Announcing Daya’s 2018 Board of Directors


HOUSTON: Since 1996, Daya has empowered South Asian survivors who are trying to break the cycle of domestic and sexual violence and reclaim their lives. Daya provides culturally specific services including counseling, case management, and legal advocacy for survivors of abuse.

On January 13, 2018, the Daya Board unanimously approved the new 2018-2019 Board of Directors. New members, Mary John, Aparna Asthana, Shazma Matin, and Dua Quraishi were inducted. The 2018-2019 Board of Directors now includes Sheela Rao- President, Fatima Mohiuddin- President Elect, Anasuya Kabad- Treasurer, Mary John- Secretary, Sesh Bala- Member, Audit & Personnel Committees, Aparna Asthana- Member, Audit & Outreach Committees, Dr. Vatsala Bhaskaran- Member, Client Services Committee, Jyoti Kulkarni- Member, Personnel Committee, Shazma Matin- Member, Outreach Committee, Lakshmy Parameswaran- Founding Member, Client Services Committee, Dua Quraishi- Member, Outreach Committee, Viji Raman- Founding Member, Personnel Committee, and Annu Rao Naik- Member, Outreach Committee.

The 2018-2019 Advisory Board includes Sarah Abraham, Dr. Chitra Divakaruni, Indrani Goradia, Bimla Jain, Anita Manoharan, Dr. Shaila Patel, Dr. Dinesh Pejaver, Devika Ramchandani, Stuti Trehan Patel, and Charu Verma.

In 2017, under the leadership of Board President, Sesh Bala and Executive Director, Rachna Khare, Daya served a record breaking 394 clients. This increase is due to Daya’s ongoing community partnerships, social media presence and strong collaboration with Houston’s mainstream and ethnic agencies as well as South Asian women’s organizations nationwide.

Daya strengthened its wrap around services to survivors of domestic violence through a variety of ways. Senior Director of Legal Services and Education, Dr. Nusrat Ameen provided 218 legal referrals and Daya provided 48 months of supportive housing to survivors fleeing domestic violence. Daya Director of Outreach, Irfana Hussain increased community outreach through 217 events reaching over 4,000 people with materials and awareness. Daya believes that awareness will allow the community to end the stigma around violence and ultimately prevent these horrendous acts from occurring. Toward this goal, Daya also launched the Start the Conversation series, Daya’s lecture and event series where audiences consider, analyze and confront the issues, challenges and complexities that affect the community. Daya held 5 such events ranging in topics from mental health stigma to the prevalence of sexual assault in the community.

Many of the local service agencies and professionals partner with Daya as an integral resource when it comes to culturally competent services to South Asian and other similar immigrant groups. This is not surprising considering the Board, Advisory Board and Staff, together, represent the diversity of South Asia in terms of region, religion and language; the group also represents both the older and younger generation in its make-up. Daya looks forward to a productive 2018!


Now in its twenty first year, Daya empowers south Asian survivors who are trying to break the cycle of domestic and sexual violence and reclaim their lives. Daya empowers these survivors by offering counseling and advocacy, promoting community awareness and by advocating at the policy level. Daya’s approach fosters individual freedom and respect leading to healthy families.