Our Contributors

Aakash

Aakash is a former masseur whose love for the carnal is yet to ebb. He loves to travel and explore places, bodies and minds, and at times transgress gender roles. He digs oil massages and sweet foods. He also works for an NGO.

Anupam Hazra

Anupam Hazra has a performative gender identity and a multiple wish list – social work, project management, sex work, dancing, painting, making costume jewellery, acting, chewing paan, being drunk . . . unfortunately or thankfully most of the time ze is unable to be and do all of it simultaneously.

Aparajita Dutta

Aparajita Dutta is a writer and social activist. Her interests include gender rights, disability rights and football.

Arunabha Hazra

Arunabha Hazra is a young event manager with an eye for the good things in life – music, cinema, food, beverages and more! He can be contacted at arunabha.events@gmail.com.

Asmita Ghosh

Asmita Ghosh recently graduated from IIT Madras with a Masters in English Studies and enjoys singing, puppies and awkwardly maneuvering out of social situations.

Avinaba Dutta

Avinaba Dutta is an independent gender and sexuality researcher and policy analyst focussed on issues related to human rights violations. He has worked with several rights-based organizations in India, Brazil, Canada, South Africa, USA and Europe in order to push for adoption of inclusive policies.

Brindaalakshmi K.

Brindaalakshmi K. works on sexual and reproductive health and rights as a journalist. Apart from being a journalist and an actor, she also enjoys writing fiction and poetry.

Danish Sheikh

Danish Sheikh is a consultant on sexual orientation and gender identity with the International Commission of Jurists, and teaches courses on the intersections of law and literature at law schools across India.

Debayan N. Sen

Debayan N. Sen is a lawyer and a believer in celebrating free human life. Write in your queries to vartablog@gmail.com, and they will be answered with due respect to confidentiality.

Debjyoti Ghosh

Debjyoti Ghosh is a human rights lawyer from Kolkata, India. After practicing general law for a brief period, he went whole-hog into human rights and started working in the NGO sector in eastern India. He has worked on issues of HIV/AIDS, women, children and sexual minorities. Currently, he is an SJD Scholar at Central European University, Budapest. His research pertains to constitutional rights in the Global South, more precisely the right to health in India, Brazil and South Africa for trans people.

Diksha Sanyal

Diksha Sanyal graduated from the West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences in 2016. She is an advocate enrolled with the Karnataka Bar and works with the Centre for Law and Policy Research, Bangalore.

Disability rights organizations in India

This article is based on a media release issued by national level disability rights organizations in India.

Dr. Mukut Bhowmik

Dr. Mukut Bhowmik is a dancer, doctor, public health official and an individual interested in protecting human rights.

Hari Chettri

Hari Chettri works as an HIV activist in Darjeeling and loves to capture the beauty of his home town with the camera.

Ishan Chakraborty

Ishan Chakraborty is a PhD scholar in the Department of English, Jadavpur University, and works as an Assistant Professor in the Department of English, Netaji Nagar Day College, Kolkata.

Kaushik Gupta

Kaushik Gupta is a lawyer by profession, a photographer by passion, and happy to answer your queries on legal matters around gender and sexuality. Write in your queries to vartablog@gmail.com, and they will be answered with due respect to confidentiality.

Kaushik Gupta

Kaushik Gupta is a lawyer by profession, a photographer by passion.

Kaustav Manna

Kaustav Manna, a graduate in psychology, is a photography enthusiast and freelance writer.

Kolkata Rainbow Pride Festival

Kolkata Rainbow Pride Festival (KRPF) is an open collective of individuals, networks and organizations, which believes that sexuality is a key element of human existence, fulfillment and enjoyment. They hold that no individual, community or section of society should face stigma, discrimination or violence because of their gender and sexuality. KRPF deploys a variety of art forms, media and mass awareness activities to generate the dialogue necessary to achieve its objectives. Each year KRPF takes the lead in mobilizing participation for the ‘Kolkata Rainbow Pride Walk’.

Mandeep Raikhy

Mandeep Raikhy is a dancer and choreographer based out of New Delhi. He pursued his BA (Honours) in Dance Theatre at Laban, London, and worked with the Shobana Jeyasingh Dance Company, London for several years. He has created three full-length works, 'Inhabited Geometry' (2010), 'A Male Ant has Straight Antennae' (2013) and 'Queen-size' (2016). Mandeep divides his time between creating and touring his artistic work, and being a dance administrator at Gati Dance Forum.

Mark Heywood

Mark Heywood is co-founder Treatment Action Campaign and Director, SECTION27.

Nitin Karani

Nitin Karani believes in both social and economic liberty of the individual as well as a small State. He writes on LGBT issues in both print and digital media in his leisure time. He used to blog at queerindia.blogspot.com.

Oinam Hemabati

Oinam Hemabati is a trans man activist and leads Empowering Trans Ability, a support forum for lesbians, bisexual women and trans men in Manipur. He is passionate about karate, and lives with Sonia, his partner of 15 years, in Imphal.

Pallav Bonerjee

Pallav Bonerjee is Consultant Clinical Psychologist at VIMHANS Hospital, New Delhi. Whenever stressed, he never fails to spend some time with his own therapist, who has a wet, black nose and goes by the name of Copper!

Pawan Dhall

Pawan Dhall aspires to be a rainbow journalist and believes in taking a stand, even if it’s on the fence – the view is better from there!

Pompi Banerjee

Pompi Banerjee is a psychologist and works with an NGO for their health rights programme. She identifies as queer, gender fluid and kinky, and is a member of Kinky Collective. On her holidays she’s either glued to books or out and about – organizing or taking part in events on gender and sexuality rights. She will be happy to answer more queries on consent issues sent to vartablog@gmail.com (confidentiality assured)

Pompi Banerjee

Pompi Banerjee is a psychologist and works with an NGO for their health rights programme. She identifies as queer, gender fluid and kinky, and is a member of Kinky Collective. On her holidays she’s either glued to books or out and about – organizing or taking part in events on gender and sexuality rights.

Prosenjit Pal

When not researching Parkinson’s disease as part of his PhD from the University of Calcutta, Prosenjit Pal is busy with poetry, painting, music and films.

QFLN - West Bengal

Queer Friendly Lawyers Network – West Bengal is a legal advocacy initiative of Varta Trust, Kolkata to bring together lawyers, para-legal workers, teachers and students of law, human rights workers and legal aid agencies to develop an effective response system against the rights violations faced by queer people in West Bengal. QFLN – West Bengal can be contacted at www.facebook.com/groups/qfln.westbengal or vartablog@gmail.com.

RACSHA

RACSHA is a Kolkata-based network of organisations and individuals working for prevention, recognition, addressing and healing of victims and survivors of child sexual abuse.

Rajib Chakrabarti

Rajib Chakrabarti teaches English and hopes that scientific rationalism and secular ethics will one day replace religious dogma.

Rudra Kishore Mandal

Rudra Kishore Mandal is a painter and freelance graphic designer and calls his artistic quest 'Rudrascape' (http://rudrascape.blogspot.in/)

Sampoorna India

Sampoorna India is a network of trans and intersex Indians around the globe.

Sayan Bhattacharya

Sayan Bhattacharya likes to believe that he writes for pleasure but pursuing a PhD means that pleasure is always difficult if not impossible. He can be praised, criticized or consoled at sayanb360@gmail.com

Shampa Sengupta

Shampa Sengupta is a Kolkata-based activist working on gender and disability issues for more than 25 years. She is the founder of an advocacy group called Sruti Disability Rights Centre and is Executive Committee Member, National Platform for Rights of the Disabled. She will be happy to answer your queries on disability and related issues. Write in your queries to vartablog@gmail.com, and they will be answered with due respect to confidentiality.

Shilpi Bhattacharya

Shilpi Bhattacharya is an Assistant Professor at O. P. Jindal Global University. She received her PhD in law and economics from the Erasmus University Rotterdam in 2016. She is also a founding member of GNE Myopathy International and in her spare time advocates for greater awareness of rare diseases and GNE myopathy.

Shubhrajit Roy

Shubhrajit Roy researches Wilson’s disease and spends his free time drawing and sketching.

Siddhartha Sankar

Siddhartha Sankar believes in using art and creativity to express the unspoken and give voice to the marginalized sections of society. He has studied travel and tourism, worked in the corporate sector and is currently engaged with pocket filmmaking projects.

Subhojit Banerjea

Subhojit Banerjea is a professional photographer interested in any kind of shoot.

Suchandra Ganguly

Suchandra Ganguly is a Paralympic sports, disability, gender and sexuality rights activist. She is a founding member of Civilian Welfare Foundation, a youth social work venture. Stereotype breaker, philanthropist, realist and independent are her favourite personal adjectives.

Suchetana Sengupta

Suchetana Sengupta is a student, wishes to pursue clinical psychology, seeks respite from the trials and tribulations of life in writing.

Sukhdeep Singh

Sukhdeep Singh is a Facebook addict who works as a software engineer by day and transforms into a writer at night. He is the founder and editor of 'Gaylaxy' magazine

Vahista Dastoor

Vahista Dastoor wields the camera to get her point across when she is not documenting child rights, mental health or gender related issues.

Vivek Divan

Vivek Divan is qualified in the law and queerness. He has been involved in HIV- and queer-related activism for almost two decades, including critical community mobilization around the Naz Foundation (India) Trust petition against Section 377 as Coordinator of Lawyers Collective – HIV/AIDS Unit, 2000-07.

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