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Executive Commitee

Dr. Uma Brughubanda

Uma is the Joint Secretary of the Anveshi Executive Committee. She is an Assistant Professor in Cultural Studies at English and Foreign Languages University.  She has a PhD in anthropology from Columbia University, New York.


Aisha Mahmood Farooqi

Aisha Mahmood Farooqi is the President of Anveshi Executive Committee.  She is an associate professor in the Department of Islamic Studies, Osmania University.

V. Usha Rani

Usha is a member of the Anveshi Executive Committee.  She is director of Sannihita a non-governmental organization which works with adolescent girls in Hyderabad.

Dr. K. Lalita

Lalita is the Secretary of Anveshi Executive Committee and Director of Think Soft Consultants, Hyderabad. Her research interests include feminist politics, caste, political movements, health, development, and urban and rural poverty.

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Lalita has been associated with the women’s movement in Hyderabad since the 1970s. She was a founder member of Progressive Organisation of Women (POW) and one of the key organisers of Stree Shakti Sanghatana from the mid-70s to mid-80s. She was also a founder member and the first Coordinator of Anveshi between 1985-1996.

Lalita is on the advisory boards of many local and national civil society groups: Godavari Vedika, Civil Society Dialogue on Godavari River Mid-Basin for Exploring Ways of Effective Utilization of Waters, Andhra Pradesh, since 2003; Institutional Ethical Committee, Indian Institute of Chemical Technology (IICT), since 2003; Yugantar: A Voice for Concerned Dissent and Deepening Democracy; Mahila Sanatkar, 2001-2003; Mahila Samakhya, Government of India, 1997-2001; Executive Council, Andhra Pradesh Mahila Samatha, 1997-2001;  Advisory Committee, Bhumika. She was the South Asia Coordinator for the project on Gender, Citizenship, Governance, at Royal Tropical Institute, The Netherlands, 1999-2002.

Select Publications

  • Savaalaksha Sandehaalu: Streelu-Aarogyam, Samskruti, Rajakeeyalu (A Hundred Thousand Doubts: Women’s Health, Culture, Politics) Hyderabad: Anveshi Health Collective & Hyderabad Book Trust, 2006. Co-editor. (Co-authored the first edition of this book published by Stree Shakti Sanghatana in 1991; part of the editorial group of the English health book, Taking Charge of Our Bodies, New Delhi: Penguin, 2004.
  • Mantrajalam Doctorlada Mantrasanulada? (A translation into Telugu of Witches, Midwives and Nurses by B. Ehrenreich and D. English). Hyderabad: Anveshi, 1994.
  • Women Writing in India: Vol. 1: 600 B.C. to the Early 20th Century & Vol. 2: The 20th Century. New York: Feminist Press, New Delhi: OUP, 1990-1993. Co-author.
  • ‘We Were Making History…’: Life Stories of Women in the Telangana People’s Struggle. New Delhi: Kali Press and London: Zed Books, 1989. Co-editor.
  • Manaku Teliyani Mana Charitra. Hyderabad: Stree Shakti Sangatana, 1986. Co-editor
  • Indian Women in Subsistence and Agricultural Labour (assisted Maria Mies), Geneva: ILO, 1986.
  • Lace makers of Narsapur (assisted Maria Mies), 1982.

Vasudha Nagaraj

Vasudha is the treasurer of Anveshi Executive Comittee and practising Lawyer in the Andhra Pradesh High Court.  Her area of expertise is in family and labour law.  She was formerly a fellow in the Law and Critical Legal Theory Initiative at Anveshi, on a project titled ‘Feminist Politics, Rights Discourse, the Family and Sexuality: Rethinking Women’s Suffering and Agency.’ Vasudha’s primary interests are in engaging with questions of women’s negotiations with the law.

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Vasudha has completed other research projects with Anveshi. Between 2000-2002, the project ‘Contextualizing Criminality: Convicted Women’s Narratives and Procedures of the Criminal Trial’ juxtaposed the experiences of convicted women and the codes in which the criminal justice system selectively sets up evidence to judge criminality. In 2000-2003, she was also involved in another project ‘Institutional Responses to Domestic Violence’ that foregrounded how women’s needs to retain the affective ties of their family always remain outside the codes and mandates of legal institutions.

Vasudha worked with human rights lawyer K. Balagopal during 2003-2005. Alongside this, she studied the functioning and infrastructure of Family Courts in Andhra Pradesh, as part of a project commissioned by the National Law School, Bangalore, and Majlis, Mumbai in 2004-2005. Recently, she has investigated the usefulness of Cooperative Societies Law in the context of proposals to revive cooperative societies in the handloom industry in Andhra Pradesh. This was part of a larger project undertaken by Dastakar, Andhra in 2006.

Select Publications:

  • ‘A Difficult Match: Women’s Actions and Legal Institutions in the Face of Domestic Violence.’ Economic and Political Weekly, October, 2006. Co-author.
  • ‘Adjudicating (un)Domestic Battles: The New Domestic Violence Law.’ Economic and Political Weekly, September, 2005. Co-author.


P. Madhavi

P. Madhavi is a member of the Anveshi Executive Committee.  She is an experienced activist and president of the city unit of Human Rights Forum. She teaches in the commerce department of Kasturba Gandhi College for Women.

Prof Rama Melkote

Rama is the Joint Secretary of the Anveshi Executive Committee. She retired as Professor of International Relations and Political Science from Osmania University. She is a keen participant in the International Relations debate and is a specialist in Africa. Her research interests are social movements, feminist politics and human rights.
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Rama is a founder member of Anveshi. She has been active in the left political scene over the past three decades in Telangana. Several groups and NGOs draw from her expertise in their policy and decision-making. She has mentored several distinguished academics and activists during her long career. Her association with the French academy since her doctoral work at Sorbonne continued with her work as Member of the International Evaluation Committee, Maison des Sciences de l’Homme, Paris, until recently.Rama has worked as the Managing Trustee of Centre for World Solidarity for more than ten years. She is Member of Raitu Sahayaka Committee, Centre for Environment Concerns, and the State Advisory Council on Food Security.Select Publications

  • French Feminism: An Indian Anthology. New Delhi: Sage, 2002. Co-editor.
  • Meanings of Globalisation: Indian and French Perspectives. Delhi: Sterling, 2001.
  • Third World City. Delhi: Delta Publishers, 1997. Editor.
  • Indian Ocean, Issues for Peace. Delhi: Manohar, 1995. Editor.
  • International Relations. Delhi: Sterling Publications, 1994. Co-author.
  • Political Economy of Foreign Policy: A Study of Foreign Policy of Madagascar. Kaliuga Publications, 1994.
  • Regional Organisations – A Third World Perspective, Delhi: Sterling Publications, 1990.
  • We Were Making History: Life Stories of Women in the Telangana Peoples Struggle. New Delhi: Kali for Women. 1989. Co-editor.


Prof Sheela Prasad

Sheela is a member of the Anveshi Executive Committee. She is Head of the Centre for Regional Studies, University of Hyderabad. Her primary research is in health and environment studies, urban and regional geography.
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Sheela has been actively associated with Anveshi for more than a decade. She serves on the Boards of the Centre for Health and Social Sector Studies, the Ethics Committee of the Institute for Health Systems, the Centre For Peoples Forestry, and on the Research Programme Committee of Centre for Economic and Social Studies, Hyderabad.
Select Publications

  • ‘The Magic Mountain Revisited : History of the Madanapalle TB Sanatorium’, Economic and Political Weekly, August 16-22nd 2008, Vol. XLIII No.33 pp 52-60
  • ‘A Small Family is a Happy Family: The Politics of Population Control in India’ Recent Studies on Indian Women. Eds., K.K. Misra and Janet Huber Lowry. Jaipur: Rawat Publications, 2006. pp 253-280.
  • ‘Health Security in A.P.’ Securing Health for All: Dimensions and Challenge. Eds., Sujata Prasad and C. Sathyamala. New Delhi: Institute of Human Development, 2006. pp 107-122.
  • ‘Geography in India: Marginal Space’. Economic and Political Weekly. January 1, 2005. pp 79-80.
  • ‘Impact of Urban Growth on Water Bodies: The Case of Hyderabad’. Hyderabad: Centre for Economic and Social Studies, Working Paper no.60, 2004. Co-author.
  • ‘Reproductive Rights or Health Rights: The Politics of Population Control in India’. Indian Journal of Human Rights, 7: 1& 2, Jan-Dec 2003. pp 74-81.
  • Women’s Health. Course Material prepared for a Diploma Course in Women’s Studies. Hyderabad: Dr. B. R. Ambedkar Open University, 2001. Co-author.
  • The Third World City: Emerging Contours. Hyderabad: Delta Publishers, 1996. Co-editor.
  • Population Control Policies and Women. 1996, UGC sponsored research project. Co-author.
  • Urban Health Care: A Study of Public and Corporate Hospitals in Hyderabad. New Delhi: Delta Publishers, 1993.


K. Sajaya

Sajaya is the Vice President of Anveshi Executive Committee.  She is a free lance journalist, documentary film maker and feminist activist with wide experience in struggles in caste and minority issues. She was a founder editor of Bhumika the first Telugu feminist magazine.  She also runs an organization called Caring Citizens’ Collective.

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Sajaya has produced, edited or contributed to the production of the following films:

  • Production and Coordination of a film on Telangana Farmer’s suicides- Rytu Bathakaali for CCC, Dec-2009-June-2010.
  • Direction, Research and production coordination for a Documentary film Aakali Chaavulu-Karuvaina Sankshemam for State Advisors to SC Commissioners in Right to Food Case, and for CCC, Nov 2007-August 2008.
  • Co-Direction of educational film for undergraduate History students on Buddhism for SAPNET-MANA TV, Govt of AP. 2005.
  • Co-Direction for educational film for undergraduate History students on Jainism for SAPNET-MANA TV, Govt of AP. 2004.
  • Scripting and Anchoring of Pusthaka Parichayam (Introducing Books) a 15-minute segment of the programme SAKHI in Etv2 for six months. 2004.
  • Executive Resposibility for the Telugu Dubbing of the Documentary film Buddha Weeps in Jadughoda, a film on Hazardous effects of Uranium mining in Jharkhand. 2003.
  • Scripting producting coordinating of Nutana Aasaakiranam, a film on Filariasis for IICT, Hyderabad, 2002.
  • Direction and scripting for a series of 7 short films on Women’s Participation in Panchayat Raj for PRIA, New Delhi in collaboration with Dooradarshan Kendram, Hyderabad, 2001. Through these shorts women are encouraged to participate as candidates in the local government in order to strengthen the democratic processes, brought alive by the dramatized sequences by a group of rural grass root women activists.
  • Co- Direction of documentary film And nature replied… on the floods in Hyderabad in 2000. Through the interviews and visuals the film raises comprehensive  thinking   about the urban planning and developmental processes.
  • Executive Direction of documentary film Hang the Noose on capital punishment. 1997-1999. It uses the death sentence on two dalit youths in a bus burning case, to present a powerful argument for the abolition of  capital    punishment. The film uses interviews with legal experts, human rights activists, the prisoners themselves, and police and jail officials, and victims of various incidents to examine the background of violence.
  • Worked in association with M.Hasan (Senior Cameraman, Documentary film Director and Photographer) for several films produced by Focal point from 1994-2004.

She has published the following articles and books:

  • Co edited a book Streevaada raajakeeyaalu-Varthamana Charchalu with Prof. (retd) Rama. S. Melkote on Feminist politics in Telugu for Anveshi Research Center for Women’s Studies, a compilation of different articles on the women’s movement, politics and related issues. Published by Anveshi –Dec 2008.
  • Co edited Savaalaksha Sandehaalu (revised Telugu Health Book). Hyderabad   Book Trust, May 2006.
  • Edited Maa amma Neela-muchattlu, jnapakaalu, vantalu written by Rama S Melkote. Likhita Press, 2007. (52 pages)
  • Edited  Telugu version of Laeticia (a Caribbean Novel on education system) written by Merle Hodge, translated by Bharathi & Sivaprasad. Forthcoming, Likhita Press.
  • Edited Marapuraani Maa papa written by Sujatha & Nataraj. Likhita Press, 2003.
  • Edited Tana Maargam An anthology of Abburi Chayadevi’s Stories. Likhita Press, 2002. (The writer received Prestigious Sahitya Akademy award in 2005 for this book).
  • Edited Chichibaba Sodarulu a story for children on peace and war. Written by D.P.Sen Gupta, translated into Telugu by Alladi Uma & M.Sridhar. Likhita Press, 2001.
  • Edited Sandhigdha, a translation into Telugu of Rajasthani folk stories on politics of gender relations written by Vijayadan Detha, translated by K.Suresh. Likhita Press, 2000. (1/8 demmy, 180 pages)
  • Interviewed and produced an edited booklet Vadyaram Lachhamma’s experience as a dalit Sarpanch unpublished, 2001. (30 pages)


Dr Veena Shatrugna

Veena is the Vice President of Anveshi Executive Committee. She was, till 2009, the Deputy Director and Head, Clinical Division, at the National Institute of Nutrition, Hyderabad. A medical doctor by training, Veena is committed to issues of women’s health, medical practice, nutrition and health policy and has been involved extensively in activism on women and health in the country.

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Veena is one of the founder members of Stree Shakti Sanghatana, and was actively involved in the later founding of Anveshi. She has held the posts of President, Secretary, and Treasurer at Anveshi in the last 20 years.

She is a member of the National Advisory Committee on Food Security, and has been a longstanding member of Jana Vignana Vedika, Andhra Pradesh. She has had a long association with the Medico Friend Circle, and has been an Editorial Board Member of the MFC Bulletin since 2003. Veena was a founder member of Hunger Watch.

Select Publications

  • Women’s Health: Critical Issues for Development. Forthcoming. Co-author.
  • Taking Charge of Our Bodies : A Health Handbook for Women. New Delhi: Penguin Books, 2004. Co-author.
  • ‘Women and Nutrition’. National Profile on Women, Health and Development: Country Profile-India.  Ed. Sarala Gopalan and Mira Shiva, New Delhi : Voluntary Health Association of India/WHO/WHD, 2000.
  • ‘Osteoporosis in the Asian region: Newer Questions’. Diet, Nutrition and Chronic Disease: An Asian Perspective,  Eds. Shetty, P., Gopalan, C., London : Smith-Gordon, 1998. pp. 81-83.
  • ‘Nutrition and Pregnancy and Lactation’. Textbook of Human Nutrition. Eds. Bamji MS, Pralhad Rao N, Vinodini Reddy.  New Delhi: Oxford & IBH, 1996.
  • ‘Maze of Scientific Medicine, Susheela’s Experiences,’ Mantrajalam Doctorlada Mantrsanulada?  Women’s Studies Series 1. Hyderabad : Charita Pracharamulu, 1993. Co-editor.
  • Savaalaksha Sandehaalu (A Hundred Thousand Doubts). Hyderabad : Stree Shakti Sanghatana, 1991. Co-author.


Dr. Shyama Sundari

Shyama Sundari is a member of the Anveshi Executive Committee.  She works at Dastkar Andhra as a member of the core management team, and also the coordinator of policy research there.

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Syama has a Ph D in philosophy.  Her academic work is in the area of development and education in relation to voluntary organizations.  Her interests include writing in Telugu, translating children’s literature into Telugu for use in schools.

Syama is also associated with Centre for Learning(CFL) Secunderabad, a voluntary organization offering quality education for children and contributes to a journal edu care which provides a forum for reflecting on issues of education and development, published by CFL.


Dastkar Andhra (2005) Interventions in Design and Marketing: A Study of three handloom-weaving regions in Andhra Pradesh. Report prepared by Syama Sundari and Seemanthini Niranjana for the Development Commissioner, Handlooms, New Delhi

Marketing handlooms: A Fresh Look, 2006a. Handloom Industry: Issues and Challenges, Yojana

Syama Sundari (with Seemanthini Niranjana), 2006b Handlooms.  Andhra Pradesh – a 50 year overview, Centre for Documentation Research and Communication, Hyderabad.

Syama Sundari, (with Seemanthini Niranjana), 2006c.  “Valuing the Non-Market”, Economic and Political weekly, Vol XLI No. 31, August 5-11, 2006, pp. 3394-98.

Study on co-operative reform in handloom sector, Research co-ordination taken up under the aegis of the Handloom Committee, set up by AIACA, New Delhi.


Prof Susie Tharu

Susie is a member of the Anveshi Executive Committee. She is emeritus professor in the Department of Cultural Studies at the English and Foreign Languages University, Hyderabad.  Her research interests include feminism, cultural theory and history of India, dalit studies, and cultural studies of health.  She has been part of the Subaltern Studies editorial collective since 1992.

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Susie is one of the founders of Stree Shakti Sanghatana and Anveshi. With K. Satyanarayana, she has edited two volumes of a dossier on  Dalit writings from South India.  The focus of the collection is the resurgence of Dalit Politics in the 1990s.

Susie is on the Advisory Panels of BODHI Centre for Dalit Bahujan Initiatives since 2003, and Trustee, Centre for Studies in Culture and Society, Bangalore since its inception. She has also been on the Advisory Committee on National Biography, National Book Trust, a member of the Governing Council, Nehru Memorial Museum and Library, New Delhi, trustee of the India Foundation for the Arts, Bangalore, and a member of the Joint Committee for South Asia, Social Science Research Council, New York (SSRC-JCSA).

Honors and Awards

  • 1994-96: Jawaharlal Nehru Fellowship.
  • 1962-65: Uganda Government Merit Scholarship, Makerere College, Uganda.


Select Publications

  • Steel Nibs are Sprouting: New Dalit Writing in South India, Dossier 2: Kannada and Telugu Edited and introduced along with K. Satyanarayana. New Delhi: Penguin Books, 2013.
  • No Alphabet in Sight:  New Dalit Writing in South India, Dossier 1: Tamil and Malayalam.  Edited and introduced along with K. Satyanarayana. New Delhi: Penguin Books, 2011.
  • Towards a Critical Medical Practice: Reflections on the Dilemmas of Medical Culture Today.  Hyderabad: Orient Blackswan, forthcoming. Co-editor with Anand Zachariah and R. Srivatsan (on behalf of the CMC Anveshi Collective).
  • New French Feminisms: An Indian Anthology.  Delhi: Sage, 2003.  Co-editor.
  • Subaltern Studies, Vol. 10. Delhi: OUP, 1999. Co-editor.
  • “Caste and Desire in the Scene of the Family.” Economic and Political Weekly, XXXI: 22, June 1996.
  • “Notes for a Contemporary Theory of Gender,” Subaltern Studies, Vol. 9, 1995. Co-author.
  • Subject to Change: Literary Studies in the Nineties. Delhi: Orient Longman, 1994.
  • Women Writing in India: 600 B.C. to the Present, Vols I and II, Delhi: Oxford University Press, New York: Feminist Press and London: Harper Collins, 1990-1993. Co-editor. (Inspired by WWI, two African scholars, Abena Busia and Tuzyline Allan brought out four volumes of Women Writing Africa in collaboration with the Feminist Press).