STAFF
 

STAFF

Roshni Shanker

Executive Director

Roshni is the founder of Ara. After completing her law degree from National Law Institute University (NLIU), Bhopal, Roshni initially worked with one of India's leading law firms, Amarchand Mangaldas, as a corporate lawyer for three years. Realizing that her real interest lay in humanitarian and relief work, she left her job and decided to pursue a Masters degree from Columbia Law School, New York, where she focused mainly on international humanitarian law and civil liberties. She joined the UN in 2010 and has nearly three years of work experience as an RSD officer. She has worked in different UN field offices, including, India, Egypt and UAE and has dealt with cases mainly from Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Burma, Somalia, Sudan, Ethiopia, DRC and the Middle East. She was part of an emergency team deployed to assess the cases of nearly 50 Sri Lankans who came to Dubai in November, 2012. In 2011 she undertook the RSD Learning Programme conducted by UNHCR in Kuala Lumpur. 


Hamsa Vijayaraghavan

Senior Legal Protection Officer

Hamsa completed her law degree from Symbiosis Law School and her Masters from University of Rouen, France. She has nearly two years of work experience as an RSD officer with the UN field office in India. She has handled asylum cases mainly from Burma, Somalia, Afghanistan, Iraq and DRC and has expertise in dealing with claims involving displaced women and children. She was involved in the identification of cases with protection problems and other vulnerabilities, such as victims of sexual abuse and unaccompanied minors. Prior to her stint with the UN, Hamsa was working as a Helpline Assistant with Bail for Immigration Detainees and as an Appeals Caseworker with Refugee and Migrant Justice, both in London. Hamsa has also worked as a consultant with the Ministry of Women and Child Development, Government of India, for one year. She mainly assisted in drafting rules under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POSCO) Act, 2012 and was involved in developing a plan for effective implementation of the same. She also works as a consultant for UNICEF on child protection issues. 


Pallavi Saxena

Senior Legal Protection Officer

Pallavi completed her law degree from Symbiosis Law School, Pune, and her Masters from Indian Law Institute, Delhi with a specialization in Human Rights. She joined UNHCR as an RSD officer in 2013. She has nearly four years of work experience as an RSD officer with the UN field offices in India, and Thailand. She has handled asylum cases mainly from Afghanistan, Somalia, Sudan, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Iran, Iraq and Palestine. Prior to her work with UNHCR, she worked with International Bridges to Justice, India where her focus was on Juvenile Justice and providing legal assistance to indigent prisoners. During her time with UNHCR, she completed the RSD Learning Programme, conducted by UNHCR in Bangkok in 2014. She has also done a course on Armed Conflict, Human Rights and Humanitarian Law.



Ishita Kumar

Legal Protection Officer

 Ishita graduated from National Law University, Jodhpur in 2016. While in law school, she interned at the People’s Union for Civil Liberties and also participated in moot court competitions relating to key issues of international human rights law and environmental law. She has previously worked in a top Indian law firm, Luthra & Luthra Law Offices, where she worked on corporate law matters. Ishita currently works with Ara as a legal protection officer, where she assists the legal team by undertaking client in-take interviews, legal research, identifying / highlighting protection concerns, drafting, and accompanying clients to the UN for their asylum interviews.





Nayantara Raja

Legal Protection Officer

Nayantara graduated from University Law College, Bangalore in 2013, and completed her LL.M. in Human Rights, Conflict and Justice from SOAS, University of London in 2016. She has previously worked as a Researcher for the Human Rights Lawyering Project at National Law School of India University, where she primarily undertook research on the rights of children with disabilities within the Indian legal system. Nayantara currently works with Ara as a legal protection officer, where she assists the legal team by undertaking client in-take interviews, legal research, identifying / highlighting protection concerns, drafting, and accompanying clients to the UN for their asylum interviews. 


Interpreters


Ara currently has three on-call interpreters who speak Dari, Pashto, French and Arabic and assist in conducting interviews.