Our Team

The Team


Philippa Williams, Co-Primary Investigator

Philippa is a Reader/Associate Professor in Human Geography at Queen Mary University of London. Her research and teaching intersect political, economic and development geography, with a focus on everyday political life in India and its transnational community. She is particularly interested in questions concerning how the state is experienced, how citizenship is articulated and how marginality, particularly in the context of violence/nonviolence is lived and increasingly how digital technology is mediating everyday political life in India. She was awarded the Philip Leverhulme Prize in Geography 2019 and is author of Everyday Peace?: Politics, Citizenship and Muslim Lives in India  and co-editor of Geographies of Peace and  Beyond the Wage: Ordinary work in diverse economies

Shazia Choudhry, Co-Primary Investigator

Dr Shazia Choudhry is Professor of Law and the Jeffrey Hackney Tutorial Fellow in Law at Wadham College, Oxford.  She is also an Associate Academic Fellow and Academic Bencher of the Inner Temple. Her research interests lie in the fields of European and UK human rights law and the interface of those fields with criminal law, family law and human rights law.  Areas of interest include the impact of the HRA and the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) on the law and policy with regard to violence against women and the effect of rights-based reasoning in the law relating to children. Her work within the field of domestic violence and human rights has been recognised by invitations to speak internationally and by her advisory work and appointments. This has included her appointment as Specialist Adviser to the Joint Parliamentary Committee on Human Rights Inquiry into Violence against Women (2014-15) and Specialist Adviser to the Joint Committee on the Draft Domestic Abuse Bill (2019), as an expert evaluator for the European Commission, as an expert for the Council of Europe (including participating in the GREVIO monitoring mission to Serbia) and as an expert consultant for the UNFPA. Amongst other advisory work she is a member of the Crown Prosecution Service’s Violence Against Women External Consultation Group and advises Women’s Aid on research, policy and training. Her recent research on the issue of child contact and victims of domestic abuse has been drawn upon by members of the judiciary, members of Parliament, the Victims Commissioner and the Home Affairs (Parliamentary) Committee in its recent report on the proposed Domestic Abuse Bill 2018. Available here


West Bengal

Nandini Ghosh, Co-investigator

Nandini Ghosh is Assistant Professor of Sociology at Institute of Development Studies, Kolkata, West Bengal, India. She obtained her PhD degree in Social Sciences from the Tata Institute of Social Sciences Mumbai in 2008. She has published a monograph, Impaired Bodies Gendered Lives: Everyday Realities of Disabled Women in 2016. She has edited Interrogating Disability in India: Theory and Practice (2016) and Caste and Gender in Contemporary India: Power, Privilege and Politics (co-edited with Supurna Banerjee, 2018). She has published widely on issues relating to disability, gender, caste and other marginal identities. Her areas of interest are qualitative research methodology, sociology of gender, marginalisation and social exclusion and social movements. As an academician-activist working on the intersectional  issues of disability and gender, she was closely associated with the process of framing the new disability rights law in India and has also represented the delegation of Indian activists at the review of the implementation of the UNCRPD in India in 2018-19.

Ruchira Goswami, Co-investigator

Ruchira Goswami teaches at the National University of Juridical Sciences, Kolkata where she offers courses in Sociology, Human Rights, Gender and Law, Child Rights and Film and Law. She was the Head of the Centre for Child Rights, NUJS, a multidisciplinary centre set up in partnership with UNICEF with the mandate of research, documentation and advocacy on child rights issues. A British Chevening scholar in Human Rights from the London School of Economics, her areas of interests include feminist movements and legal reforms, child rights, representation of law in films. She has recently worked on two research projects – as Project Director on Implementation of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act in West Bengal sponsored by UNICEF office of West Bengal (2016) and as Co-Investigator in an Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR) sponsored research project Reconceptualizing Domestic Violence: Shifting Discourses Within the Women’s Movement (2016-18).

Supurna Banerjee, Co-investigator

Supurna Banerjee is Assistant Professor in Institute of Development Studies Kolkata. She works on issues of gender, labour, violence, migration and intersectionality. She has published in various peer reviewed journals on these issues including South Asian Multidisciplinary Academic Journal (SAMAJ) and Journal of South Asian Development. Her monograph Activism and Agency in India: Nurturing Resistance in the Tea Plantations was brought out by Routledge in 2017. She is also the co-author of Limits of Bargaining: Capital, Labour and State in Contemporary India (Cambridge University Press, 2019). She has also recently worked on issues of domestic violence as Co-Principal Investigator in an Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR) sponsored research project Reconceptualizing Domestic Violence: Shifting Discourses Within the Women’s Movement (2016-18).

Kolika Mitra, Research Associate

Kolika Mitra are a sociologist and has submitted their PhD thesis at The Centre for the Study of Social Systems, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. They completed their Master’s in Sociology at the University of Hyderabad. They have worked as Researcher, Consultant, Program Associate and volunteer at various organisations in New Delhi and Kolkata over the last nine years. Their main areas of research interest are sexuality and gender studies, queer studies, research methodologies and social movements. Kolika currently identifies as genderfree/agender and is a member of the West Bengal Transgender Development Board under the Department of Women and Child Development and Social Welfare, Govt. of West Bengal. Celebrating queerness in all and challenging heteronormativity from every possible angle are their boosters in life along with nature, food, books and music.


Girija Godbole, Co-investigator

Girija Godbole works at the Ashank Desai Centre for Policy Studies (ADCPS) at IIT Bombay. Trained in anthropology, Girija has worked in the environment and development sector for many years and is a LEAD (Leadership for Environment & Development) Fellow. She has received Gates Cambridge Scholarship, Commonwealth Professional Fellowship and Robert McNamara Fellowship of the World Bank. Girija is associated with Jeevan Sanstha, a grassroots organisation in Pune working with rural women and the Katkari- one of the Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups in Maharashtra. She is also the lead researcher for the study “ Ground-eye view of existing agricultural tenancy in western Maharashtra in the times of increasing land sale” under the Nudge Foundation Research Innovation Grant.

Preeti Karmarkar, Co-investigator

Preeti has 22 years of experience in social development field in the areas of grassroot mobilization, project development and Management, M&E, policy as well as investigative research and NGO management with national and international exposure. She is an experienced gender trainer and provides consultation for gender integration in development programming. She also has an experience of development programming in livelihood development while working with BAIF Development Research Foundation. She has been actively working on the issues of violence against women such as domestic violence and sexual harassment at workplace, at practical level in terms of support to the survivors through crisis intervention centre of Nari Samata Manch and strategic levels; advocacy on the issue. She is serving as an external member of the internal committees at a few workplaces as mandated by Sexual Harassment of women at workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013.

Kranti Agnihotri-Dabir, Research Associate

Kranti Agnihotri-Dabir is trained as a social worker and has been working on issues related to Violence Against Women (VAW) for the last twenty years. She is a senior counsellor and trainer on violence against women and Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act (PWDVA), 2005 and has served as a faculty member for the training of Protection officers and other government officials under this Act. She also works on issues of child sexual abuse.

Sayali Oak-Deshpande, Research Associate

Sayali Oak-Deshpande is trained in Counselling Psychology and has worked with Nari Samata Manch (NSM) for the last six years. She has worked with women and children in the rural areas for NSM field projects. Sayali also looks after the NSM counselling facility as and when required. Sayali has worked on the counselling centre project in local municipal schools for five years. She has also worked with adolescents and women living in urban slum areas on topics such as life skills, gender equality, parenting, child sexual abuse awareness, health and nutrition, pre – marital counselling and gender sensitisation.

Poonam Jungare, Research Associate

Poonam Jungare is a counselling psychologist and has been with Nari Samata Manch for the last four years. She handles the speak out and counselling facility at NSM.

Tamil Nadu

Swarna Rajagopalan, Co-investigator

Swarna Rajagopalan trained as a political scientist at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She is the founder and Managing Trustee of The Prajnya Trust. Swarna is the lead partner for Tami Nadu on the British Academy-GCRF ‘Surviving Violence’ project. Swarna’s work, spanning scholarship, consulting, activism, writing and teaching has covered the spectrum of human security issues—from gender-based violence to disaster recovery to displacement to militarization. Swarna most recently co-edited “Openings for Peace: UNSCR 1325, Women and Security in India” (with Asha Hans, SAGE, 2016) and “Women and Disasters in South Asia: Survival, Security and Development” (with Linda Racioppi, Routledge India, 2016). Her portfolio is available here and she is on Twitter @swarraj.

Sudaroli Ramasamy, Senior Researcher

Sudaroli has a master’s degree in English Literature and Social Work. She is on the board of trustees for Prajnya, a Chennai-based non-profit working in gender equality, especially building awareness to end sexual and gender-based violence. She has 17 years of experience working in gender and sexual based violence and towards gender equality with the Chennai based organisations International Foundation for Crime Prevention and Victim Care (PCVC) and The Prajnya Trust. In her career Sudaroli has worked with women and children survivors of Domestic violence; built networks with communities, students, police and other partner NGOs of several districts in combating domestic violence; been a seasonal trainer and conducted training workshops on domestic violence and sexual harassment in the workplace. She has been part of the Internal Compliance Committee of corporate representing The Prajnya Trust. She was involved in the pilot research ‘Surviving Violence’ at Dharmapuri, Tamil Nadu.

Sandhya Srinivasan S, Researcher

Sandhya Srinivasan S graduated with Honors from University of Madras with a master’s in Politics and Public Administration and is currently working in Chaitanya Policy Consultancy as a Researcher. She completed her Undergraduate in History and Tourism from Stella Maris College, Chennai. She has previously held an internship with the India Tourism, Government Museum of Chennai and was part of the Books/Library Restoration team in Madras Literacy society. Sandhya is a Quizzer and an ex-student parliamentarian. Her interests include Travel Photography, Art Journaling and occasionally she takes people on Heritage story walks around Chennai. She is hoping to pursue her Doctoral degree and establish herself as a successful educator and researcher.

Partner Organisations

Photo Credits

Priyadarshini Ravichandran

Vidya Kulkarni