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Mission & History


Daya empowers South Asian survivors of domestic and sexual violence through culturally specific services and educates the community to end the cycle of abuse.




Compassion defines Daya. We create an oasis of warmth and safety for our clients, team, and community.


We are committed to innovative approaches when confronting the challenges we face as a team as well as those faced by our clients and community.


We collaborate to meet the needs of clients, community, and the organization. We're in this together.


As the South Asian population in Greater Houston began to boom in the early 1990s, a small group of women—all immigrants to the United States themselves—wanted to do something to give back to women and children in their community. They decided to volunteer at a local crisis center and, through countless hours of hotline calls, they learned about a growing public health crisis: domestic violence. They quickly realized that mainstream agencies faced a distinct and significant gap in understanding and responding to the cultural barriers faced by South Asian survivors of abuse. 

Daya’s founders started with small, but mighty steps–taking turns answering calls from home and meeting clients around town to offer safety planning, resources, and, most importantly, validation and compassion. With resilience and dedication, they persevered through long hours, lack of funds, and community backlash while helping South Asian survivors in need.

After a tragic murder-suicide in Fort Bend County shocked the South Asian community in 1996, these women realized their instinct was correct. The Greater Houston Area was in need of a compassionate and culturally sensitive organization for South Asian families affected by domestic violence. Armed with a seed grant, tenacity, and a shared mission, they formally  incorporated a volunteer organization to support the survivors in their community. And with that, Daya was born.

A South Asian community in Houston and beyond that is free from family violence.

Daya Founders


Indira Chakravorty, Pushpa K. Desai, Afshan Khan, Sreedevi Menon,

Lakshmy Parameswaran, Shantha Raghuthaman, Viji Raman & Vibhuti Shah

Presidents of Daya

2024 -current   Fermeen Fazal

2021-2024 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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