Nidhi Ashok Goyal

Founder and Executive Director


Nidhi Ashok Goyal is the Founder and Executive Director of Rising Flame, working for leadership and rights of women, youth, and persons with disabilities in India. She has been working on disability rights and gender justice for the past 12 years at the national, regional, and global levels-through research, writing, policy influence, and art.

She was appointed on the steering committee of the C20 process in India’s G20 presidency in 2023. She was instrumental in the creation of the Disability, Equity, Justice Working Group in C20 India and led the group as the Coordinator. In 2023, she was appointed by the state government of Goa as an ambassador to the Purple Fest, India’s largest and the first festival on disability and diversity.

She has been invited on the core group of persons with disabilities by the National Human Rights Commission, India, is on the diversity and inclusion task force of FICCI, and sits on the advisory board of Voice, a grant making project by the Dutch ministry. She has just completed her term as President of Association for Women’s Rights in Development and as a global advisor to UN Women’s Executive Director. 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. She influences organisations, systems and structures, policies and human rights discourses to be more inclusive in national and global spaces.

Nidhi has been committed to changing lives of persons with disabilities and 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. Her work on disability, gender, diversity and inclusion have made way into many corporate offices and policy spaces.

Nidhi is also India’s first female disabled stand-up comedian and uses humor to challenge prevailing notions about disability and gender.

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.

Nidhi wearing a silver saree with black border and a black 3/4th sleeves blouse with her cane in one hand and mask in the other. She is standing in an open field with some others in the background

Srinidhi Raghavan

Co-Lead Programmes


Srinidhi Raghavan is a disabled feminist, writer, researcher and educator. She works at the intersections of sexuality, gender, disability and technology. She is Co-Lead, Programmes at Rising Flame. For the past 12 years, she has been working with feminist and disability rights organisations, children and young people, women of all ages, parents, special educators, and teachers. Her work focusses on deepening conversations around sexuality, on rights of persons with disabilities and building more spaces where disabled people can thrive. She has undertaken research on sexuality and violence faced by women with disabilities as well as on vulnerability of adolescent girls with a focus on sexual and reproductive health. She also assisted in coordination of the Feminist Internet Research Network part of Association of Progressive Communications' Women's Rights Programme that conducts internet research in Global South with a feminist approach, to inform and influence activism and policymaking.


Her work has been published extensively in national and international websites on gender, sexuality, disability and technology. She wrote a column in India for FirstPost called Bodies and Minds that looks at the often ignored intersection of gender and disability. She is interested in community care, disability justice, intersectional feminism and cats.

She lives with chronic illnesses and invisible disabilities 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.

Srinidhi Raghavan is seated against a yellow background with trees. There are waves at the bottom. She has short and black hair. She is wearing a pink kurta, black framed glasses and a nose pin.

Prathama Raghavan

Lead Mental Health Programme Consultant


Prathama Raghavan (she/they) calls Kathmandu and Hyderabad (India) home. Her work and life are informed by narrative practices, principles of disability justice, neurodiversity, transformative justice and poetry. She has continued to work in parts of India and Nepal on disability & mental health with children, adults and families for 15 years. She has been doing trainings on mental health & disability.
Previously, she was coordinator Mental Health, Access & Inclusion at Ullens school, IB Diploma program in Kathmandu. She also worked in mental health, and well-being alongside communities in rural areas, those living in conflict, post-disaster contexts and with refugee communities in Nepal, Bangladesh, Myanmar and Afghanistan with humanitarian organisations. Prathama has a Masters & PhD in Developmental Psychology from Université Paul-Valéry, Montpellier, France and a Masters in Psychology from Osmania University, Hyderabad, India.
A black and white photo of Prathama sitting in a room and looking away from the camera. She has shoulder length hair.

Shikha Silliman Bhattacharjee

Lead Policy Consultant


Shikha is a lawyer and researcher. Her work focuses on advancing decent work and social justice, and gender, caste and race in the global economy. She addresses systemic violence, with a focus on women, labor migrants, and persons with disabilities.

Shikha’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion infuses her practice, scholarly work, and approach to teaching and collaboration. Her portfolio encompasses research and advocacy in collaboration with large global institutions like Human Rights Watch, the International Labour Organization, Global Labor Justice – International Labor Rights Forum, and the Freedom Fund. It also includes collaborations with more than 30 grassroots partner organizations and coalitions concentrated in Asia and Africa.

Shikha is a Researcher on Climate Change and Global Value Chains at Copenhagan Business School and a PhD Candidate at UC Berkeley (expected 2023). She has completed a JD from the University of Pennsylvania Law School and a BA in English and Ethnicity, Race and Migration from Yale University.

Shikha has published papers in peer reviewed journals and law reviews, a book with Cambridge University Press, a litigation guide on India’s Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, more than fifteen policy reports, and program and process documentation on good practices among social movement actors in challenging structural discrimination. Her research has been well covered in the media, including by Al Jazeera, BBC News, CNN, The Guardian, Huffington Post, The Nation, The New York Times, Reuters, TIME, and VICE.

A sepia photo of Shikha on the streets turned slightly towards the camera.

Kanishka Zico

Programmes Coordinator


Kanishka Zico is a writer and an artist. She has carried out research in Japan and India under film studies and popular culture studies. Her published works focus on caste, health, and politics. She’s dedicated to bringing the invisible voices and narratives of the marginalized to the forefront. Through her writing, she wishes to dismantle caste and gender disparities.

Kanishka has majored in English literature from Delhi University and JNU, India. She studied the Japanese language and culture while conducting research in film studies from Fukuoka, Japan. She deploys a creative mindset towards her work. She has organized several exhibitions and events over the years. She has volunteered in various education and social sector organizations in both Japan and India.

When not working, she’s probably binging anime. You can find more of her work on zicokanishka.wordpress.com

A black and white picture of Kanishka seated on a table with her hand on her chin. She is wearing glasses. There is a cup of coffee in front of her.

Srishti Kumar

Intern


Srishti Kumar is an emerging scholar and activist currently pursuing a Master's in Gender Studies at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) in Mumbai. She holds an undergraduate degree in English Literature from Ramjas College at Delhi University. Alongside her current academic pursuits, Srishti worked in the development sector focusing on sexual and reproductive health rights, gender-based violence, and environmental issues.

This experience not only underscored the importance of campaigning and advocacy but also taught her effective strategies to translate theoretical knowledge into action that resonates with a broader audience. Her fieldwork has significantly informed her research, providing real-world insights that enhance her academic inquiries. Srishti's work centers on the critical examination of gender, caste, sexuality, education, and cultural studies, with a commitment to challenging the status quo and advocating for the empowerment of historically marginalized communities. Through her scholarship and activism, she aims to create more inclusive spaces and foster a better future for the community she represents.

A woman with shoulder length hair looking at the camera dressed in a saree.

Parvathy Prasad

Intern


Parvathy M Prasad is a passionate scholar currently pursuing a Master's degree in Women's Studies at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS). Her academic journey began with a Bachelor's of Arts in Humanities from Azim Premji University, where she developed a strong foundation in social sciences.

Parvathy's research interests are deeply rooted in exploring the intersections of gender, sexuality, art, disability, and caste studies. She is dedicated to understanding and highlighting the complexities of these intersections, aiming to contribute valuable insights to the field of social sciences. With a keen eye for detail and a strong analytical mind, Parvathy is committed to conducting thorough and thought-provoking research that challenges existing narratives and promotes a more inclusive and equitable society. Her academic pursuits are driven by a desire to create meaningful change and contribute to a more just and compassionate world.

Additionally, Parvathy has a keen interest in culture studies, literature, and education, further enriching her interdisciplinary approach to research and academia.

A woman dressed in green standing against a colourful background with bougainvilleas on the top.

Manasa Uppuluri

Intern


Manasa Uppuluri is a budding scholar passionate about feminist epistemology and praxis. Currently pursuing her Master’s in Gender Studies from the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (Mumbai), she holds an undergraduate triple major in Political Science, Public Administration, and Economics.
Post her undergraduate degree, she worked for two years at a pharmaceutical company, before deciding to pivot back to the social sciences. Ever since, she has worked with grassroots organisations at the intersection of gender, caste, sexuality, and disability. Her experience so far has equipped her with the required skills and an understanding of historically oppressive power structures and the need to dismantle them. As an intern at Rising Flame, she finds herself primarily drawn to matters of accessibility in the context of gender and disability. Her work so far has involved a deep study and application of gender, sexuality, cultural, and disability studies, and through it, she hopes to create a more inclusive, accessible, and gender-just society.
A black and white photo of Manasa smiling at the camera. She has shoulder length hair and is holding her phone in her hand.