Speakers at City Scripts 2019 – Bengaluru

Aditi Surie

Aditi Surie is a sociologist at IIHS. She enjoys getting lost in big cities, memes and exploring late capitalism’s technology-heavy structuring of every day life. She’s has a 4.46 rating on Uber (a bit lower on Ola).

Aarti Mundkur

Aarti Mundkur is a practising lawyer in Bangalore. She is a founder member of the Alternative Law Forum, Bangalore- a non-profit society that integrates alternative lawyering with critical research, alternative dispute resolution, pedagogic interventions and more generally maintaining sustained legal interventions in various social issues, where she worked for 13 years before setting up her own practice.

Aashti Mudnani

Aashti Mudnani is a professional book hunter, illustration lover, listener of stories and chai drinker. She started Lightroom, a bookstore for children’s books in Bangalore in 2013 with the help of several people. She loves being outdoors, especially where there are more wild things than cityscapes. But for now, she lives in Bangalore with her two daughters, husband and their cat, Inji.

Ajit Bhide

Dr Ajit Bhide is a consultant psychiatrist at St Martha’s Hospital, and President, Indian Psychiatric Society (2018-2019)

Andaleeb Wajid

Andaleeb Wajid has published eighteen novels of which four are e-books with Juggernaut. Andaleeb’s young adult novel When She Went Away was shortlisted for The Hindu Young World-GoodBooks Award 2017. Andaleeb enjoys writing about food, relationships, families as well as haunted houses. Andaleeb’s recent novels include Twenty Nine Going on Thirty (Penguin 2018), The Sum of All my Parts (Amaryllis, 2018), The Legend of the Wolf (Speaking Tiger, 2018) and House of Screams (Penguin, 2018).

Aromar Revi

Aromar Revi is the founding Director of the Indian Institute for Human Settlements (IIHS). He is one of the world’s leading experts on global environmental change, especially climate change. He is a Coordinating Lead Author of the 2018 IPCC Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5 °C that will define potential implementation pathways for the Paris Climate accord. He was a Coordinating Lead Author of the IPCC Assessment Report 5 on Urban Areas that established the role of cities and regions in addressing climate risks. He is a co-PI of a large international Climate Adaptation Research Programme that spans India and Africa.

Arvind Narrain

Arvind Narrain is a human rights lawyer based in Bangalore. He is a founder member of the Alternative Law Forum, the co-editor of Law like Love: Queer perspectives on Law and co-author of Breathing Life into the Constitution. He was also a part of the team of lawyers challenging Section 377 of the IPC right from the High Court in 2009 to the Supreme Court in 2018.

Athira Nair

Athira Nair is a writer at YourStory, where she writes on startups and the humans behind them. Having done masters in Gender Studies and International Relations from Bristol University as well as PG in journalism from Asian College of Journalism, Athira has worked at The Hindu, and The Economic Times previously.

Bijal Vachharajani

When Bijal Vachharajani is not reading Harry Potter, she can be found traipsing around the jungles of India. She is Editor Scissorhands at Pratham Books where she dreams up picture books. A journalist and children’s book author, Bijal has a Master’s in Environment Security and Peace from the University for Peace in Costa Rica.

Chanakya Vyas

Chanakya Vyas is a director, playwright, and teacher based in Bangalore. He is currently the Artistic Director of Indian Ensemble. As a director, his most recent works include Algorithms (2018), a performance centered on the everyday experiences of service providers on platforms like Uber, Ola and FindMyBai as they navigate tech-based work and reflect on older forms of service work.

C.K. Meena

C.K. Meena is a Bangalore-based journalist and author. She co-founded the Asian College of Journalism (ACJ), where she taught for six years. Since 2000, she has been teaching journalism in local colleges and writing for various publications. Her fortnightly column City Lights ran in the Metro Plus supplement of The Hindu in Bangalore for 14 years. Dronequill has published three of her novels: Black Lentil Doughnuts, Dreams for the Dying, and Seven Days to Somewhere, as well as a book on adoption which she co-authored.

Gee Semmalar

Gee Imaan Semmalar is a trans activist, artist and educator. He has written extensively on trans issues in newspapers, online portals and academic journals for the past decade. He is part of trans led groups like LesBiT, Sampoorna and All Kerala Transmens’ Association and Indian Federation for Trans masculine Persons.

Gautham Shenoy

Gautham Shenoy has spent almost 20 years in the advertising industry. Until recently the National Creative Director of Saatchi & Saatchi Focus, he is currently a Consulting Partner at Celsius 100. An avid reader and science fiction fan, Shenoy is also a columnist for factordaily.com where he writes New Worlds Weekly, India’s longest-running weekly column on Speculative Fiction.

J Devika

J Devika is at Centre for Development Studies, Kerala. She has contributed to the literature on the history of gender, development, politics, and culture of modern Kerala and is interested in opening up the boundaries between academic and public discourses, the social sciences and humanities, and English and Malayalam. She also translates literature and social science between Malayalam and English and commentary on contemporary Kerala on www.kafila.online

Jahnavi Sen

Jahnavi Sen is the Executive News Producer at The Wire and the Editor of Grit, an initiative of The Wire dedicated to the coverage of manual scavenging and sanitation.

Jasmine George

Jasmine Lovely George is a lawyer, Tedx Speaker and sexual and reproductive health advocate who sees social value in technology. As a feminist activist she is working on Sexual and Reproductive Rights as a member of RESURJ – An international feminist collective. She founded the Hidden Pockets Collective and currently works as the Co-ordinator of Knowledge Production. The collective works within the intersection of sustainable development, health and cities.

Jayant Kaikini

Jayant Kaikini, is a Kannada poet, short story writer, essayist, playwright, film lyricist and scriptwriter, who has published 20 books so far. “No presents please -Mumbai Stories”, a collection of his selected stories translated in English, was recently published by Harper Collins. He is a four-time recipient of the state Sahitya Academy award for his books and has won four Film Fare Awards for his lyrics.

K Usha P Rai

K Usha P Rai is a banker turned artist and writer. While her early writings were in English, after the 1980s she switched completely to Kannada and Tulu, and has several articles, short stories, novels, poems, essays and travelogues to her credit. She is also former president of the Karnataka Women Writers’ Association. An artist by accident, Usha has shown her paintings at both solo and group exhibitions. Along with two other artists, she co-founded the Akanksha Art Group to promote art by self-taught artists.

Kavita Wankhade

Kavita Wankhade is Senior Lead – Practice. Currently, she leads the Tamil Nadu Urban Sanitation Support Programme (TNUSSP) that is working to establish two model towns in Tamil Nadu, as well as enabling state-wide scaling up. She has anchored the development of a national policy paper on water and sanitation in urban India; carried out monitoring and evaluation of an urban sanitation project in Katihar (Bihar), provided knowledge support to a national groundwater sanitation nexus programme.

Kiran Nayak

Madhu Bhushan

Madhu Bhushan has served as a full-time member of the CIEDS Collective and Vimochana, forum for women’s rights where she worked till 2014 as part of the women’s movement on crisis intervention, community outreach and campaigns and advocacy. She also has written, reflected and spoken on diverse issues related to gender, cinema, communalism and human rights. After leaving Vimochana as a full time activist in 2014, she continues to be part of CIEDS Collective as an independent activist-writer and (re) searcher; occasionally involved with filmmaking and extending solidarity to various networks and social movements including that of the sex workers, transgenders, women and youth. In 2107, in collaboration with Vinod Raja, she produced the film “Sikkidre Shikari, Ildidre Bhikari” a documentary made on and with the Hakki Pikki and Iruliga tribals with who she continues to journey in their struggle for land and livelihood rights.

NAM Ismail

An amalgamation of a lesser-known language, Beary, and one of the most popular languages, Malayalam, at home. And a completely different language used for the outside world, Kannada, to think, learn, read, write, and communicate. Which then becomes the language to think, ideate, or create? Is it the ‘world’ language or the ‘home’ language? Or a combination of both? This is the story of N.A.M. Ismail, Digital Editor at Prajavani, a seasoned media professional.

Nelson Vinod Moses

Nelson Vinod Moses is an award-winning mental health journalist. He set up Suicide Prevention India Foundation (www.spif.in), a Section 8 company in September 2017 because he lost his best friend, Ryan Bennett to suicide. Suicide Prevention India Foundation has a bottom-up, community-driven approach to suicide prevention that leverages a WHO-recommended suicide prevention strategy called the Gatekeeper program. Other than suicide prevention training, Suicide Prevention India Foundation organizes talks and workshops on stress, anxiety and depression.

Nupur Paiva

Nupur D. Paiva is a Chartered Clinical Psychologist, Associate Fellow with the British Psychological Society, Child Psychotherapist and mother-of-two. She started Family Tree – Child and Adolescent Mental Health team, in 2018 in New Delhi. She also teaches ‘Baby Observation’ on the Psychotherapy training course at Ambedkar University, Delhi. She is the author of ‘Love & Rage: The Inner Worlds of Children’ and along with her husband, Founder of The Art of Sport – a development programme for girls, using sports and group therapy. For her own energy and emotional balance, she likes to dance and though her motor coordination does not approve, she does not let that stop her.

Obalesh Bhemapa

K B Obalesh, is a Dalit human rights activist. Since 2009 he has been the state convener for Safaikarmachari Kavalu Samithi, Karnataka, a state level collective of activists working for the total eradication of manual scavenging and the rehabilitation of persons engaged in manual scavenging. Obalesh is also currently a government nominated member for the state level monitoring committee for Implementing Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavenging and their Rehabilitation Act (PEMSR Act 2013).

Padmini Ray

  Dr Padmini Ray Murray is a researcher and creator who is passionate about transforming ways in which we make and share knowledge. In 2016, she co-created Darshan Diversion, a videogame about the Sabarimala issue and in 2017 built Halt The Hate, an interactive database of crimes against minorities in India for Amnesty International. Her most recent published work is Bringing Up the Bodies: The Visceral, the Virtual, and the Visible. She is currently based in Bengaluru where she has founded a not for profit organisation called Design Beku, which provides design collateral for NGOs and grassroots organisation.

Pankaj Mishra

Pankaj Mishra is the cofounder of FactorDaily and writes on technology’s intersection with society and life in India. Mishra has been a technology journalist and editor since 2000 with several publications including The Economic Times, Mint and TechCrunch.

Pavitra Jayaraman

Pavitra Jayaraman is a former journalist who started her career as a television news correspondent for New Delhi Television Limited (NDTV) where she covered a range of topics including health, science and politics and then moved to Mint, HT Media as a features writer with Lounge. She currently heads the editorial at White Swan Foundation, a not-for-profit organisation that creates and disseminates knowledge on mental health.

Pinky Chandran

Pinky Chandran has over 19 years of experience spanning careers across international education, research, communications and training, community mobilization, livelihood development, waste management, and community radio. She is a poet, anchor, and photographer. She is the founder director of Radio Active 90.4, Bangalore’s first community radio station and a founder member of the Solid Waste Management Round Table.

Priya Kuriyan

Priya Kuriyan is a children’s book illustrator, comics maker and chronic doodler. She has directed animated films for the Sesame Street show (India – Gali Gali Sim Sim) and the Children’s Film Society of India (CFSI) and illustrated numerous children’s books. She has contributed to Indian comics anthologies like Pao, This side that side, Eat the Sky Drink the Ocean and First hand 2 (an anthology of non-fiction comics). She was also part of the Indo German collaboration Elephant in the room published by Zubaan books. She collaborated with the writer Devapriya Roy on a graphic biography of Indira Gandhi for young adults.

Ramdas Rao

Ramdas Rao has been in the civil liberties movement for a long time. He is a member of the People’s Union for Civil Liberties (Karnataka), and has participated in fact-finding investigations on a number of issues involving violations of human rights, such as the LGBT community, sex work, labor, caste, communalism, and so on. He is a member of a team that is bringing out a study on manual scavenging, with special reference to Karnataka.

Rajiv Eipe

Rajiv Eipe lives in Bangalore and works on animation and illustration projects. He is one part of a three-member animation studio called Plankton Collective. He likes to doodle in his sketchbook, drink more coffee than is good for him, maintain an untidy desk and gaze into vacant space at short intervals.

Rohan Chakravarty

Rohan is a cartoonist, illustrator and the creator of Green Humour, a series of cartoons on wildlife and conservation. He collaborates with organizations working on wildlife and conservation to produce illustrated awareness material. He has won awards by the UNDP, Sanctuary Asia, WWF International and the Royal Bank of Scotland for his work. Rohan is notorious for rolling up into a ball like a pangolin to avoid answering the phone or meeting people.

Rohini Kejriwal

Rohini Kejriwal is the curator of a newsletter called The Alipore Post, where she shares art, poetry, music and other finds of the Internet everyday. She is always up for a good story, travelling, new music, strong coffee and the company of puppies.

Rohini Malur

Rumi Harish

Salman SH

Salman has around 4 years of experience reporting primarily on consumer internet, startups, and tech policy. Previously, he worked with the financial newspaper Mint, reporting on consumer internet platforms. Salman’s work ranges from things like the intersection of tech platforms and policy, the evolution of the gig economy led by startups, and the changing behavior of Internet consumers in India.

Samar Halarnkar

Samar Halarnkar is the editor of Indiaspend.org and factchecker.in, nonprofits focused on data-driven, public-interest journalism and fact checking. Halarnkar also writes regular columns for Scroll.in and Mint. He won the Asian College of Journalism’s award for investigative reporting in 2017 and the Polestar award for technology reporting in 2001. He is the author of two books and has written for the New York Times, Globe and Mail (Canada), Hindustan Times, Indian Express and India Today.

Shalini Srinivasan

Shalini Srinivasan writes children’s books, comics, and the occasional bit of academic flimflammery. She lives in Bangalore, and currently spends a lot of time holding forth on grammar at hapless adolescents.

Shals Mahajan

Shals Mahajan is a writer, activist, layabout, part feline, somewhat hooman, genderqueeer queer feminist fellow who lives in Bombay, but mainly in their head.They have been part of LABIA – Queer Feminist LBT Collective for the past two decades and their published work includes Timmi in Tangles, Timmi and Rizu and No Outlaws in the Gender Galaxy.

Sheena Deviah

Sheena Deviah works as an Art Director at a children’s book publisher and enjoys working with her hands while surrounded by her three rowdy cats. She is constantly inspired by nature, both inside and outside.

Shrabonti Bagchi

Shrabonti Bagchi is National Features Editor at Mint. She has been a writer and editor with mainstream media publications for 18 years and has worked across editorial positions with Times of India, Business Standard and The Telegraph writing on business, technology, society, design, and culture. She has also been with Factor Daily, a tech focused digital news website where she covered the intersection between technology and society/culture in India.

Shruti Sharada

Shruti Sharada is a freelance writer, editor, and social media strategist. She is also the Communications Manager and an RJ at Radio Active CR 90.4 MHz, Bangalore’s oldest community radio station. She hosts the award-winning podcast, Gender Jalebi, a collaboration between Radio Active and Sandbox Collective, and curates The Feminist Reading List page on Facebook.

Somesh Kumar

Somesh Kumar is a Graphic Designer and Illustrator. He co-runs By Two Design with his friend and colleague, Hazel Karkaria. He is a comic book/graphic novel enthusiast who likes to polish his brush pen skills by sketching in his free time. He loves his tea and has many times accidentally dipped his inking brush in it.

Sudeshna Shome Ghosh

Sudeshna Shome Ghosh has worked in publishing as an editor for over 20 years. She has been a children’s books editor and has headed various children’s imprints. Currently, she is Publisher, Talking Cub, the children’s imprint of Speaking Tiger.

Sudhir Krishnaswamy

Sudhir is a co-founder of CLPR, and a partner at Ashira Law. He is currently a faculty member at the Azim Premji University. He was also the Dr. B.R. Ambedkar Visiting Professor of Indian Constitutional Law at Columbia Law School. In the past, Sudhir has also worked in the Prime Minister’s Committee on Infrastructure and the Kasturirangan Committee on Governance of Bangalore. He has authored a book titled ‘Democracy and Constitutionalism in India’ which was published by the Oxford University Press in 2009.

Sunando C

Sunando C is an illustrator, currently living in Bangalore with his cats, Chewie and Bruce. His work has recently appeared in The New World (Image Comics), and Strange Worlds Strange Times (Speaking Tiger). Upcoming projects include work for Dark Horse Comics, Pratham and a self-published comic, sometime this year.

Sunil Mohan

Sunil Mohan R is a gender queer person from Trivandrum and has worked with different sexuality and gender rights organisations in Bengaluru from 2004. Sunil has done a fellowships from the Alternative Law Forum Bengaluru Open Space Pune on gender minorities and worked on various projects around gender, sexuality, and caste. Sunil also conducts training sessions to college students, counsellors, mental health professionals, lawyers, and doctors on issues of gender, sex and sexuality. Presently Sunil is working on a research project of ALF on discrimination

Uma (Umesh P)

Uma is the founder of Jeeva, a trust that strives to build a society where all people can live in peace and express themselves freely irrespective of their gender identity or sexual orientation. A member of the transgender community herself, Uma has 18 years of experience in grassroots, legal, social and media advocacy on human rights and social entitlements of sexual minorities in Karnataka.

Urban Folk Project

Urban Folk Project is a young collective started by Shilpa Mudbi Kothakota and Adithya Kothakota. UFP is working towards the collection of intangible culture across Karnataka and exhibiting it in a contemporary context. This involves field research, documentation and curation of the content, among many other things.

Vinayak Varma

Vinayak Varma is the author and illustrator of The Sunshower Song, Jadav and the Tree-Place, and Angry Akku. He is the editor of the sci-fi anthology Strange Worlds! Strange Times!, and was the founding editor of Brainwave science magazine. He is a recipient of the Hindu-Young World GoodBooks Award and the Publishing Next Digital Book of the Year Award. When he isn’t making books or designing brands, Vinayak sings and plays blues harmonica. Find him on Instagram @mixtape.in and on Twitter @eyefry.

Vivek Shanbhag

Vivek Shanbhag writes in Kannada. He has published five short story collections, three novels and two plays, and has edited two anthologies. Vivek was the founding editor of the literary journal Desha Kaala. His critically-acclaimed novel Ghachar Ghochar was published in English translation and is translated into 17 other languages worldwide. Ghachar Ghochar was listed as one of the best ten books of 2017 by NY Times as well as The Guardian.

Zac O’Yeah

Zac O’Yeah is a Swedish detective novelist and author of the Majestic Trilogy, which is set in his Indian hometown Bengaluru. He has published 15 books including several fiction and nonfiction bestsellers, and has written for more than 75 different publications. He is currently a columnist with the BusinessLine newspaper. He is a founder-director of Bangalore’s World-Famous Semi-Deluxe Writing Programme, the first semi-professional writing school in India. Read more on www.zacoyeah.com




Speakers at City Scripts 2019 – New Delhi

Aditi Maheshwari

Aditi Maheshwari-Goyal heads the Department of Copyrights and Translation at Vani Prakashan and is the Managing Trustee at Vani Foundation. She teaches publishing and editing at the University of Delhi and Seagull School of Publishing, Kolkata as a visiting faculty. She is an advisor to Jaipur BookMark- south Asia’s largest publishing platform. She is the curator of India’s first international Hindi literary festival ‘Hindi Mahotsav’. In Vani Prakashan’s catalogue of over 6000 books, Aditi has published around 800 books in 5 Indian languages so far, and looks after the digital strategy for the Vani group.

Amitabha Bagchi

Amitabha Bagchi is the author of four novels. His most recent work Half the Night is Gone (Juggernaut, 2018) was shortlisted for the JCB Prize 2018 and the Hindu Literature Prize 2018. Bagchi lives in New Delhi with his wife and son.

Amlanjyoti Goswami

Amlanjyoti Goswami’s poems have been published in India, Nepal, Hong Kong, the UK, USA, South Africa, Kenya and Germany, including the anthologies, 40 under 40: An Anthology of Post Globalisation Poetry (Poetrywala) and A Change of Climate (Manchester Metropolitan University, Environmental Justice Foundation and the University of Edinburgh). His poems have also appeared on street walls of Christchurch, exhibitions in Johannesburg and buses in Philadelphia. River Wedding, his book of poems published by Poetrywala, will be released in City Scripts Delhi. He grew up in Guwahati and lives in Delhi.

Aparna Sanyal

Aparna Sanyal has worked extensively on non-fiction since 1999 both independently, and for national and international television. She has won multiple awards and fellowships for her work, including the National Film Award in 2012, and the Charles Wallace India Trust research grant in 2015. She co-founded ‘The Red Door’, an initiative to promote Mental Health, in 2011.


Bharat Chugh

In 2013, at the age of 23, Bharat secured 1st Rank in the Delhi Judicial Service Examination and served in various civil and criminal judgeship assignments in about 3 ½ years of judgeship. In 2016, at 27, he resigned from judgeship in order to return to the practice of law. He is currently a Partner (Designate) at L&L Partners and practices Arbitration and Criminal Law.


Benyamin is a Malayalam novelist and short story writer. He has published 24 books, including 9 novels. Aadujeevitham (goat days) was a huge success that has been reprinted more than 150 times. It won the Kerala Sahitya Academy award and was translated into many languages. ‘Jasmine days’ is also a best seller and won the JCB Prize for Literature in 2018 and the 16th Crossword Book Award for translation.

Canato Jimo

Canato Jimo is an illustrator from Nagaland. He is now based out of Delhi, having fun watching picture books come to life as an art director with Pratham Books. He loves to sing and travel.

Divya Kandukuri

Divya Kandukuri, an anti-caste cat* who calls out #EverydayCasteism that happens around us. She’s the founding member of BlueDawn Mental Health Care Group, which is a support group as well as facilitates mental health services to the Bahujans. She works as a freelance journalist. Her work lies around the intersections of caste, gender and mental health.

Elizabeth Kuruvilla

Elizabeth Kuruvilla is a journalist with The Hindu. She has previously worked with and written on arts and culture for Mint, Open, Hindustan Times and The Indian Express.

Gautam Bhan

Ghazala Jamil

Ghazala Jamil is Assistant Professor at the Centre for the Study of Law and Governance, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. Her academics interests include Urbanisation, Social Movements, and Materiality and Spatiality of Culture.

Dr Jamil is interested in poetry of protest and has translated works from Hindi/Urdu, Punjabi to English. Her most recent book Muslim Women Speak: Of Dreams and Shackles (Sage-Yoda Press, 2018) is an outcome of a study of narratives of everyday life and aspirations of young Muslim women in India.

Hemant Divate

Hemant Divate is a poet, editor, publisher and translator. Poetrywala has recently published his Man without a Navel (new translations). He has a book each in Spanish, Irish, Arabic, German and Estonian apart from four in English. Hemant changed Marathi literary scene through his little magazine AbhidhaNantar and Indian English poetry scene through Poetrywala.

Jyotsna Siddharth

Jyotsna Siddharth is an actor, activist and writer. She is passionate about everydaness of caste, women’s rights and intersectionality within personal and public spaces. Jyotsna is interested in using storytelling and other collaborative approaches to build resilience and dialogue. She has conducted several workshops with young people on caste and love to build an understanding on the inter linkages between socio-cultural contexts in romantic relationships. She is founder of Project Anti-Caste, Love and Co-Founder of Sive.

Kavita Devi

Kavita Devi is the Digital Head of Khabar Lahariya, and her primary responsibilities include working closely with the Chief Reporters’ network on conceptualising, planning and execution of stories. A Banda local herself – she likes to call herself Kavita Bundelkhandi, having chosen to drop her last name deliberately many years ago – she is also the region’s first Dalit woman anchor to host her own news and views weekly, The Kavita Show. Kavita brings with her several years of field reporting, having started out as a reporter herself, and often reports on special stories even today.


Lokesh is executive Director of the Centre for Education and Communication (CEC). She has extensive experience on conducting research on Gender and Labour Relations and has been actively involved in various feminist and progressive causes such as women’s safety in the city, labour rights of construction workers and social security for unorganized workers. She has an M.Phil in Sociology from University of Delhi.

Lovleen Misra

Lovleen Misra is a well-known television, film and theatre actor. Fluent in English and Hindi, lively and with a wacky sense of humour, she is a compelling storyteller and drama coach for children, with over twenty years of experience. Her published poems deal with the dreamy child’s concerns, from nose picking to exams.

Mahima Nayar

Dr. Mahima Nayar is a scholar with over fifteen years experience in practice, research and academics. She has worked in areas related to violence against women and children (domestic and systemic), persons with psychosocial disabilities and their families. She has also taught at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai in areas related to disability, women, children and families.

Meva Bharti

Meva Bharti has been working for over 20 years for rights of children and women. She has helped organise more than 16000 women in Jaipur as Rajasthan Mahila Kaamgaar Union, empowering them to claim their dignity and rights. Recently the Union honored 112 women from the membership who have emerged as strong community leaders in the course of this journey, telling of the crucial work that the Union has accomplished.

Nalini Jameela

Nalini Jameela is a best selling author, activist and sexworker from Trissur, Kerala. Started sex work at the age of 24. Has been involved with Kerala Sex Workers Forum. Has directed two documentaries Jwalamukhikal and A Peep in to the Silenced. Her autobiography Njan Laingikathozhilali was published in Malayalam and translated into English as Autobiography of a Sex Worker . Nalini’s autobiography sold over 30000 copies in Malayalam and was translated into French,Hindi, Marathi, Kannada, Telugu , Tamil and many other languages. Her recent book Romantic encounters of a sex worker came out in both English and Malayalam.

Panini Anand

Panini Anand is a Journalist who has worked as reporter, producer and editor for organizations including BBC, Outlook, Rajya Sabha TV and CatchNews. From Rae Bareli of UP, Panini is fond of the Ghats of Varanasi, Hindustani classical music, Awadhi biryani, Bob Marley and Pink Floyd, political talks and heritage walks. He has closely observed the mainstream national political parties, the Hindi belt politics along with many mass movements and campaigns in last two decades. His current assignment is with India Today Group as Editor- Aajtak.in

Parismita Singh

Parismita Singh’s publications include The Hotel at the End of the World, Mara and the Clay Cows, Centrepiece: New Writing and Art from theast India(edited)and Peace has Come, a collection of short stories.

She is currently working on a non-fiction graphic novel series for the Huffington Post and writes a column The Broken Thread for Voice of Fashion.

She also works on a primary school project with the NGO Pratham

Paul Divakar

N. Paul Divakar is an advocate for Dalit rights, Economic Rights Expert, and Human rights defender. He is currently the Chairperson and Executive Director of The Inclusivity Project, an organisation supporting global network of social justice communities addressing Discrimination based on Work and Descent (DWD). He is one of the founding members of the International Dalit Solidarity Network and the National Campaign on Dalit Rights and is the General Secretary, of Global Advocacy and Networks. He also serves as the Chairperson of the Asia Dalit Rights Forum. He has been recently voted by Outlook magazine as one of the 50 most influential Dalit Leaders in the country.

Radhika Ramaseshan

Raghu Karnad

Raghu Karnad is a writer, journalist and chief of bureau at theWire.in. His book, Farthest Field: A Story of India’s Second World War won the Sahitya Akademi Yuva Puraskar for English. His writings have appeared in the New Yorker, The New York Times, n+1, and Caravan.

Rahul Roy

Rahul Roy graduated from the Mass Communication Research Centre at Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi in 1987 with a degree in film making. His films have travelled across the globe have won prestigious international awards. His work stands at the cross section of the city, labour and men’s lives. Besides directing his own films Roy has produced several documentaries and two fiction films in the South Asian region. His graphic book on masculinities titled ‘A Little Book on Men’ was published by Yoda Press. And he has recently co-edited (with Dr. Deepak Mehta) a volume titled Violence and The Quest For Justice In South Asia for a SAGE/Yoda imprint.

Rajashree Raju

Rajashree Raju is a queer rights activist, arts educator and administrator from Kerala. She is a board member of Queerala, an LGBTQIA+ organisation based in Kerala. Rajashree also works as a Deputy Programme Manager of the Performing Arts Centre at Ashoka University.

Rudrajit Ghosh

Samina Mishra

Samina Mishra is a documentary filmmaker, writer and teacher based in New Delhi, with a special interest in media for and about children. Her children’s books have been published by Scholastic, Tulika, Young Zubaan, The Wisdom Tree and Penguin, the most recent one being My Sweet Home: Childhood Stories from a Corner of the City (Mapin 2017). She is a board member of IAWRT India, and curator of Half Ticket, the children’s section at the MAMI Mumbai Film Festival, in addition to teaching the IB Film programme at Pathways School Noida and collaborating on Torchlight, a web journal on libraries and bookish love.

Sayoni Basu

Sayoni Basu reads, edits, publishes, packs and counts books. She is currently primary platypus at Duckbill Books, an independent publisher which makes books for children and teens.

Siddhartha Sarma

Siddhartha Sarma is a journalist, author and historian. A former investigative journalist who covered insurgency and related issues in the Northeast, his new novel, Year of the Weeds, deals with the land rights movement of a tribal community in western Odisha, and is based on real events.

Snigdha Poonam

Snigdha Poonam is a national affairs writer with the Hindustan Times and the author of Dreamers: How Young Indians Are Changing Their World.

Shals Mahajan

Shals Mahajan is a writer, activist, layabout, part feline, somewhat hooman, genderqueeer queer feminist fellow who lives in Bombay, but mainly in their head.They have been part of LABIA – Queer Feminist LBT Collective for the past two decades and their published work includes Timmi in Tangles, Timmi and Rizu and No Outlaws in the Gender Galaxy.

Shreevatsa Nevatia

Having authored his memoir How to Travel Light in 2017, Shreevatsa Nevatia now works as an independent journalist. He is based in Mumbai, and was formerly the Editor of National Geographic Traveller India.

Sohini Basak

Sohini Basak’s first poetry collection We Live in the Newness of Small Differences was awarded the 2017 International Beverly Prize. She studied literature and creative writing at the universities of Delhi, Warwick, and East Anglia, where she was awarded the Malcolm Bradbury Continuation Grant for Poetry.

Sunil Mohan

Sunil Mohan R is a gender queer person from Trivandrum and has worked with different sexuality and gender rights organisations in Bengaluru from 2004. Sunil has done a fellowships from the Alternative Law Forum Bengaluru Open Space Pune on gender minorities and worked on various projects around gender, sexuality, and caste. Sunil also conducts training sessions to college students, counsellors, mental health professionals, lawyers, and doctors on issues of gender, sex and sexuality. Presently Sunil is working on a research project of ALF on discrimination

Tripta Chandola

Trisha Gupta

Trisha Gupta is a writer and critic based in Delhi. She has an MA from the University of Cambridge and an M.Phil from Columbia University, both in cultural anthropology. Since 2014, she has written a weekly column for the Mumbai Mirror, using cinema as a prism through which to look at our socio-cultural context. Her writing on films, books, photography, art, theatre and the city has appeared in a wide range of publications, including India Today, The Caravan, Open, Scroll, The Wire, Hindustan Times, Brown Paper Bag, Indian Express, Time Out and Biblio. She tweets as @chhotahazri.

Urvashi Bahuguna

Urvashi Bahuguna’s debut poetry collection, Terrarium was selected for the 2017 Emerging Poets Prize by Aimee Nezhukumatathil and was published in February 2019 by The (Great) Indian Poetry Collective. Her work has been recognized by a Charles Wallace India Trust Fellowship, a Sangam House fellowship, an Eclectica Spotlight Author Prize, a TOTO Award for Creative Writing, a Wingword Poetry Prize, and nominations for Best of the Net and the Pushcart Prize. Her second book, a collection of personal essays on mental health, is forthcoming from Penguin India.

Urvashi Butalia

Urvashi Butalia is a writer and a publisher. Co-founder of India’s first feminist publishing house, Kali for Women, she is currently Director of Zubaan, set up after Kali closed down in 2003. She has a long involvement in the women’s movement in India and writes and publishes widely on issues related to women and gender. Among her best known publications are the award winning history of Partition, The Other Side of Silence: Voices from the Partition of India (Viking Penguin India and Duke University Press USA). She has edited Partition: The Long Shadow, and co-edited Women and the Hindu Right, and several other books. She is a winner of the French Chevalier des Artes et des Lettres, the German Goethe Medaille and the Indian Padmashree.

Veena Bharadwaj