Board Members

Executive Committee

Nisha Gulur - President

Karnataka Sex Workers Union (KSWU)

Karnataka Sex Workers Union; Board Member, NNSW I am a Human rights activist, Executive committee member of Karnataka Sex workers Union and work for Sangama a human rights organisation. I am a self identified transwoman working as a mentor of the female sex workers initiative (Sarvojana) for the past five years. I am currently working as the advocacy officer in Sangama; advocating for the rights of transgender and female sex workers.

Chandralekha - Vice President

Kerala Network of Sex Workers (KNSW)

Chandralekha,Founder member of Kerala Network of Sex Workers (KNSW) I am a sex worker from Trivandrum, I migrated to Thrissur district and got into sex work. Initially it was a means of supporting my children. Over the years I came to regard it as work that we need to do with dignity. In 2005 I joined Sangamithra CBO in Thrissur, and worked as a peer educator in the HIV prevention program for sex workers. Later I was promoted as an Outreach Worker in the same project. In 2009, I was elected as the president of Sanghamitra. Along with few supporters I dreamt about collectivizing the sex workers across the Kerala to build a mass movement for rights. The work was initiated in 2015 and presently six district collectives are part of the process. In 2016 we named the group as Kerala Network of Sex Workers (KNSW). I am also a board member of NNSW.

Sangita Manoji - Secretary

Veshya Anyaya Mukti Parishad (VAMP)

VAMP Sangli, Board Member, NNSW I am Sangita Manoji, a sex worker working in the Gokulnagar brothel in Sangli. I have been associated with SANGRAM since 2006. In the earlier days we always thought we were bad women. We considered sex work bad work. When the local goons came, there was a lot of violence and injustice we faced from them, including police lathi charge. We bore all of this. We had no idea what our rights were and we did not define what was happening to us as injustice. We also did not know what condoms were what HIV /AIDS was – we had no information. Slowly other women from the sex work community started approaching us and telling us about condoms and HIV/AIDS.

Though they were uneducated, they went from house to house explaining about STI and HIV/AIDS. I also wanted to be like them, so I asked Kamla Mousi (VAMP leader) and became a peer in the Targeted Intervention program. I started receiving training, learnt what rehabilitation programmes were all about, learnt what criminalisation means, learnt the difference between legalisation and decriminalisation.

Gradually I realised that Sex Work is work. I started taking care of myself – keeping others safe from infection, injustice, violence, discrimination. Now be it the police or goons – we have come together to fight injustice. We think that Dhandha is work. Now in the Maharashtra Targeted Intervention Program I am an Outreach Worker and in the National Network of Sex Workers I am a member.

Mahadevi Maddar - Joint Secretary

Saheli Sangh

Joint Secretary, NNSW Mahadevi Madar has been associated with Saheli Sangh Pune for the last 20 years. She has been at the forefront of a strong movement to strengthen outreach and advocate with brothel owners and police to fight against violence and oppression faced by sex workers in the red light areas of Pune. She has often been present as a witness during police action and raids to ensure that the action is carried out in a rights based fashion. She is the President of Saheli Sangh.

Muthamma - Treasurer

Uttara Karnataka Mahila Okkuta (UKMO)

Muthamma is a member of the sex worker organisation Rakshane in Gadag district for the past 11 years. I held the position of Treasurer and currently a board member of Rakshane, UKMO & NNSW. I played a major role in mobilising community, capacity building of CBO’s including ITPA at district & state level. I was also one of the member advocating with govt dept , local community , police on sex worker issues. I also had an opportunity to attend International Congress on AIDS in Asia and the Pacific (ICAAP) being held from 12th March to the 14th March 2016 at the Bangabandhu International Conference Centre in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

Other Board Members

Sudhir Patil

General Secretary, Muskan, Sangli, Board Member NNSW

General Secretary, Muskan, Sangli, Board Member NNSW My name is Sudhir and I am a sex worker. I live in Sangli, Maharashtra and have been working since 2000. Muskan Sanstha works with MSM and TG. Muskan Sanstha works for strengthening self- confidence, protecting the human rights of TG and MSM. We also work on HIV/AIDS prevention and care. In the beginning when I used to walk on the road people used to make fun of me, look at me and laugh amongst themselves. I used to feel miserable – I became lonely, I couldn’t work. After coming to SANGRAM I started learning many things through numerous trainings that I attended. I slowly regained my self confidence.

Muskan runs a Maharashtra Targeted Intervention program in Sangli and Satara districts. I am the program manager and we are giving health services and dealing with discrimination when services are offered by the state. With the help of SANGRAM we are advocating with the police, the government departments, DLSA – Sangli and Satara. In the National Network of Sex Workers, Muskan is also a board member and I am a member on the board.

Geeta

Board Member, NNSW Saheli Sangh, Maharashtra

She has been an active member of Saheli since 2013. Her strength lies in networking with government departments especially department of health to ensure better services for women in sex work in Pune.

Bharathi

Karnataka Sex Workers Union, Board Member, NNSW

Karnataka Sex Workers Union; Board Member, NNSW I have been working for Karnataka Sex Workers Union for the past 8 years in different positions. I am currently serving as the General Secretary in the Union. I work at the grass roots level to educate sex workers other their legal rights and provide support to sex workers during crisis

Hazrat Bi

Uttara Karnataka Mahila Okkutta (UKMO)

Hazrat Bi, Secretary She has been working for the collective Rakshane Mahila Okkutta in Karnataka since 2008. She is the secretary of the collective. She is also the president of Uttara Karnataka Mahila Okkuta a vibrant federation of 5 collectives in Karnataka, which was formed in 2013. Enthusiastic and energetic, she has been instrumental in effectively leading the federation at times of crisis.

Alivelu

Andhra Pradesh, Board Member NNSW

Karnataka Sex Workers Union; Board Member, NNSW Alivelu took up sex work after she was deserted by her husband. She was invited to join a local NGO working in a Targeted Intervention program for HIV prevention among sex workers and peer leaders. While on an exposure visit to a sex workers organisation, she and her colleagues were inspired to start a collective of their own, the Prema Sangham Mahila Mandali,(an organisation of love). The Sangham’s membership soon grew to 2000 and Alivelu became a mentor and trainer for other groups working in the field of HIV and rights.

As President of Prema Sangham, Alivelu became an icon of the network, furthering the entitlements of sex workers in all spheres of life through a rights-based approach. She conducts sensitisation and training of police personnel in Chittoor District, and her articulate advocacy has succeeded in bringing the issue of societal violence on sex workers to the notice of judicial officers at the state level. She is known for her advocacy work with various government departments in reclaiming sex workers’ rights and entitlements and was one of the NNSW representatives on the Supreme Court Panel.

Sheeba

Andhra Pradesh, Board Member NNSW

Sheeba, NNSW M. Sheeba started as a community mobiliser of sex workers and soon rose to the position of shadow leader in the Targeted Intervention program for HIV prevention by the Community Based organization, Krishna Vennela Mahila Society (KVMS). She was then chosen as secretary of KVMS and more recently was elected its President.

As head of the 4000-strong KVMS Collective, Sheeba has taken up issues related to violence on sex workers. The district government officials and judiciary, noticing their work, have offered the Collective a small office space. Under Sheeba’s leadership, KVMS has been recently awarded a fellowship program to work on crisis intervention among sexual minorities.

Daksha Bagwandas Bhil

Stree Sanghtan, Chotta Udepur, Gujarat

Daksha is from the tribal area of Narmada district in Gujarat. She works as an out reach worker in the HIV/AIDS prevention programme of Vikalp. She is the President of Stree Sanghtan which works with over 400 sex workers in the tribal areas of Chotta Udepur.

SUPPORTERS- Non Voting Representatives on Board

  1. Rajesh Srinivas – Sangama
  2. Shyamala Nataraj – SIAAP
  3. Aarthi Pai – SANGRAM