General Body

ApAnandMr. Apoorvanand is a professor of Hindi at the University of Delhi since the year 2004. He started his teaching career at T.P.S. College, Patna, a constituent unit of Magadh University. In 1999, he joined Mahatma Gandhi International Hindi University, Wardha. He was part of the core group that designed the National Curriculum Framework for School Education in 2005 and was a member of the national Focus Group on Teaching of Indian Languages formed by the National Council for Educational Research and Training (NCERT). He has worked with the Committee to Advise on Renovation and Rejuvenation of Higher Education in India under the Chairmanship of Professor Yash Pal. Created by the Government of India in 2008, the committee worked to craft a new vision plan for the sector of higher education in India.

He has published two books of essays in literary criticism: SUNDAR KA SWAPNA and SAHITYA KA EKANT. His critical essays have appeared in all major Hindi journals. Apart from his academic and literary writings, he also contributes columns in Indian Newspapers and magazines on the issues of education, culture, communalism, violence and human rights.


Ms. Ghazala Jamil has had a 4 year long career in social work and development, engaging with various organisations on full-time, freelance or Pro-Bono basis. In 2008 she took an academic turn and is now working as Assistant Professor at Department of Social Work (Delhi School of Social Work), University of Delhi. She is also a Visiting Faculty at SPA (School of Planning and Architecture), New Delhi. She teaches courses related to Political Theory, Urban Planning and Governance, Social Movements, and Peace and Conflict Studies. Ghazala is based in Delhi.

As a social work educator her field practice engagements are with homeless adults and children. Her other academic interests include materiality and spatiality of culture, and post colonial feminism. She has conducted several research and evaluation studies. Her research and teaching approach is interdisciplinary and founded upon Critical Theory. Ghazala has recently completed her doctoral work on Muslims in Delhi and is the author of a forthcoming book on Muslim women in India being published by Cambridge University Press.

Ms. Natasha Badhwar writes column on the modern Indian family for Mint Lounge. She is an independent Media trainer, writer and film-maker. She is Broadcast Journalism Coach at Express Institute of Media Studies and Media Consultant, Communications Coach at Ochre Sky. Natasha worked as VP at Transitions and Solutions at Genpact, Solutions and Operations at NGEN Media Services & Training and Development at NDTVctoral work on Muslims in Delhi and is the author of a forthcoming book on Muslim women in India being published by Cambridge University Press.


Ms. Nayana Chowdhury is working as development sector worker for last 15 years. She specializes in human rights and governance. She worked with Sir Dorabjee Tata Trust (SDTT) and Society for Rural Urban and Tribal Initiative (SRUTI). She has worked pan-India and traveled extensively to work with vulnerable communities including Women, Dalits, Tribes and Primitive Tribe Groups. Her expertise lies in working with and strengthening of smaller NGOs. Nayana is a firm believer in rights based work. She initiated Empowering Rural Women (ERW) program in Uttar Pradesh which is currently reaching out to more than a lakh women.


Mr. Devendra is living and working in a small village called Jhiri (Jhalawar district) in south east Rajasthan since the year 1988. He has worked intensively with the people of the region on various issues including fighting for the rights of farmers and labourers, education, livelihood generation, and perspective building amongst youth. Devendra is working with a sangathan viz. Hum Kisan since 1992. The sangathan is active in over 50 villages in the Manohar Thana, Jhalawar, Rajasthan. He is also running a cooperative and learning centre viz. Manthan in his village with his wife, Ms. Sudhi.

Based in Tatanagar in the state of Jharkhand, Mr. Arvind Anjum has led various struggles against displacement by dams and industries over the past two and a half decades. His work is spread across the East and West Singhbum districts that have a large tribal population, and that abound in forests and mineral wealth. Inspired by the JP movement, Arvind joined the Chatra Sangarsh Yuva Vahini in 1976, while still in school. In 1986, he joined hands with the Suvarnarekha Dam struggle, where people from more than 250 villages were agitating for proper rehabilitation and settlement upon being displaced. Together with a group of friends and local activists Arvind went about organising the people leading to the formation of the Visthapit Mukti Vahini (VMV) in 1987.

He is member of state council of PUCL. He is an active member of Manaviya Ekta Samuh, which is working to counter violence and hatred based on faith and identity in India.

Ms. Purnima Gupta is a Feminist and Women’s Right Activist. She is Project coordinator at a Delhi based NGO viz. Nirantar for Gender and Education, New Delhi since 1998. Since 2002, she has been responsible for setting up Nirantar’s community level work on women’s education in Mehroni Block of Lalitpur district in U.P. The project titled Empowering women and adolescent girls through literacy and education in Lalitpur seeks to demonstrate the linkages between women’s education and women’s empowerment.

At present she is coordinating Women’s literacy work at Nirantar. Working with almost 25 organisations (northern region) which includes intensive capacity building, through training and follow-up support for community-based partner organisations to enable them to design and implement literacy programs. As a senior member of the organization, she is also responsible for other activities which include: training’s (Gender, Caste and sexuality), materials creation/documentation, review and evaluation, research and advocacy.


Mr. Satyam Shrivastava is working with a NGO viz. SRUTI for over 7 years. He is associated several people’s movement that are active in various states of India. He is coordinating perspective building initiatives via activities like Activist School and Theatre of the Oppressed.

A Master of Philosophy in Hindi comparative literature from Wardha, Satyam enjoys writing on various political issues. Satyam was secretary of Progressive Writers Association for 3 years. Satyam is an active member of Dhanak.


Mr. John Chelladurai is Director, ICS (Institute for Core Studies on Conflict and Peace), Nagar, Maharashtra. John did doctoral research on Social Conflict at Peace Research Centre, Ahmedabad under Prof. D N Pathak in 1992-95. For eight years, he did a social experiment called FRIENDS COMMUNE, a joint living experiment with his friends. From 2003 Feb to March 2012, John served as the Director of India Peace Centre, an Inter Faith Centre for Justice and Peace Initiatives, located at Nagpur and serving in the areas of social justice, ecology and disarmament.

During this period John worked on concept creation and dissemination in afore said areas through field research which also included concept building, public discussions, consultations, documentations, and disseminating the knowledge by means of training, study camps, workshops, public lectures and email correspondence. Over the last nine years John has evolved as a well received Peace Educator and facilitator of ‘Dealing with Conflict’ workshop.

John did his B.Sc., (Zoology), M K University, Madurai, TN; M.Sc., (Peace Making), M K University, Madurai, TN; M.Phil., (Peace Research), Peace Research Centre, Gujarat Vidyapith, Ahmedabad ; Ph.D (Peace Research ), Peace Research Centre, Gujarat Vidyapith, Ahmedabad. John is a senior member of DHANAK.


Ms. Shabana Siddiqui Rai is a trained professional Counseling Psychologist in Delhi. She holds professional expertise in all kinds of Psychometric Assessments and Psychotherapies with an experience of more than 10 years in the field of testing and counseling. She has worked with different NGOs (Salam Baalak Trust, Action for Autism, etc.), Hospitals (Kasturba Medical College-Manipal; IHBAS-Delhi), Institutions (National Inst. for Mentally Handicap, National Inst. for Hearing Handicap, Child Guidance Center, etc.) and many more. Currently, she is working with D.A.V. as a School Counselor in Delhi. She is a member of AISCAP (Association of Indian School Counselors and Allied Professionals) and is an active member of DHANAK.


Ms. Bharti Sharma has a career span of three and a half decades. She worked within the University System as well as under other dispensations. She was Chairperson of Domestic Worker Rights Campaign & Child Welfare Committee at Nirmal Chaya Complex, Jail Road, New Delhi. She was Associate Professor in Department of Social Work, Jamia Millia Islamia and Associate Professor and Head in Department of Social Work, North-Eastern Hill University, Mizoram. She was also Lecturer in Department of Home Science, Zirtiri Women’s College, Aizawl, Mizoram & Department of Sociology, University of Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania. Her publications encompass a book on Juvenile Delinquency; Reports and Articles in the areas of Social Work Education; Community Mental Health and Peoples’ Participation. She has been advisor, consultant and member of several state and national level committees and boards.

Ms. Seema Misra is a lawyer, with over twenty years of experience in legal empowerment at the grass root level. She has been associated with
organisations such as Multiple Action Research Group (MARG), Common Wealth Human Rights Initiative, (CHRI), Amnesty International, Satark Nagarik
Sangathan, (SNS) and Association for Advocacy and Legal Initiatives (AALI).


Mr. Trideep Pais is an advocate in Delhi High Court. Have been practicing independently since December 2003 and attend most courts in Delhi including the Supreme Court of India, High Court of Delhi and the District and Sessions Courts and Tribunals such as the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission. Have also travelled and done matters inn other High Courts, and Trial Courts outside Delhi. . He is known for his work and support to various organizations that are working on the issues of human rights, women rights, right to choice etc. He has been offering his legal expertise to DHANAK since past several years and is also a DHANAK member.

Ms. Zeba Imam is a faculty in Advanced Centre for Women’s Studies, School of Development Studies, TISS, Mumbai. After her studies in social work she worked a Delhi based NGO viz. CRY. Zeba did her B.A. in Psychology from Aligarh Muslim University, MSW from Jamia Millia Islamia & Ph.D. from Texas, A&M University. Zeba is DHANAK member.


Ms. Indira Pancholi currently works as a Director, Outreach at Azad Foundation, Delhi. She did her masters in Philosophy from Rajasthan University in 1985. Till 1990 she worked as a coordinator in Information Development and Resource Agency (IDARA) – a joint project of Government of Rajasthan and UNICEF. From 1990 – 1992 she was active with Mahila Samuh, Ajmer – an autonomous women’s organization. The organization counseled and assisted women survivors of violence through social and legal interventions. In 1993 she and her partner Ravi Hemadri were instrumental in the formation of Bisalpur Samanvay Samiti – an organization of the people displaced from Bisalpur dam in central Rajasthan. Her work among women of this region led to the formation Mahila Jan Adhikar Samiti (MJAS) in 1995 which took up combating violence against women and women’s empowerment through leadership development as central issues. In 2006 she joined Aagaz Foundation, Delhi, which runs academies of training for women in Panchayats across different states. She continues her association with MJAS and Bisalpur Samanvay Samiti and is an active member of autonomous women’s movement in the country.

Mr. Abdul Mabood is honorary Director of SNEHI, a Delhi based organization working on psycho-social support and mental health care. SNEHI also runs helpline for students in need. He is one of the Members of Executive Committee and Governing Board of Asian Conference of Religions for Peace (ACRP). ACRP is working for promotion of interfaith dialogue and Peace in Asia and Pacific region. He is the Secretary of Association of Peoples of Asia (APA) founded by well-known social worker and Gandhian Late Nirmala Deshpande in 1994. APA works for building up people to people relations among Asian countries with major focus to neighbouring countries. He is one of the founder members of Sadbhav Mission. Sadbhav Mission works for communal harmony through education since 1989. He is an active senior member of DHANAK.

Ms. Shailaja Rao is working as a programmer/analyst at Old Dominion University, Norfolk, Virginia, since 1999.
She has a passion and deep concern for social issues pertaining to Interfaith Relationships, Right to Choose partner, Forced Marriage, Child Marriage, Women’s Empowerment, Human Rights and Honour Killings in South Asian region.
She counsels youth entering interfaith relationships. In addition, Shailaja is an administrator for various social media groups and the Dhanak of Humanity website.

Ms. Sheeba Aslam Fehmi is a writer and journalist and a new member (2016) of the General Body.

Mr. Hilal Ahmed is an Asst. Prof. at CSDS and  writer and journalist and a new member (2016) of the General Body.

9 thoughts on “General Body

  1. I thought of doing something like this when I was studying at Zakir Hussain College. But when my problem statement came out today, it came to know that this beautiful initiative has been done. I need very much your support and suggestions, please help me. Thank you


  2. This is the best thing that u guys are doing. I would also like to work for u. I live in my family background is from Maharashtra Karnataka border where this thinking should be spread.


  3. Excellent initiative. Found out about you from ‘The Wire’. Hope your network spreads across the country. I live in Gujarat but don’t know if you have contacts here. Would love extend any support I can.


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