Nidhi Goyal

Founder and Executive Director

A disabled feminist activist from India, Nidhi Goyal has been working on disability rights and gender justice since a decade. Her work spans research, writing, training, campaigns, advocacy, and art.

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 coordinated a cross-country research in Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka, under the project Expanding EROTICS Networks in South Asia. She also assists in coordination of the Feminist Internet Research Network part of Association of Progressive Communications, Women's Rights Programme that conducts research in Global South on internet research 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.

Archismita Choudhury

Social Media Strategist and Content Creator

Archismita is a communications professional who has worked at the intersection of gender, sexuality, disability and technology through the years. She creates and executes communication strategy for organisations to highlight their values and ongoing work in accessible, innovative and creative manners.

She has built and nurtured feminist digital communities since 2012, and she dreams about a #FeministInternet. She is an alumnus of Tata Institute of Social Sciences with a B.A. in Social Sciences and an M.A. in Women's Studies.

Archismita believes that conversations around disability and ableism need to become more mainstream in feminist/activist spaces, and aims to work towards making it a reality in her work with Rising Flame. She is on Twitter @Archismita.

A black and white image of Archismita where she has short hair that is till her shoulders. She is wearing a bindi and a chain in her neck. Behind her are some trees.

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.

Sherina Poyyail

C20 Intern

Sherina Poyyail is a journalist, editor and public policy associate who works at the intersection of gender, tech and health. Her work has appeared in FirstPost, Arre, Gaysi, Re:Set, YourStory and Yahoo! amongst others. She holds a degree in Media Studies from the Symbiosis Centre for Media and Communications, Pune and is currently pursuing her Master's degree in Public Policy from St. Xavier's College Mumbai. She is also the editor of the department's annual journal, Niti-Samvaad. Sherina was a 2019 Young Leaders for Active Citizenship Fellow working on urban policy research for a Member of Parliament. Her latest essay on queer communities and the internet appears in Yaari: A South Asian Anthology, published by Yoda Press, 2023.

Sherina is dressed in white and black with shoulder length hair where her tips are coloured brown. She is smiling and standing against a textured wall.

Anushree Sansare

C20 Intern

Anushree (she/her) is an undergraduate Psychology student at Wilson College. She has been part of societies and clubs in college to address gender inequality and create awareness about the importance of representation of the marginalised in society. She is an avid reader and I work the best at night, like an owl. Fictional characters are her coping mechanisms and she is obsessed with taking pictures of pretty skies and moon - her photo gallery is the proof. Overthinking is something she is natural at. She firmly believes in learning by unlearning.

Anushree is dressed in a sleeveless brown top and smiling. She is standing in front of a beige wall with a window. Her hair is shoulder length and she is wearing glasses.