Founder and Director
Nidhi Goyal is a disabled feminist activist from India working on disability rights and gender justice. She is committed to changing the lives of persons with disabilities, particularly women and girls. Nidhi is also India’s first female disabled stand-up comedian and uses humor to challenge prevailing notions about disability and gender.
In her eight years of activism, Nidhi has worked with a range of national and global women’s rights, disability rights, and human rights organizations, including Point of View, Human Rights Watch, Sight Savers, and CREA.
Nidhi’s work spans research, writing, training, campaigns, advocacy, and art. She works to raise the profile of issues at the intersection of disability and gender through op-eds, journal articles, and lectures in national and international forums. Nidhi has been appointed to the UN Women Executive Director’s Civil Society Advisory Group, sits on the advisory board of VOICE, and has been globally elected to the Board of Association for Women’s Rights in Development (AWID), where she is currently the President-Elect. In India, Nidhi has been invited to be a member of the core group on persons with disabilities and elderly persons by the National Human Rights Commission.
At 15, when Nidhi started losing sight and learning to live a full life with her disability, she promised herself that she would work to extend opportunities for growth to other people with disabilities who did not have access to the family support, resources, and privileges she drew upon for support. Rising Flame takes this commitment forward.
You can follow Nidhi’s work on Twitter @saysnidhigoyal.
Dr. Neha Goyal (M.D Skin & V.D.)
Dr. Neha Goyal is a Mumbai-based practising dermatologist and cosmetologist. In practice for the past eight years, Neha runs Dr. Neha’s Skin Klinik, provides medical services through renowned local hospitals, and regularly presents papers at conferences and seminars. A Gold Medalist in her MD, Neha secured her MBBS degree from KEM Hospital Mumbai, and held a Fellowship in Pediatric Dermatology and Lasers from Singapore.
Neha is committed to offering affordable and quality health care to underprivileged persons and works to realise this goal through her practice at Charitable hospitals and institutions; contributing expertise at free medical camps held at her clinic and by community groups and social clubs; and through volunteering to provide guidance on health and gender with charitable trusts like Balaji Health Foundation and non-profits like Point of View.
A sister to two disabled siblings, disability rights and empowerment is a personal issue for Neha. She believes that much more needs to be done to create a just and equal world where all persons with disabilities live dignified and fulfilling lives, She has co-founded Rising Flame to help reach that goal.
You can follow Neha’s work at @DrNehaSkinKlinik
Senior Programs Consultant
Srinidhi Raghavan works on women’s, sexuality, and disability rights. She conducts training and undertakes research on women with disabilities, with a focus on the sexual needs and vulnerability of adolescent girls. Srinidhi is experienced in programme development, building, evaluation, and management. Over the last seven years, Srinidhi has partnered with feminist organizations, schools, and colleges across India to work with women, including those with disabilities, adolescents, and children on gender, sexuality, and rights.
Srinidhi is an introvert and a lover of poetry who writes to make sense of the world around her. Her work has been published in Skin Stories, Agents of Ishq, India Spend, The Ladies Finger, and Ahmedabad Mirror. She is the mother of two bratty cats and she loves dogs.
Srinidhi lives with chronic illnesses that impacts how she engages with the world. This personal experience informs her commitment to the Rising Flame vision and mission, and her work towards making this vision a reality.
You can follow Srinidhi’s work on Twitter @Thecatlyf.
An alumnus of Public Health from Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), Pooja developed a keen interest in the sexual and reproductive health issues of individuals with intellectual disabilities. While working on her dissertation in 2017 Pooja interned for Rising Flame to better understand the intersection of sexuality and disability. Her dissertation on Parental Perceptions about Sexuality of their Child with Intellectual Disabilities and its Impact on Access to Sex Education won best research at TISS.
Pooja has since joined a reputed health insurance firm but continues to volunteer with Rising Flame as a researcher. Through her work, she hopes to be able to empower people with disabilities and enable them to exercise their rights.
Arjita studied English Literature at the University of Delhi and completed her Masters in Social Work in Women Centred Practice from Tata Institute of Social Sciences. During the course of her education, she has interned with various women's organisations that work on issues such as livelihoods, violence and rights of Muslim women.
Along with a keen interest in working at the ground, Arjita is also interested in studying and learning more about women’s issues at the intersection of arts, media, culture and spaces. She wants to work towards increasing inclusivity and accessibility of women in different kinds of spaces which has spurred her towards Rising Flame.
In her free time, Arjita likes to read, write, travel, dance and take photos of things.
Chayanika Iyer is a work in progress academic pursuing her Master's Degree in Sociology, who hopes to work at the intersection of accessibility, queer rights, and conflict dynamics. She's also the founder and co-editor of qitaabzine, a platform for queer expression in India that works towards making queer centric research and resources accessible to both academic and non academic audiences.
When she's not plotting on ways to bring down the cis-heteronormative patriarchal state-capitalist establishment, she can be found cooing over puppies and thinking about cheesecake.