Who We Are

… and why do we do what we do


Shakti Shalini started as a healing process for two mothers who had lost their daughters to a horrifying death. Ms Satyarani Chadha and Ms Shahjahan began Shakti Shalini on 31st August, 1987 soon after their daughters were burnt alive by their inlaws due to insufficient dowry. The brutal murders of their daughters launched Ms Satyarani and Ms Shahjahan into a fierce battle against gender violence. They galvanised to tell their story to everyone: to the media and to the public. Their loss touched the hearts of people and they became the whistleblowers of a generation.

The late 70s and 80s were a period in which various feminist discourses gained attention. These were also the times when UN had declared 19751985 as women’s decade. One of the first issues to receive countrywide attention from women’s groups was violence against women in the form of rape, selfimmolation and dowry deaths. This was the context in which Shakti Shalini was born. Shakti Shalini began with two services – counseling and a shelter home. Pehchan, the shelter home established by Shakti Shalini, became the first shelter home for women in distress in Delhi, India.

Who We Are

Shakti Shalini is Delhi based NonGovernmental Organization that has been actively working against all forms of gender and sexual violence since 1987. Gender and sexual violence is a critical social evil in India and needs concerted effort at individual, social and policy levels to bring about change. Shakti Shalini has a holistic and inclusive approach. We work with individuals, families and communities; with women, men, children and LGBTQ community members. Our mechanisms for promoting gender equality are four fold: Responding to Violence, Preventing Violence, Educational Enhancement programs to train future social workers, and Darmiyan, a Literature Platform dedicated to creating awareness for gender equality.

Response Mechanisms come into action after violence has taken place. They include Pehchan, a Shelter Home for women in distress and a Crisis Intervention and Counseling Center (CICC). The CICC provide legal, medical, mental healthcare, regular counseling and crisis intervention services to all clients. Additionally, Shakti Shalini responds to all sexual/gender violence cases at nineteen police stations across South-East Delhi.

Preventive Mechanisms aim at the prevention of everyday forms of sexual/gender violence and discrimination. This includes Community Outreach programs in five disadvantaged communities in Delhi, a Kushalta Vikas Kendra (KVK)/ Skills Development Center for Combating Violence and the Artivism initiative that aims to use arts for activism and social change in favour of gender equality.

Educational Enhancement program includes the range and variety of internships and training programs offered at Shakti Shalini for people who aspire to be social workers and future changemakers.

Darmiyan is a multi-lingual literature platform hosted by Shakti Shalini wherein we share life narratives of survivors of gender/sexual violence. Additionally, the platform also hosts poems, articles, stories.

Our Vision and Mission

We dream of a world where:

There is zero tolerance for violence

Where a person’s “gender” does not become a basis for violence, oppression or exploitation.

Where each individual is free to exercise one’s agency, to define oneself and “choose” the role they wish to play in society.

Where the integrity, dignity, individual identity and personhood of a person is not trampled upon.

Where every woman is freed from the centuries old yoke of patriarchy and she is not trampled upon solely for “being born female.”

Where the fluidity and of gender is understood and those who do not fit into the “man-woman gender binary” are given equal social acceptance as a human right.

Our Ideological Principles

Change begins in the mind

The ideological framework and principles that govern the thoughts and actions of the entire Shakti Shalini team are simple:

Gender equality

Equal educational, economic and social opportunities for all

Respect for individual choices, dignity, independence and personhood

Zero tolerance for violence

Gender is a powerful constituent of identity and defines, in varying degrees, the position and role one occupies in a given society. A patriarchal social system normalizes gender violence and discrimination. Our ideologies are formed in opposition to wide-spread and dominant discourses of patriarchy and gender discrimination that have plunged their claws deep into all frameworks of society whether legal and economic or pedagogic and familial.

All operations and activities of our organization are guided by our principles. Shakti Shalini respects all genders and all sexual orientations. We believe in the choice of the individuals with regard to gender and sexuality and attempt to aid them, if they seek it, in exercising their agency and upholding their choices regarding their identity.


Change begins in the mind


A safe, secure, clean and homely abode where any woman who is distressed or homeless can find shelter whenever she wants and for however long she needs.


Provide a network of advocates and legal counseling to our clients facing police investigations and fighting legal battles against violence.


Accompany individuals as they make their individual journeys to empowerment. Make professional counseling, psychiatric aid and emotional support available to every survivor of violence and to their families.


Educate women regarding core issues that concern them such as their biology, reproductive cycle, hygiene and sanitation requirements and health maintenance for themselves and for children. Spread awareness gained through our work on social media and other public platforms for greater social sensitization regarding gender violence and discrimination.


Provide the personalized information and guidance required by each client in order to make independent and strategic life choices.


Offer professional, certified courses in a large variety of skills that can become a source of economic independence


Provide guidance and support in decision-making regarding investments and savings.


Take complete care of the survivors including providing them with medical facilities.


Regularly reach each out to communities with concentrated violence in order to engage their families and their youth in an organic and understanding process of ideological change against gender violence.


Improve the level of coordination and networking between organizations working against violence by facilitating a culture of internal referrals and linkages between allied agencies during times of crisis and emergency cases



Suddha Tiwari

Suddha Tiwari


Ms. Sudha Tiwari has been the pillar and driving force of Shakti Shalini since 1988. She excels at counseling and management of the shelter home. She is an exemplary activist and representative of Shakti Shalini. She has devoted nearly three decades to the service of victims of violence. Her leadership has ensured an inclusive and participatory work culture within Shakti Shalini.

Dr. Bharti Sharma

Dr. Bharti Sharma

Honorary Secretary

Dr. Bharti Sharma has supported, expanded and held Shakti Shalini together through her exceptional leadership skills, guidance and professional work ethics. She was recently awarded the highest civilian honour within the French Republic for her lifetime’s work on women empowerment and child protection. Her vast work experience is demonstrated in her management of Shakti Shalini.

Usha Sonkar

Usha Sonkar

Administration and Shelter In-Charge

She has been with Shakti Shalini for thirteen years and is full of priceless experience Her loyalty to the organization shows in her persevering commitment. Her thorough understanding of Shakti Shalini, its functioning and history is demonstrated in all she says and does.

Tamanna Basu

Tamanna Basu

Manager, HR

Tamanna represents Shakti Shalini at various national and international organisations and platforms. She contributes to Shakti Shalini’s capacity building, fundraising and oversees its social media presence. Tamanna attempts to draw the maximum resources – human, financial and material – to Shakti Shalini to ensure its growth and expansion.




Dolly has the responsibility of providing intensive counseling to all clients who seek aid at Shakti Shalini. Her unassuming demeanor effectively motivates her clients to trust her, shake off their sense of victimhood and determine to survive and succeed. She changes lives.

Monika Tiwary

Monika Tiwary


She provides counseling services to victims of gender/sexual violence at nineteen police stations in south-east Delhi. She has also volunteered to live at our shelter home as a night caregiver. In both counseling and caregiving, she demonstrates sensitivity and alertness.

Shabiha Khatteen

Shabiha Khatteen

Community Outreach Worker

Shabiha leads Shakti Shalini’s community outreach programs. She must reach out to five disadvantaged communities in south Delhi to prevent every day gender/sexual violence and motivate the communities to pursue gender equality. The relationship and trust she enjoys with the communities is exceptional.

Tanmoyee Bhattacharjee

Tanmoyee Bhattacharjee

Coordinator. Kushalta Vikas Kendra and Artivism

Coordinates skills development and artivism at Shakti Shalini

Saroj Kumari

Saroj Kumari

Trainer, Cutting and Tailoring, and Shelter Home Day Caregiver

Takes care of the shelter home and teaches beneficiaries cutting and tailoring