and entrepreneurship education. With more than 15 years of working and networking experiences across the globe, his passion and expertise lies around youth rights and promotion of social equity and inclusion. He is also an Acumen fellow for 2019, CSIP Research fellow 2020 and EIR Fellow in CIE in IIIT-Hyderabad 2020.
Savitri Medhatul is a Mumbai based theatre producer, director and documentary filmmaker. She is co-founder & artistic director of Kali Billi Productions. Since 2005 Savitri has been working and collaborating with hereditary Lavani artists in Maharashtra. In 2008 she directed a documentary film 'Natale Tumchyasathi', based on the lives of Lavani women. In 2015 Savitri designed a theatre production Sangeet Bari. This production is based on the book written by Bhushan Korgaonkar. Using the form of documentary theatre this performance explores the lives of Lavani artists associated with Sangeet Bari tradition. Savitri Medhatul also conducts lecture demos and Lavani workshops along with Bhushan and other Sangeet Bari team members. She has presented her work with Lavani artists at Kamla Raheja Institute of Architecture, Sophia College, Mumbai University, IIT Mumbai, National School of Drama Delhi, Music Academy Chennai, and University College of London, Sophiensaele Berlin.
Shilpa Mudbi Kothakota is a 1st generation Bangalorean who identifies strongly with her ancestral roots. She has spent several years working in the hinterlands of Karnataka, documenting agrarian lifestyles and cultural-politics, as a filmmaker. Shilpa has been in the field of social justice as a social activist and media consultant with Samvada-Baduku, Bangalore. She has worked in theatre as an actor, vocalist and administrator. Her artistic research is motivated by the search for counter-narratives, conscious of class and caste dynamics. Her main study is the human voice, which she uses as a lens to understand and fight hierarchies in society. Shilpa is the creative artist behind Urban Folk Project, a collective that looks at collating and curation folk knowledge systems. Shilpa is currently a member of the Janapada Academy of Karnataka State Government representing Bidar, the northernmost district of Karnataka. She has recently moved out to Gulbarga to further her research in folk music forms of this region.
Shrayana Bhattacharya trained in development economics at Delhi University and Harvard University. Since 2014, in her role as an economist at the World Bank, she has focused on issues related to social policy and jobs. Prior to this, she worked on research projects with the Centre for Policy Research, SEWA Union and Institute of Social Studies Trust. Her writing has appeared in the Indian Express, EPW, Indian Quarterly and The Caravan. Her book, 'Desperately Seeking Shah Rukh: India's Lonely Young Women and the Search for Intimacy and Independence' is being published by HarperCollins in late October 2021, and unpacks the lives of women workers through the lens of fandom and pleasure.
Groomed by some of the finest musicians and musicologists in India, Shubha Mudgal was trained in HIndustani classical music by Pandit Ram Ashreya Jha and also received guidance from Pandit Vinaya Chandra Maudgalya, Pandit Vasant Thakar, Pandit Jitendra Abhisheki and Pandit Kumar Gandharva. She also received training in thumri from Smt. Naina Devi and is thus a versatile performer. In addition to being a performer, Shubha has also won recognition as a composer. She is the recipient of numerous awards, including: Padma Shri from the Government of India 2000.
Simran Sanganeria, is the founder and lead facilitator at Sehmat. She has been certified as a sexuality education facilitator by TARSHI, New Delhi, and is currently pursuing international certification from ISEE. In the past two years she has conducted more than 90 online and 20 offline sessions with as many as 700 unique participants. She obtained a BA with Hons in History from Hindu College, Delhi University, and an MA in International Relations from King’s College London, UK. Her facilitation engagement has spanned across different professionals such as government and private school teachers, bureaucrats, youth leaders, adolescents, rural populations with organisations such as State Governments (Himachal Pradesh, Bihar and Rajasthan), IPE Global, Nari Gunjan, Aavishkaar, Contree, Super School India, Seeds of Awareness, Mantavya Mental Health Foundation, iVolunteer, Koshika and India Fellow.
Snigdha Poonam is a journalist and writer based in India. Her first book, 'Dreamers: How Young Indians Are Changing The World' won 2018’s Crossword Book Award for non-fiction and was longlisted in 2019 for PEN America Literary Awards. Her articles have appeared in Scroll, The Caravan, The Times of India, The New York Times, The Guardian, The Economist, Granta, The Atlantic, Foreign Policy, and The Financial Times. Her essay 'Lady Singham’s Mission Against Love' was runner-up in the Bodley Head/Financial Times Essay Prize, 2015. She won the 2017 Journalist of Change award of Bournemouth University for an investigation of student suicides that appeared on Huffington Post.
Soumitra Pathare is a psychiatrist by training and the Director of Centre for Mental Health Law and Policy.
Srinidhi Raghavan is a disabled feminist, writer, researcher and trainer. She works at the intersections of sexuality, gender, disability and technology. Over the last ten years, she has along with feminist and disability rights organisations, schools and colleges across India, worked with women, especially disabled women, adolescents and children. She wrote a monthly column in FirstPost on Bodies-Minds that focussed on gender and disability. She is Co-Lead, Programmes at Rising Flame.
Suhas Misra has been an entrepreneur before. More than once actually. After a brief post-MBA corporate stint (joined Coca Cola from IIM Calcutta in 2003, and then was at Nokia briefly), he co-founded his first company, ChannelPlay with two very close friends in 2006. ChannelPlay is now arguably India’s largest retail marketing company. In 2009, he exited ChannelPlay to start, with another very close friend, Hector Beverages, that eventually found success and fame as the maker of Paper Boat, probably India’s most loved beverage brand. And then he retired in 2014-15. Although in hindsight, it was more a sabbatical than retirement, as he was back to trying out a rural health-tech platform that aimed to address the problem of access to healthcare. While there was significant interest in terms of consultations, they could not figure out a proper monetisation model. The failure of that business—Tardigrade—made him look around, explore and think. The landscape of upcountry India is dotted with these wall paintings that advertise traditional sex clinics. He was intrigued that these are absolutely unchanged from what he remembered seeing from the train window during summer vacations when he was a kid. “How could a space be so unchanging given the grand sweep of the internet?” became a question he found himself intrigued by. So, he started going to these sex clinics as a mystery customer to understand their role, and it was dehumanising, as one would expect. The sales pitch there is based on leveraging the stigma that defines this space so the customer is really made to doubt his masculinity, to set him up for products that are ridiculously overpriced (and often not what they are presented as.) Those experiences were sufficient to start thinking about a business in this space. The category is obviously massive, but also intellectually compelling and so he reached out to Gaurav, a friend from the Coca Cola and Nokia days who had run a very interesting content venture before a return to the corporate world, and Saurabh, who was part of the Tardigrade co-founding team, to explore working together on this, and both of them found it exciting enough to join forces.
Supriya is a journalist from Bombay. She's the co-founder of the media company All Things Small and editor of Fifty Two.
Surabhi is a Gender and Rural Development Practitioner, and runs a nonprofit, Sajhe Sapne, that up-skills and guarantees contemporary jobs to young women from villages. She has done her Masters in Development Practice at University of California, Berkeley, before which she pursued her under-graduation and post-graduation in Biotechnology from IIT Delhi. She is also the creator of globally recognised photo project, Women at Leisure, exploring time and leisure as feminist issues and tools of resistance. Apart from this, Surabhi has founded an independent collective called My IIT, My Metoo to bring institutional change for gender-based inclusion in premier higher education universities. As the first woman from her own community to have received quality higher education and opportunities to explore the world, she deeply connects with dreaming big as a means to fight gender inequality. She wants to see a world where women-led development is more common than women's development, where women living in villages are recognised for their potential rather than pain.
Susie Jolly brings over 20 years professional experience of work on sexuality and gender. She is currently an Honorary Associate at IDS and working as a freelance consultant, researcher, communicator, facilitator and trainer. From 2010-2017, Susie directed the Ford Foundation sexuality and gender portfolio in China, with a focus on sexuality education, totalling US$2 million/year. Previously, she founded and convened the Sexuality and Development programme at IDS, a programme of research, communications and advocacy which contributed to bringing about a greater recognition of the importance of sexual rights to development. She has completed numerous consultancies in China, Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Kenya, and Zimbabwe.
Sangya Project is an online pleasure store and platform that was founded in 2020 with the primary objective of reconstructing everyday perceptions of sex and sexuality to build language and practice that are stigma-free. With two queer people at its helm, Sangya Project aims to create trauma-informed and kink-affirmative discourse where autonomy and safety come above all else, and products that contribute to one’s pleasure journey can be accessed at affordable prices.
A lover of tea, solitude, and all things artsy, Vaishali made her way into illustrations and design after doing a brief stint in journalism with Amity and the Times of India. She has also worked with Beyond Eye, Gaysi, Katha, and Etsy. At POV she takes care of all things design and illustrations. When not working, she is busy making vision boards for her art studio "Khaas by Vaishali Soni" and chasing inspiration.
Vijeta Kumar teaches English & Journalism at St. Joseph's College, Bangalore. She likes writing about films, books, food, and teaching. Her work has been published in Deccan Herald, India Today, The Ladies Finger, The White Review, and Agents of Ishq. She curates The Rohith Vemula Archive at The Open Dosa (opendosa.in) At the moment she is torn between the book she is not writing and the PhD she has not started. You can read more of her work at rumlolarum.com. She finds momentary peace in endless cups of chai.
Vinay is a peer counsellor on the Sahaya Telephone Helpline (estd. 2000) and has been providing support services for LGBTQIA+ people through Swabhava (estd. 1999). He is also a trainer and researcher and is currently working on looking at healthcare discrimination experiences of LGBTQIA+ people.
Vinit Vyas works on early modern and colonial visual & material culture of South Asia, particularly court and devotional painting traditions. He graduated in Art History from the Faculty of Fine Arts, MSU Baroda, and is currently finishing his Master’s from the same department. Apart from being a research associate at the Museum of Art & Photography (MAP), Bangalore, he has been a visiting & guest faculty at the NID, Ahmedabad. His research is interdisciplinary, and he delves into gender and sexuality, erotica, religious studies, languages, and history of emotions in Asian art. Currently, Vyas is co-authoring a catalogue on Rajasthani paintings and has also contributed a chapter in a forthcoming edited volume on the princely states of Gujarat.