Meet the 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) founded Desi Rainbow Parents & Allies after a 20 year career in mental health advocacy and activism with a focus on the needs of immigrant families. She is the proud parent of a transgender young adult. 


Our Board

Rayman Kaur Mathoda | CA


Rayman (she, her, hers) is a Sikh-American lesbian multi-time CEO, social entrepreneur and community activist who serves or has served on corporate and community based organizational boards. She is the proud parent of a trans child.

Manjula Balakrishnan | WA


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

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Lesley Kingston Kodan | DC


Lesley Kingston Kodan (he, him, his) is a DC based Artist, Activist, Entrepreneur and Art Dealer specializing in Indian Art, Surrealism & Photography. He proudly identifies as a Tamil Queer Christian.

Anupam Dev Goel | NJ


A Graduate from Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi, Anupam Dev Goel (he, him, his) is an Indian small towner and a first generation immigrant. He dreams of creating a more accessible and accepting world.

K. S. Mohan | NJ


K.S. Mohan (he, him, his) has been a financial professional for over 40 years, holding varied management positions in the accounting and financial field. He is the proud father of a queer daughter.


Our Team

Stephen Jiwanmall | PA

Support Group Coordinator

Stephen (he, him, his) is the Communications Manager at Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center in Allentown, Pennsylvania. He was a journalist for eight years before working in public relations and LGBTQ+ advocacy. He lives in Allentown with his husband Ian and their rescue dog Opal. 

Vidya Mohan
Vidya Mohan | NJ

Finance and Bookkeeping

Vidya (she, her, hers) is a nature and animal lover whose pursuits include drawing, painting, gardening, singing and volunteering with those affected by domestic violence. She is the proud parent of an adult queer daughter. 

Lily Pads

Website Coordinator

A young college student dedicated to supporting family acceptance in the Desi community, and a budding artist and social justice advocate. 

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Hima Sathian | PA

Saathi Peer Support Coordinator

 Hima (they, them, theirs) is a social worker by training, and currently works as a trauma counselor at a crime victims center in PA. They live with their partner in Pennsylvania and are proud of their Malayali roots.

Anitha Chennat | MI

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.

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 organizations in the US and abroad, focused on immigrant justice and public health. Sapna lives in DC with her wife and toddler.

Ekta Kumar | CA

Mental Health Advisor

Dr. Ekta Kumar (she/her) is a licensed clinical psychologist at USC and the Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion for USC’s Dept. of Psychiatry. She is passionate about providing an affirming therapeutic space for LGBTQ+ folks and families. 

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Sri Chivukula | NJ

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.