Anita Gupta is a social activist who has consistently supported a family that lost their daughter to rape and murder. Gupta believes that each and every member of society has a responsibility to support families fighting this heinous crime.
Mousumi Kayal emerged as an important face of the fight against rape when she raised her voice for justice for a young girl whom she knew, who was brutally raped and murdered. Kayal has consistently supported the campaign against rape in her state of West Bengal.
Pradip Mukherjee is a headmaster who led the struggle for justice for a young student of his who was raped and killed. Mukherjee has vowed not to give up the struggle and has lent his voice to several protests against the crime of rape.
Shamina Shafiq has been a member of the National Commission for Women since April 2012. She is a political and social activist who has raised her voice against atrocities on women and has helped survivors of rape and their families fight for justice.
Shubhra Mendiratta, advocate in charge, Rape Crisis Cell, Delhi Commission for Women brings missionary zeal to the multitude of rape cases she handles. Mendiratta believes that a lot needs to be done to improve the social and institutional response to rape.
Dr Shazneen Limjerwala, PhD (Lancaster University, UK) is a trained psychotherapist. She has done extensive research, training and writing on experiences of survivors of rape and sexual assault. Limjerwala's research on sexual violence in Gujarat makes a significant contribution to the literature on violence against women in India. Completed in 2007, it looks at sexual assault and its’ aftermath in the lives of survivors in urban and rural Gujarat. Her dissertation,The Aftermath of Rape in Gujarat: The Dialectics of Voice and Silence, discusses women's ability to speak out against violence and tries to understand factors that might force them into silence.
Dr. Trupti Shah, a feminist, human rights activist, researcher and writer is one of the founder members of Sahiyar Stree Sangathan. Sahiyar was formed in 1984 to fight for the rights of women and work towards a society free from inequality, injustice and atrocity. Campaigns against rape and sexual harassment by the powerful has remained one Shah’s major concerns over the years.
Know more about Sahiyar: www.sahiyarstreesangthan.org
Magdleen Marin, is a counsellor with the Rape Crisis Cell, Delhi Commission for Women. Marin emphasises the importance of empathy and supportive action in dealing with survivors of rape.
Shirin Shabana Khan works with People’s Vigilance Committee on Human Rights (PVCHR), formed in 1996. Khan, along with Shruti Nagwanshi have striven to transforms survivors of rape into human rights defenders through multi-sectoral and multi-dimensional approaches and by focusing on preventive measures through engaging children, youth and adults.
Raaj Mangal Prasad is a founding member and chief functionary of Association for Development (AFD). He also runs Pratidhi, a collaborative society of AFD and the Delhi police, which has worked with more than 3,000 child and 1,500 adult survivors of sexual abuse. Prasad has served as chairman of the Child Welfare Committee, Delhi, and has worked with the International Labour Organization and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.
Know more about Association for Development: www.afdindia.org
Sangeeta Rege is senior research officer at CEHAT. She has been leading initiatives to better the health system’s response to violence against women, for over a decade. A key initiative with which she has been involved is the development of health care response to sexual assault. She has played a key role in developing and implementing uniform, gender-sensitive protocols for responding to survivors of sexual assault in three public hospitals of Mumbai.
Dr Nikhil Datar is a senior gynaecologist from Mumbai and a noted health rights activist. He is the Founder-President of Patient Safety Alliance, an NGO that works towards empowering patients and preventing medical error. He is also a recipient of the prestigious Commonwealth Fellowship from the U.K. and has worked on patient safety in the U.K. and in the World Health Organization in 2009. He has worked on the manual for the medical examination of survivors of rape and sexual assault along with CEHAT.
Aparna Bhat has been practising as a lawyer at the Supreme Court of India for 22 years. She conceived of and helped start a 24x7 support mechanism for survivors of rape and sexual assault in Delhi. Over the years she has assisted hundreds of survivors with legal aid. Bhat has also authored a book called Supreme Court on Rape Trials: A Manual of Best Practices.
Professor Roop Rekha Verma is the Founder-Secretary of Saajhi Duniya, an organization that works towards the rights of the weaker and marginalized society. Saajhi Duniya in Hindi means ‘shared world’ and it partly explains the ideology and commitment of this organisation towards the rights of the weaker and marginalized sections of the Indian society especially women, minorities, and oppressed castes.
She has been the Vice-Chancellor of Lucknow University where she has taught Philosophy for 39 years and Women’s Studies for eight years. She has also been instrumental in rescuing tribal girls from bonded labour and sexual slavery. Hers is a strong voice that speaks for human rights from the state of Uttar Pradesh.
Know more about Saajhi Duniya: www.saajhiduniya.org
Justice Usha Mehra joined the Delhi Higher Judicial Service in April, 1980 and worked as Additional District & Sessions Judge till May, 1984. She was appointed as an Additional Judge in the Delhi High Court with effect from July 1990 and she retired in 2003. Following the brutal rape of a woman in a moving bus in Delhi, the government constituted the Usha Mehra Commission to inquire into the different aspects of the incident as well as provide recommendations to increase women’s safety. The report was submitted in February 2013 and one of its salient recommendations was of setting up rape crisis intervention cells in designated hospitals across the country.
Sarika Sinha works with the organization ActionAid in Madhya Pradesh, and is closely associated with Jan Pahel, an alliance of marginalized communities, social movements, mass organizations and individuals across the state. She is also a part of the Governor’s Vishakha Committee in the state. Through a centre that advocates for women’s rights, she works with survivors of violence and strives to create physical, emotional and social spaces for women to help them heal.
Suzette Jordan has emerged as a courageous face of the struggle for justice for survivors of sexual justice. Being a survivor herself, she has used her experiences of navigating the processes of the criminal justice system, to help others. She has grown into an activist and spokesperson for survivors who suffer silently, hoping for relief and acceptance. Jordan believes that society must fight the sense of shame that is forced on survivors of rape and sexual assault and empower them with respect, support, compassion and sensitivity.
Urmila Singh Bharti lives and works in a small town in Madhya Pradesh. She is a courageous survivor who has chosen to reveal her identity, and is currently fighting for justice with the help of the NGO Jan Sahas and the unyielding support of her husband, Gopal. Today, Bharti is also a campaigner of the Nirbhaya Abhiyan, a campaign run by Jan Sahas that helps survivors of rape and sexual assault get justice. She travels to other villages and districts to mobilize survivors and create one voice to demand justice. This unique couple are a true inspiration.
Shyam Asava is an advocate who supports survivors of rape with legal aid. He is deeply involved with running Snehadhar, a 24x7 helpline that endeavours to provide rapid response and support to women. This facility is available for survivors of rape, domestic violence and other violence against women.
Know more about the helpline: www.snehadharhelpline.org
Ranjanabai Shelke and Kashibai Parbhane are survivors of rape who have grown into fighters against rape. They actively counsel and help girls and women against whom this crime has been committed and believe that it is far better to fight, than weep. Shelke and Parbhane bring inspiration and empathy to their interaction with other survivors.