Activist, youth leader, public speaker, women with disabilities champion
Nidhi Ashok Goyal is the Founder and Executive Director of the leading non-profit organisation 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 has been appointed on the steering committee of the C20 process in India’s G20 presidency. 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 also been invited on core group of persons with disabilities by national human rights commission India since 2016, is on the diversity and inclusion task force of Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry since 2019, is the governing body member of ADD India, and sits on the advisory board of VOICE – a grant making project by the Dutch ministry.
She has reached over 30,000 women and youth with disabilities through her direct work and reached over 5,00,000 diverse stakeholders offline and online to create an enabling environment. She has authored the ground breaking and only research around sexual violence and access to justice for women with disabilities which was cited by Justice Chandrachudh in his progressive disability judgement in 2021. Her research publication on the impact of COVID on women with disabilities remains the only research in India and the first globally. It was used as an advocacy and change tool in India as well as globally-right from being used as an evidence in a PIL, to being the foundation for the NHRC Covid advisory for Persons with disabilities, to being quoted by UN Special Rapporteur. 12 years ago, she authored India’s first online resource on sexual and reproductive rights of women and girls with disabilities. She also conceptualised and led India’s first ever National Leadership program for women with disabilities.
She has led multistakeholder and cross movement work, influenced policies and systems, authored ground breaking research, all with a vision to foster inclusion of women and youth with disabilities within India and globally. She has steered a leading global women’s rights organisation – AWID- as the youngest and first ever disabled president, and made huge strides in inclusion as the former global advisor to UN Women’s Executive Director. Her leadership and work have been appreciated and awarded by the government of India (national Award for Empowerment of Persons with disabilities 2019), National Association for the Blind, ABP News(Super Woman of the year 2018), and Sur Optimist Mumbai amongst others.
Her work has been extensively covered in National and Global media from Times of India, Economic Times to Aljazeera. She has also delivered talks and conducted trainings in 5 continents and in over 20 countries. She is also India’s first female disabled comedian who is committed to bring change on perceptions of disability and gender through comedy.