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In the Spring of 1996, a young South Asian woman living in Fort Bend County shot and killed her abusive husband of ten years, her three young children and set fire to the family home before turning the gun on herself. This tragic event made international headlines both for the extent of abuse and violence this educated and employed woman had suffered and the cultural complexities that drove her to this tragic decision. The fact that this seemingly acculturated woman kept the abuse to herself and did not seek help from any mainstream agency, spoke volumes. 


As a response, a small group of women – all immigrants to the United States themselves – founded Daya, a compassionate and culturally sensitive organization for South Asian women affected by domestic violence. The first step was establishing a volunteer helpline to support the women in their community.


And with that, Daya was born. 

Daya Founders


Indira Chakravorty, Pushpa K. Desai, Afshan Khan, Sreedevi Menon, Lakshmy Parameswaran, Shantha Raghuthaman, Viji Raman & Vibhuti Shah

Presidents of Daya

2021-PRESENT Shree Hardikar Nath

2019-2021 Fatima Mohiuddin 

2018-2019 Sheela Rao 

2016-2017 Sesh Bala 

2014-2015 Jyoti Kulkarni 

2012-2013 Padmini Nathan 

2010-2011 Nighat Ahmed 

2008-2009 Padmini Nathan 

2006-2007 Shaila Patel 

2004-2005 Sheena Sharma 

2002-2003 Lakshmy Parameswaran 

2000-2001 Vibhuti Shah 

1998-1999 Shantha Raghuthaman 

1996-1997 Shantha Raghuthaman

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