Our Vision

CommonHealth envisions a society that ensures the right to the highest attainable standards of reproductive and sexual health for all, especially for women and marginalized communities in India.

Our Mission

CommonHealth aims to raise visibility of the unacceptably high mortality and morbidity among pregnant women while also highlighting the lack of access to safe abortion services in different parts of the country with a focus on marginalised communities.

The mission of the coalition is to mobilize advocates from different constituencies to:

Ensure effective implementation of relevant policies and programmes.

Contribute to the development of new policies and advocate for change in existing ones, when needed.

Build a rights-based and gender-sensitive perspective among communities, health care providers, researchers, academicians, administrators, elected

representatives and the media.

What we do

  • Provide thought leadership and influence the sexual and reproductive health discourse.
  • Organize capacity building and discourse influencing workshops with diverse actors such as policymakers, state officials, grassroots organisations, researchers, lawyers and healthcare providers.
  • Disseminate relevant information among CommonHealth members and at various local, regional, national and international fora.
  • Support, facilitate and mentor advocacy projects at the grassroots level.
  • Build evidence about the status of sexual and reproductive health and rights for advocacy at local, national and international levels.
  • Provide a forum for members to share their experiences in meetings and through social media.
  • Provide opportunities for peer-support and learning through collaborative initiatives among members.
  • Mobilize advocates to adopt a rights-based and gender equity perspective.

Steering Committee Members

Dr. Nilangi Sardeshpande

Ms. Sanjeeta Gawri

Ms. Renu Khanna

Dr. Alka Barua

Dr. Bhuvaneswari Sunil

Mr. Rajdev Chaturvedi

Pawan Kumar Sheokand

Bijayalaxmi Rautaray

Special invitees [Steering Committee]

Dr. Arvinder S. Nagpal

Rahi Riyaz Ahmed

Dr Balasubramanian

Kuldip Chand Nangal

Dr. Nilangi Sardeshpande is an Ayurveda graduate with Masters in Health Sciences. She is a public health and program evaluation professional with more than a decade long experience of research and development work in health equity and public health system functioning. She is a member of ethics committees of various organisations in Pune. Her current interests are in addressing sustainable development goals in relation to health and gender equality.

Ms. Sanjeeta Gawri is a gender and public health professional with more than a decade experience in policy analysis, advocacy and programme management. She is a recipient of Ford Foundation International Fellowship Programme. She is a steering committee member and financial advisor of CommonHealth. Currently, she is Manager, South Asia Regional Hub with Sexual Reproductive Health Matters.

Ms. Renu Khanna, a feminist women’s health and rights activist, has a Masters in Business Administration from Faculty of Management Studies, Delhi University, India. She is a cofounder of SAHAJ-Society for Health Alternatives, a reputed organisation based in Vadodara (Gujarat). Renu has over four decades of experience as a trainer, action researcher, evaluator and policy analyst in India. She is on the governing boards and steering committees of several national and international organisations and networks.

Dr. Alka Barua is a Paediatrician based in Ahmedabad with 30 years’ experience in health sector specifically in the areas of women’s health, adolescent health, programme evaluation, training, action research, qualitative research and research ethics. She is a researcher and an independent consultant.

Dr. Bhuvaneswari Sunil specialises in gender and public health with a doctoral degree from School of Health Systems Management, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai. Her research is based on field work in South India on the induced abortion lived experiences of women. She has 15 years of research experience in the field of HIV, TB and reproductive health of women with reputed academic institutions in India. Her research interests include working on gender disparities in health, feminist frameworks, health economics, evaluation of health programmes.

Ms. Priya John holds a Masters in Social Work, a Masters in Gender and Development, and a Diploma in International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights. She has worked on the issue of access to health services for vulnerable and marginalised communities with a special focus on women’s health concerns in rural areas. She was awarded the Young Champion of Maternal Health Fellowship by the Maternal Health Task Force at the Harvard School of Public Health in 2013. She is based in Mumbai and currently works as the Country Manager for One Drop Foundation, a not-for-profit that supports water and sanitation projects in rural India’.

Mr. Rajdev Chaturvedi, a well known social development activist, working on issues of up-liftment of women and marginalised communities through rights based advocacy for more than 30 years in Uttar Pradesh, India. He currently heads the NGO –Gramin Punarnirman Santhan and is co-founder of Health Watch – UP and MASVAW (Men’s Action for Stopping Violence Against Women) U.P and Member of FEM, India.

Dr Subha Sri, an obstetrician by training, has experience working in varied resource poor settings on maternal and reproductive health issues. She has been involved for over a decade with RUWSEC, a grassroots dalit women’s organization, working on reproductive health and rights issues in Kancheepuram district, Tamil Nadu. She has supported public health systems through her work with the State RMNCH+A Unit of Bihar, strengthening Comprehensive Emergency Obstetric Care in the government District Hospitals in the state. She has also worked with the Centre for Maternal and Newborn Health at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine.

Mr. Pawan Kumar Sheokand, a social and development professional, has a Master of Philosophy (M.Phill) from the Department of Political Science, Panjab University, Chandigarh. He is a Co-founder & Director of Institute for Social Research and Development (ISRD) a non-profit organization based in Chandigarh. He has 18 years of experience in participatory research, training and advocacy on the issues of local self governance, youth empowerment, gender issues, women empowerment, and women’s access to health services in India.

Mr. Souvik Pyne is currently working as Advocacy Officer at The YP Foundation, New Delhi. He is a public health graduate from AMCHSS, SCTIMST and a dentist by background. He is passionate about working on SRHR especially safe abortion. He is a fellow of Youth Champions Initiative by Rise Up (Public Health Institute, California) and The Packard Foundation; Youth Champion of the Asia Safe Abortion Partnership; member of the Youth Advisory Group on abortion stigma of the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF); member of International Network for the Reduction of Abortion Discrimination and Stigma (inroads)

Ms. Bijayalaxmi Rautaray is the Secretary of Sahayog, a voluntary organization based in Bhubaneswar, Odisha. The organisation focuses in maternal, child and adolescent health, tuberculosis care and treatment, child rights and with differently abled peoples’ associations. She is the co-convener of “Voice of Patient Forum” which has been working / advocating for rights of patients and especially for people affected with tuberculosis.

Dr.Arvinder S. Nagpal is an eye surgeon. For the last 21 years he is associated with an NGO in Ludhiana, Punjab. His area of work includes reproductive and sexual health, gender rights in urban poor communities. He articles regularly appear in newspapers and other journals.

Dr. P. Balsubramanian is a social scientist with PhD in Population Studies. He is currently the Executive Director of Rural Women’s Social Education Centre (RUWSEC), an organization working for women’s health, gender equality, sexual and reproductive health issues. RUWSEC is based in Thirukazhukundrum near Chennai, Tamil Nadu. His work mainly involves in training grassroots workers, youth leaders and health care providers on gender based violence against women, young people’s SRHR. He has published more than 25 research articles in peer reviewed journals at both national and international level.

Mr. Kuldip Chand Nangal is working since 1998 for the development of people especially the weaker sections who are living in subhuman conditions due to lack of knowledge and resources.He is working in the areas of health, education, women empowerment and legal rights. He is associated with various development organisations and is part of government and non-government committees.

Mr. Rahi Riyaz Ahmed strives to make government services accessible and available to all sections of society through league of volunteers. He is a great motivator. Rahi is a founder chairman of Ahsan Foundation that works in Jammu and Kashmir with specific focus on tobacco control among youth, disaster management, water conservation, blood donation and maternal and child health issues.