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.
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.
Lead Mental Health Programme Consultant
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.
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