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Our Team

Pardesi is run by a core team but we work with external contributors and illustrators to produce our content. We also encourage our community to create content for us and collaborate with us as much as possible!

Kaneeka Kapur
(she/her)

Kaneeka Kapur
(she/her)

Co-Founder

Kaneeka Kapur has dedicated herself to creating space to amplify South Asian women. Born and raised in the UK, she has experienced the marginalisation of South Asian women from both inside and outside the community, and is now working hard to change this by providing new spaces for connection and joy. She launched Pardesi in 2020 and has since gone on to graduate from law school, break into a traditionally non-inclusive industry and be recognised for her activist work internationally. Kaneeka also speaks extensively on inclusive feminism, representation, digital community building and her South Asian female experience. She has consulted for media houses, sits on the board for the Sonia Sabri Dance Company and has delivered numerous talks, including her TEDx talk.
Krishea Aswani
(she/her)

Krishea Aswani
(she/her)

Programmes Director

Born and raised in Dubai, Krishea has always been part of diaspora – experiencing equal parts comfort and contention in this identity. She has been working in the POC-centric digital media and community space for a few years now, advocating the role of stories –diverse stories – in recording, appreciating, and shaping the human experience. She joined Pardesi in April 2022 as Assistant Editor for long-form content, before switching gears to assume the role of Programmes Director in March 2023. Besides intersectional feminism, her work with non-profits has spanned such areas as food insecurity, menstrual equity, and Covid-19 relief, among others.
Ketki Mahabaleshwarkar
(she/her)

Ketki Mahabaleshwarkar
(she/her)

TLB Co-Host

Ketki is a writer, journalist, and recent graduate with a degree in Classical Studies. Her love for literature, languages, and academia, particularly, antiquity studies that are not Greco-Roman centric led her to her final year research and thesis: a literary comparison between Homer’s Odyssey and the Mahabharata. As a self-proclaimed internet-pop-culture enthusiast, she co-hosts and co-produces Pardesi’s podcast, ‘The Line Between’, which examines culture, identity, and trends with Gen Z cynicism. She is passionate about written and visual content, believing that storytelling has the power to spark discourse that may inspire generational change in our communities. She has had a multi-cultural upbringing, growing up in India, South Africa, Denmark, America, and now the U.K. Alongside mentioning this in most of her work, Ketki has profiled leading creatives in the arts and culture space, as well as writing articles about fashion, community, film, music, and more.
Ananya Ranjit
(she/her)

Ananya Ranjit
(she/her)

Pardesi Intern

An aspiring magazine journalist, Ananya is the General Intern at Pardesi, responsible for assisting the Co-Founders of the organisation to implement strategic goals. Having grown up in India all her life, she moved to UK in 2021 to pursue a BA in Media and Communications at Cardiff University. She touts this shift as the reason behind her introspection about her South Asian Asian identity, and is grateful to Pardesi as a platform, that gave her the support as well as the community, to sustain such an exploration.
Evanka Weerasinghe
(she/her)

Evanka Weerasinghe
(she/her)

Programmes Assistant - Fiction Writing Group

Evanka Weerasinghe (she/her) is an American-born Sri-Lankan, searching for stories that she can relate to, but more than that, hoping to tell those stories herself. After participating in Pardesi’s Fiction Writing Group, she wanted to be able to support other South Asian women and femme writers which is how she found herself as a Programmes Assistant for Pardesi’s Fiction Writing Group. When she isn’t writing or reading, Evanka is working at her job in philanthropy, motivated by years of volunteering and the need to contribute to meaningful work. In addition to her work with Pardesi, she volunteers at book conventions and festivals, as well as with the Make-A-Wish Foundation and The Feminist Press.
Shikha Gianchandani
(she/her)

Shikha Gianchandani
(she/her)

Co-Founder

Shikha Gianchandani is the COO of Pardesi. She grew up in Warsaw, Poland around a tight-knit South Asian community. When she went on to pursue her Biomedical Science B.Sc. at the University of Warwick in 2018, she quickly noticed the different nuances of her Polish-Indian identity. The amalgamation of her university experience and upbringing fuels her passion for the platform, which she hopes will help South Asian women feel comfortable and empowered in owning their multifaceted identities. She’s also passionate about advocating for women breaking barriers in STEM.
Alana Gaglio
(she/her)

Alana Gaglio
(she/her)

Community Manager

Alana Gaglio is an English Literature graduate from London, UK. Coming from a mixed heritage background, she is passionate about ensuring that all facets of South Asian identity are seen and appreciated, as well as keen to always learn more about her cultural roots. She joined Pardesi recently as Editor for the Newsletter, hoping to use her editorial experience and love for sharing stories to help other South Asian women & non-binary individuals make their voices heard and connect with each other from all over the world.
Simran Nahal
(she/Her)

Simran Nahal
(she/Her)

Mentorship Programme Coordinator

Simran Nahal is a Mental Health Worker by background who has dedicated her time to creating spaces within mental health services for South Asian families and children. Being raised in the UK, in a predominantly South Asian community in London, she experienced a lack of understanding from her own community and outside. Upon starting to work within Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services, she has been amplifying South Asian females and their voices, to be heard in a service that lacked diversity and inclusion. Simran also works with other services within her trust to speak on diversity and inclusion in the workplace and the importance of representation in services in majority South Asian communities. She has worked with schools and other youth services to increase support for females to empower and educate the next generation.
Laiba Sarwar
(she/her)

Laiba Sarwar
(she/her)

Website Design Intern

Laiba is a UX Designer currently pursuing a Master's Program at Pratt Institute where she is studying UX Design and Research. Laiba is originally from Pakistan but she has been raised in New York all of her life. Reconnecting with her culture and wanting to find a great community is why she joined Pardesi. She LOVES everything film, books, and art and is trying to get more into poetry so if you have any recommendations, let her know! Laiba is the website designer at Pardesi. This means that she has redesigned both the mobile and desktop versions as well as added Pardesi's signature brand colors and fonts as well as created ways for adding more communication methods with contact and suggestion boxes within the site. If you have any recommendations on the design or additional pages you would want to see, please let her know.
Sarayu Adeni
(she/her)

Sarayu Adeni
(she/her)

Programmes Assistant - Fiction Writing Group

Sarayu Adeni (she/her) is a Programmes Assistant for the Pardesi Fiction Writing Group. She was born in the United States and is the eldest daughter of South Indian immigrants. A Returned Peace Corps Volunteer, Sarayu’s day job is in international education and she holds degrees in journalism writing and editing, global studies and sustainable development. Sarayu has participated in NaNoWriMo’s month-long writing challenges since 2006, and currently scribbles away on an array of other projects: novels, poetry, short stories, essays, memoir, professional blogs, daily gratitude journals and more. Her work was most recently supported by the inaugural Pardesi Fiction Writing Group and The Writer’s Colony at Dairy Hollow. Sarayu lives in Austin, Texas with her family, which includes her husband/writing cheerleader Arjun and a sprightly black Lab mix named Lasya.
Anu Kumar
(she/her)

Anu Kumar
(she/her)

Communications Director,
Fiction Writing Group Coordinator

Anu Kumar is a writer and biotech professional based in Paris, France. Born to South-Indian immigrants in the USA then later moving to France, she's passionate about authentic exploration of cultural identity in the global South Asian diaspora. Anu joined Pardesi in early 2021 as Head Editor to help community members hone their voices to tell engaging and impactful stories through personal essays. She currently serves Pardesi as Communications Director and leads the Fiction Writing Group. Outside of Pardesi, Anu actively writes on Medium on feminism, self-help, expat/immigrant experiences, and book reviews. She has bylines in Huffington Post, Hinduism Today, and WONK! Science. She is currently studying Data Analytics and is an active participant of the AWOL Writers' Workshop in Paris.
Aleesa Nazeer
(she/her)

Aleesa Nazeer
(she/her)

Podcast Manager, TLB Co-Host

Aleesa is the Podcast Manger (and co-host) for Pardesi's newly launched visual podcast 'The Line Between'. Currently, she is working as a research assistant for a lab at UCL looking at Parkinson's Disease after finishing her masters from the University of Warwick in 2022. Originally Pakistani, she grew up all over the world but mostly grew up in Hong Kong and Bahrain. This eclectic upbringing meant that it was always difficult to connect with her south asian roots - which is what got her so involved with Pardesi! Other than science (of course) Aleesa loves immersing herself into pop-culture and hopes that people will really resonate with her perspective on the new podcast.
Zahra Nawaz
(she/they)

Zahra Nawaz
(she/they)

Graphic Designer & Illustrator

Zahra is a Graphic Designer and Illustrator who loves creating work based on Pakistani/South Asian culture. She draws a lot of her inspiration from South Asian art such as Persian miniatures with her favourite ever piece of work being "The Concourse of the Birds" by Habiballah of Sava (go look it up, it's beautiful) as well various artists from all over Asia. Zahra is a university graduate, receiving first class honours in Graphic Design & Illustration and has since worked on projects including Pardesi's zine 'To Love is to Hope'. She is proud to be a part of the Pardesi team and can't wait to further broadcast the stories, lives and culture of South Asian women, femmes and non binary people.
Aini Javaid
(she/her)

Aini Javaid
(she/her)

TLB Research Intern

Aini is a second year film student hoping to be a writer/director. Originally Pakistani and brought up in Bradford, she joined Pardesi because she wanted to meet other South Asian women. Being the only South Asian girl on her course, Aini has experienced the challenges that South Asian women face firsthand and wants to learn more about breaking glass ceilings and positive representation in mainstream media.
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