Meet the Team

OUR TEAM

Our team is growing rapidly. It started from one person running community calls, to a group of passionate volunteers who are drawn to the vision of a loving, inclusive Desi community. Each person on our team brings their unique skills and perspective to support our mission.

 

Contact us if you are interested in joining our team!

 

Our Staff

Aruna Rao | NJ

Executive Director

Aruna (she, her, hers) is the proud parent of a transgender child and founder of Desi Rainbow Parents & Allies. She envisions a world where diversity of sexual orientation and gender identity are valued by all. 

Sapna Pandya | DC

Strategic Planning & Development Consultant

Sapna (she, her, hers) is a queer South Asian organizer, advocate, strategist and mother. Over the past 20 years, she has worked at various organizations in the US and abroad, primarily focused on immigrant justice and public health. Sapna lives in DC with her wife and toddler.

Our Board

Our Board

 
Manjula Balakrishnan | WA

Co-President

Manjula (she, her, hers) is the proud parent of a transgender daughter and Operations Manager of a large public library system in Washington state.

Aubrey Martinez | CA

Treasurer

Aubrey (she, her, hers) works in the Non-Profit sector as a Director of Business Operations. She is the proud mother of 3 children, one of whom identifies as LGBTQ+.

Charmaine Hussain | CA

Partnerships & Collaborations

Charmaine (she, her, hers) is the proud mother of a nonbinary queer child. After two decades as a business leader, she now works to increase family acceptance of LGBTQ youth. 

Kingston Kodan | DC

Co-President

Kingston (he, him, his) is an Artist, Activist and Entrepreneur. He proudly identifies as a Tamil Queer Christian.

Anupam Dev Goel | NJ

Communications

Coordinator

Anupam (he, him, his) is a graduate of Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi and worked as a Vice President in Goldman Sachs. He enjoys teaching Bhangra and spoils his rescue puppy, Daisy.

Rev. Koshy Mathews | PA

Faith Community Outreach

Koshy Mathews (he, him, his) is a retired Episcopal priest currently serving as an Interim Rector at Gloria Dei Church in Philadelphia. He is the proud parent of a gay daughter.

Reema Mody-Deshmukh | IL

Secretary

Reema (she, her, hers) is the proud parent of a transgender child. She works in pharmaceutical research to improve health outcomes, quality of life and access to medicines. 

Colin Mascarhenes | IL

Community Outreach

Colin Mascarenhas (he, him, his) proudly identifies as a gay man. He is an engineer by profession, and an Odissi dancer by passion. He is a roadie, foodie and is looking forward to working with Desi families.

Our Coordinators

 
Tejinder Gill | MI

Parent Support

Tejinder (she, her, hers) is a mom, speaker and trainer, an advocate for transgender Lives and parental acceptance, and an empowerment Life Coach.

Anitha Chennat

Event Planning Coordinator

Anitha (she, her, hers) is the proud parent of a non-binary queer adult child. She manages biomedical research operations in an academic setting. Her passions include dancing & teaching Bharatanatyam, participating in local GOTV efforts, mentoring, gardening, cooking, traveling and bee-keeping.

Sri Chivukula

Publications Coordinator

Sri (she, her, hers) is a seasoned IT professional and mom of 2 daughters. She is a voracious reader of mysteries and thrillers. She is passionate about children's literature and is looking forward to supporting Desi Rainbow families.

Reshna Maniklal | GA

LGBTQ+ Support

Reshna (she, her, hers) is a cis-gendered Indian-American queer womxn from rural South Georgia. She is an urgent care Physician Assistant by day and budding entrepreneur by night.

Vishaka Nayak | NJ

Website Development

Vishaka (she, her, hers) is a proud sister of a transgender woman and currently studying Architecture at Carnegie Mellon University. She is always searching for ways to use her creative and design skills to help others and give back to the community. 

Devki Nayak | NJ

Inquiry & Welcome

Devki (she, her, hers) is a parent of a transgender young adult. She has a background in social science, and is a LGBTQIA+ ally and espouses parent acceptance. She brings a bi-cultural perspective as she was born in India but moved to the US at a young age.

Sweta

Event Planning Coordinator

Sweta (she, her, hers) is an Indian-American Washington, DC resident. She works in healthcare policy by day and serves as a co-chair of KhushDC, a social and peer support group for South Asians in the DC area.

Srutika Sabu | ON

Graphics & 

Social Media

Srutika (she, her, hers) is an artist and storyteller with a background in social justice and medicine. She enjoys using her artistic skills to promote and nourish queer affirming South Asian spaces.

Mehereen Baig | IL

Inquiry & Welcome

Mehereen (she, her, hers) is an educator and immigrant Muslim mom of 3 boys, the youngest of whom is transgender. Raised in a traditional South Asian family, she has chosen to break the barriers of what it means to be a divorced mom, and is an ally to LGBTQIA people everywhere.