Gauri Maulekhi

Gauri Maulekhi

Trustee, People For Animals & Member Secretary, People For Animals Uttarakhand

Gauri Maulekhi is the Trustee of People for Animals – India’s largest animal welfare organisation. She is also the Member Secretary of People for Animals, Uttarakhand, which is the legal and policy wing of its parent organisation. Since 1994, she has contributed to animal welfare in various capacities – policy reform, capacity-building for law enforcement authorities, public awareness and sheltering.

Gauri Maulekhi serves as a resource person and a trainer for the State Police for more than 8 states, and has held workshops on animal welfare at the National Judicial Academy, Bhopal and several State Judicial Academies. She has been nominated by several State Governments to be a Member of Slaughter-House Monitoring Committees and Animal Birth Control Implementation and Monitoring Committees, constituted in compliance with Supreme Court orders. Ms. Maulekhi was awarded the prestigious Nari Shakti Puraskar in 2018 by the President of India for her contribution to the field of animal welfare advocacy, and is a recipient of the Lush Prize 2017 for her contribution towards reducing unnecessary use of animals in laboratories.


Dr. Sujit Kumar Dutta

Secretary, Animal Welfare Board of India & Jt. Commissioner, Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying & Fisheries, Ministry of Animal Husbandry, Dairying & Fisheries

Dr. Dutta is a Veterinary Doctor by qualification. He obtained a Masters Degree in Veterinary Science (Veterinary Medicine) from Indian Veterinary Research Institute in 1992. After completion of his Master’s Degree, he joined the Veterinary Service in the Animal Resources Development Department, Government of West Bengal. He served as Veterinary Surgeon till 30th May 2007. Dr. Dutta was appointed as the Assistant Commissioner, Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries (DAHD) in June 2007. He was entrusted with the work of: Animal Quarantine Certification Services; Import, manufacturing and marketing of Veterinary Drugs, Vaccines Risk Analysis, matters related to World Trade Organization, Veterinary Council of India, Implementation of Livestock Importation Act, 1898 and Indian Veterinary Council Act, 1984.

In 2012, Dr. Dutta took charge of the post of Deputy Commissioner, DAHD – with special charge of the Livestock Health Division. Dr. Dutta has also received training in the Performance Veterinary Services Evaluation process. In 2016, Dr. Dutta became the Joint Commissioner, DAHD. Dr. Dutta also holds the post of Member Secretary, Committee for the Purpose of Control and Supervision of Experiments on Animals (CPCSEA).

Alokparna Sengupta

Alokparna Sengupta

Managing Director, Humane Society International India

Alopkparna Sengupta is the Managing Director for Humane Society International-India. She has worked in the animal protection movement for over a decade.

Alokparna has been part of several government and scientific committees including that of Indian Council of Medical Research, Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation, Central Insecticides Board, Bureau of Indian Standards etc. She has also been part of several stakeholder committee meetings to bring in animal friendly policies in India. Having obtained a degree of Masters in Science (M.Sc) for Biotechnology from Osmania University, she has recently completed her L.L.M (Professional) course from National Law University, Delhi.

Dr. Ashutosh Joshi

Dr. Ashutosh Joshi

Joint Director (Animal Welfare), Department of Animal Husbandry, Govt. of Uttarakhand & Officer In Charge, Uttarakhand Animal Welfare Board

Dr. Joshi got commissioned through Uttar Pradesh Public Service Commission (1997 Batch). He has served as Veterinary Officer at various Government Veterinary Hospitals of Uttar Pradesh Government & Uttarakhand Government. With respect to various animal welfare issues, he has been communicating & coordinating with Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI), National Institute of Animal Welfare (NIAW), Rastriya Kamdhenu Aayog, Committee for the Purpose of Control and Supervision of Experiments on Animals(CPCSEA), Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MOEFCC), Veterinary Council of India (VCI), Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying & Fisheries (DAHD) & various other national level bodies of Union Government as well as relevant departments of Uttarakhand State Government & District Administration

Dr. Joshi also serves as Resource Person for capacity building workshops on animal welfare laws conducted for the purpose of sensitizing law enforcement agencies (Uttarakhand Police Academy Narendranagar, Armed Training Center Haridwar) as well as other bodies like:
District Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Central Detective Training School Jaipur, Delhi Police Academy at Najafgarh, Urban Development Department, Animal Husbandry Department. Dr. Joshi serves as elected General Secretary for Uttarakhand State Veterinary Services Association. He is also the Member Secretary, Uttarakhand State Animal Birth Control Monitoring Committee.

Shreya Paropkari

Shreya Paropkari

Senior Manager, Farm Animal Protection & Cruelty Response, Humane Society International – India

Since the age of 11, Shreya has volunteered at animal shelters and with various animal welfare organisations, to rescue, foster, re-home animals, respond to animal cruelty in accordance with the legal process. A lawyer by qualification, Shreya has been the Manager of HSI/India’s Cruelty Response Department since June, 2015-2017. Her responsibilities also include working towards policy change, capacity building of law enforcement agencies, judiciary and grass-root activists, to tackle animal cruelty and abuse. In this capacity, Shreya has achieved favourable orders implementation of the prohibition on animal fights in the States of Andhra Pradesh, Orissa, Assam, and Goa. She has also contributed to the development and notification of various Rules under the PCA Act.

Shreya went on to manage the Farm Animal Protection Department. Within the Department, she leads the End Battery Cages Campaign, through litigation, advocacy and corporate outreach, to eliminate the use of battery cages for housing egg-laying hens in India. She also oversees all farm animal protection projects and campaigns undertaken by HSI/India.

Nikunj Sharma

Nikunj Sharma

Chief Executive Officer, Mercy For Animals India

Nikunj Sharma is the CEO of Mercy For Animals- India. He is responsible for the Indian region, strategizing and leading policy and advocacy initiatives for MFA-India Campaigns and building strong formal networks with key influencers like parliamentarians, bureaucrats, think tanks, lawyers, celebrities and civil society leaders to progress farm animal welfare in India.

Nikunj Sharma has been professionally working in the field of animal welfare since 2007 and is a Public Policy, Government Relations and Public engagement expert.

He started his career in 2007 as Vegan Campaign Coordinator at People For Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA – India). By 2014, he went on to head PETA-India’s Public Policy Department as its Associate Director. During his tenure with PeTA-India, he contributed to policy-wins like Jallikattu ban in Supreme Court, Manja Ban in the National Green Tribunal & Bullock Cart Races ban in High Court of Bombay. He has worked with the Government on various animal rights issues, including serving as a member of the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) on the Food and Agriculture Committee and several expert committees constituted by the Delhi Government.


Anjali Sharma


Anjali Sharma is an Advocate enrolled with the Bar Council of Delhi, as well as an Insolvency Professional registered with the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India. Ms. Sharma has been in independent practice since 1994 as a Senior Partner in the law firm, Integral Law Offices. She has extensive commercial and corporate litigation experience at the Supreme Court, several High Courts in the country, and tribunals such as the National Company Law Tribunal and National Company Law Appellate Tribunal for over 29 years. She also has considerable experience of alternative dispute resolution, including arbitration.

In December 2010, Ms. Sharma was nominated on to the Animal Welfare Board of India – the statutory board set up under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act – by the Ministry of Environment Forest & Climate Change. She went on to serve on the Animal Welfare Board for 2 three year terms, until February 2017, and was also the Board’s Advocate in important litigation, including the stray dogs’ matter at the Supreme Court of India. In March 2016 she was awarded the Nari Shakti Puruskaar by the President of India.


Dr. Manilal Valliyate


Dr Manilal Valliyate completed his education in veterinary science at Kerala Agricultural University. He has a postgraduate degree in business administration and environmental law and policy. He started his career in 1998 as a teaching assistant at the College of Veterinary and Animal Sciences–Mannuthy, and later worked as a veterinary surgeon for the Kerala Animal Husbandry Department. He was the manager of veterinary services at Brooke Hospital for Animals, a leading charity helping working equines.

Dr Manilal Valliyate is currently the Chief Executive officer (CEO) at PETA India. He is also a former co-opted member of the Animal Welfare Board of India, which operates under the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, and a former member of the Kerala State Animal Welfare Board. At PETA India, Dr Manilal has been instrumental in achieving several groundbreaking victories including getting the live embalming of calves in veterinary education banned, encouraging the Central Department of Animal Husbandry to issue a circular to animal husbandry directors in all states and union territories stating that cattle must be given anaesthetics prior to castration, stopping illegal bullock cart races in which the animals are commonly hit with nail-studded sticks, replacing the bullocks who hauled heavy kerosene oil carts through Mumbai streets with motorised vehicles, rescuing several once-chained elephants from lives of loneliness in temples, removing numerous lame and injured horses from the abusive Victoria carriage trade, and much more. His expert testimony and reports have aided PETA India in winning numerous court cases that have helped prevent the suffering of animals nationwide, including the landmark 2014 Supreme Court judgment that banned jallikattu (later permitted in Tamil Nadu, which PETA India is committed to challenging in court), bullock cart races, and other uses of bulls in performances.

To protect his health and reduce animal suffering, Dr Manilal Valliyate lives and advocates a vegan lifestyle, opting for soya milk and peanut curd instead of foods made from cows’ or buffaloes’ milk.


Meet Ashar

Associate Manager, Emergency Response Team, PETA India.

Lawyer and an experienced animal rights activist with a demonstrated history of working in the field of animal cruelty and abuse. Skilled in Animal Protection Laws, Police Training, Environmental Awareness, Volunteer Training, Awareness Raising, and Animal Rights. Professional with a graduate in Law (LLB) from University of Mumbai, Accounting Technician(ATC) degree from The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India & a graduate in Commerce(B.Com) from University of Mumbai.


Founder Director of the Gandhi Fellowship

Jayasimha Nuggehalli

Chief Operating Officer, Global Food Partners 

Jayasimha Nuggehalli Chief Operating Officer, Global Food Partners At Global Food Partners, Jayasimha spearheads the development of innovative traceability and supply chain solutions for animal-sourced protein. He has worked closely with egg farmers, governments and industry stakeholders throughout India and Asia to drive the transition to higher welfare cage-free egg production systems. Jayasimha is a former fellow at Harvard Law School, former founding director of the Animal Law Centre at NALSAR School University of Law, Hyderabad, former Member of the Animal Welfare Board of India and former managing director of Humane Society International/India, where he led the expansion of the organisation in Asia.

Gauri Puri


Gauri Puri has been practicing before the Supreme Court, Delhi High Court and Delhi District Courts for over 9 years. Her practice ranges from an array of subjects in relation to civil commercial disputes, property, family, matrimonial, service and competition law. She is presently a panel lawyer with the Govt. of NCT of Delhi and actively involved in working pro bono for the Delhi Legal Services Authority as well as iprobono, which is a leading NGO working towards social rights. As a panel lawyer representing iprobono, she has the opportunity to represent several important issues pertaining to the right of housing and rehabilitation, right to food and access to healthcare by pregnant and lactating women, right to work by street vendors. In the past, having been associated with the chambers of a very reputed Senior Advocate, She has the opportunity to work on matters involving substantial constitutional issues and important questions of law. Apart from her private practice, following her passion towards animals, She has been associated with “People for Animals” for over 3 years now and actively involved in helping animal lovers and volunteers across the country to prevent cruelty towards animals and other issues in relation to animal rights.

Arjun Dewan


Arjun Dewan graduated from Symbiosis Law School, Pune in the year 2010 and has been practising as an Advocate before the Supreme Court, High Court, Trial Courts and various tribunals and forums for over a decade now. He has also worked with the Former ASG and Sr. Adv. Sidharth Luthra and assisted him in matters of landmark importance. He is currently working on a variety of matters such as criminal, civil, constitutional and environmental amongst many. He has vast experience in arguing and advocating for animal rights.

Sumanth Bindumadhav

Senior Manager, (Wildlife, Disaster Response & Dhadwad Program), HSI India

Sumanth Bindumadhav has worked on several facets of wildlife conservation for nearly two decades. He started his career with rescue and rehabilitation of injured and displaced urban wildlife before he began continual efforts to build capacity of the law enforcement and custodian agencies on various elements of dealing with the daily interactions between humans and wild animals. He has a particular interest towards community led conservation initiatives- especially as it relates to conflict with snakes among other species. Over the last decade his work with leading herpetologists and researchers in the country has contributed to a significantly better understanding of the dynamics of conflict itself. In addition, he has a decade of experience in detection, prevention, and rescue of wild animals from illegal wildlife trade. He spearheaded the intervention that put a halt to sale of wild animals at the century old Sonepur Mela, Bihar, rescued conservation dependant species such as pangolins and lorises from trade and continues to work on policy and advocacy centric interventions that seeks to regulate domestic and international trade of exotic and endemic wildlife as it relates to CITES and various other conventions and treaties. He also serves as faculty for several institutions on animal law including NALSAR University of Law, several state judicial academies and the National Judicial Academy. In his current role with Humane Society International/India, he leads the organization’s efforts on developing a model district for animal protection, human-wildlife conflict issues around snakes and elephants, regulation of trade in species and disaster risk reduction and preparedness for animals during times of natural calamities.

Dr. Sonali Ghosh, IFS

Deputy Inspector General of Forest (HQ), Central Zoo Authority

Dr Sonali Ghosh is an Indian Forest Service officer with more than 23 years of work experience in the field of wildlife and natural heritage management in India. She has a dual Master’s Degree in Wildlife Science and Forestry and a PhD Degree in Geography from the United Kingdom. A co-editor of 2 books; Cultural Landscapes of Asia and Wild Treasures- reflections on natural heritage in Asia, an Anthology. Her current research interests include Ex-situ conservation, Protected Area Governance and exploring nature-culture linkages for heritage conservation. She is currently serving as Deputy Inspector General of Forest, Central Zoo Authority with the Ministry of Environment Forest and Climate Change.

Dr. S.P Yadav, IFS

Member Secretary, Central Zoo Authority

Dr SP Yadav is an Indian Forest Service officer of 1989 batch from Uttar Pradesh Cadre. He is presently posted as Addl. Director General of Forests (Project Tiger) and Member Secretary of the National Tiger Conservation Authority. He is also holding charge of Member Secretary, Central Zoo Authority in the Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change, at New Delhi.

He is trained by Wildlife Institute India and Smithsonian Institution, USA in tiger conservation and holds a PhD degree. He has played an important role in successful tiger conservation in India while working in the National Tiger Conservation Authority for almost seven years during its formative years. He has distinction of working as Assistant Secretary General in the Global Tiger Forum, which happens to be the only inter-governmental international organisation in the field of tiger conservation in the wild.

Dr Yadav was also conferred with the prestigious Rajiv Gandhi National Award for Wildlife Conservation by the Government of India.


Dr. Shekhar Kumar Niraj, IFS

Principal Chief Conservator of Forests and Chief Wildlife Warden, Govt. of Tamil Nadu.

Dr Shekhar Kumar Niraj served as the first Director of Advanced Institute of Wildlife Conservation (AIWC) from 2018 to 2020. At AIWC, he set up high standard DNA forensic and morphometric labs for conducting advanced levels conservation research including animal healthcare diagnostics and prophylaxis and wildlife investigations at molecular level. Dr. Niraj also served as the Director and Country Head, TRAFFIC (Global Wildlife Trade Monitoring Network of the International Union for Conservation of Nature and World Wildlife Fund) from 2013 to 2017.

Dr. Niraj obtained a Doctor of Philosophy degree from the University of Arizona, USA in Spring 2009. His dissertation was on the subject of Sustainable Development, Poaching, and Illegal Wildlife Trade in India. Dr. Niraj also obtained a Graduate Degree Certification in Geographic Information Science (GIS) in the fall of 2008 from University of Arizona. Other academic accomplishments include: a Masters Degree in Forestry & in Chemistry and a Master of Philosophy Degree in Metallic Corrosion from Delhi University. As the Additional PCCF, Project Tiger in Tamil Nadu, Dr. Niraj was responsible for overseeing the management of tiger reserves in Tamil Nadu besides conducting several projects for tiger management, protection and community based protection and ecotourism initiatives.

Dr. Niraj has held various assignments as an Officer of the Indian Forest Service specializing in wildlife for over 25 years, including: forest management, wildlife management, participatory management of natural resources by local communities and policy development. Dr. Niraj has contributed towards capacity building of various law enforcing agencies (including Police, Border Security Forces, Customs, Army, Forest and Wildlife Departments) with respect to combating illegal wildlife trade and wildlife crimes. In the process, he has trained more than 10,000 officers of various enforcement and research institutions throughout his career.