Who We Are

The Dalit Solidarity Network UK is a human rights organised focused on the elimination of caste-based discrimination in the UK and South Asia. Formed in 1998, Dalit Solidarity Network brings together individuals and organisations concerned about the continued violation of human rights as a result of caste-based discrimination. Registering as an official charity in 2003, Dalit Solidarity Network UK continues to grow as an effective campaigning and advocacy organisation, working on the issue of caste discrimination in Great Britain and being an active player in the global movement.

Our network members include individuals, development agencies, trade unions, journalists and academics, and we are fortunate to have the support of other human rights and development organisations, with whom we work closely, including the Ethical Trading Initiative and BOND. 

With a worldwide rise in the movement to stamp out caste-based discrimination, DSN-UK is one of the members of the International Dalit Solidarity Network (IDSN), which focuses on highlighting the issues on the global stage, including at the European Union and United Nations. 

Our current areas of thematic work include addressing caste-based discrimination in UK businesses and their supply chains in South Asia, documenting cases of ‘everyday casteism’ in the UK, and supporting Higher Education Institutions to integrate attention to caste-based discrimination in their equality, diversity and inclusion policies. 

Our Trustees

Chair, Bala Gnanapragasam

Bala was born in Sri Lanka and has over 20 years’ professional experience in the international telecommunications sector, much of this at executive level at British Telecom, ECI Telecom, CTell Inc. and Interoute Telecommunications Ltd. Until 2010 he was Chairman of University Hospital Lewisham NHS Trust, a post which he held for eight years. He served two terms as an elected Labour councillor of the London Borough of Lewisham and represented Lewisham on the Inner London Education Authority. Bala has served on a number of charitable bodies, including Wesley House Cambridge, London Ecumenical Aids Trust, Age Exchange, Applecart, Methodist Relief and Development Fund, Change Alliance (India)and Christian Aid.


Vice Chair, Dr Corinne Lennox

Dr Lennox is Senior Lecturer in Human Rights at the Institute of Commonwealth Studies, School of Advanced Study, University of London.  Her research focuses on minority and Indigenous rights protection, civil society mobilization and human rights and development. A human rights practitioner and trainer, she has acted as a consultant for the UNDP, the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, the UN Rapportuer on Minority Issues and the Swiss Government. She is also a member of the Minority Rights Solidarity Network and a member of the Technical Advisory Group of the Global Centre for Pluralism.


Prerna Tambay, Trustee

Dr Prerna Tambay is an Associate Professor for Bedfordshire University, as Course Director for MSc and MA International HRM Programmes, with a specialism in Future of work, Digitisation of HRM and People Analytics. Her research interest is in Modern Slavery, Employee Wellbeing, Digitisation and Ethics. She holds a PhD from London University, Birkbeck College, where her thesis examined the strike actions in British Higher Education and the mobilisation processes. She is passionate about finding solutions to women issues and using technology for social good.


Ramani Leathard, Trustee

Originally from Sri Lanka, Ramani has been working for Christian Aid in the field of International Development for over 25 years in a number of roles. Currently the Regional Manager for South East Asia, she has also held the roles of Country Manager for Burma and Regional Communications Manager for Asia and the Middle East. Her experience in development includes programme strategy, advocacy and communications for Christian Aid’s work in India, Israel/Palestine, Sri Lanka and Burma. When DSN-UK was initially set up, Ramani was the secretary and managed Christian Aid’s grant to the network.


Treasurer, Dabir Ahmed

Dabir Ahmed is a qualified Accountant and has extensive work experiences in accounting and finance. He is a Senior Lecturer (Accounting and Taxation) at Brunel University London, teaching Financial Reporting, Management Accounting and Taxation and researching on aspects related to Taxation and Housing policy in the UK. His pedagogic interests include E-learning in Accounting Education.  He has worked as a Finance manager, Accountant, and business adviser in different industries such as education, retail, catering, and e-commerce. Presently, as a business consultant at Ultimate Accounting and Tax Solutions, my role mainly involves advising businesses on start-up, growth, financial compliance, cost management and taxation. Dabir is also Finance Director Brunel Hive (SME engagement platform for Brunel Business School); Business Consultant: Ultimate Accounting and Tax Solutions Limited; Visiting Faculty: Birkbeck, University of London; External Examiner: University of Greenwich and University of Law. Dabir is a Fellow of Chartered Certified Accountants (FCCA) and Member of Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA). I am also a fellow of the HEA and life time member of ITET Bangladesh (Institute of textile engineers and technologists).

Dinesh Kumar Pariyar, Trustee

Dinesh Kumar Pariyar is a digital marketing advisor/director at Click2reach Ltd. Born and raised in a Dalit family in Kathmandu, Dinesh has contributed to the Dalit movement in Nepal and India. Dinesh was a full-time journalist and a multimedia producer before coming to The UK. He’s now a freelancer and contributes articles to the Global Nepalese audience. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Tribhuvan University in Nepal and a Master’s degree in Business Administration from Anglia Ruskin University. He was awarded an ‘Ambedkar trustee’ in 2004 By Bharatiya Dalit Sahitya Academy – New Delhi. He likes to promote Dalit rights through a social media campaign.

Sushant Singh, Trustee

Sushant Singh is a distinguished Human Rights Lawyer from India, who has pursued tireless advocacy in combatting caste discrimination and promoting equality at various platforms. He holds an LLM (scholar) in Human Rights from SOAS, University of London, and a B.A. LLB (Hons.) from the National Law University Delhi.   A proven leader, Sushant was elected President of the Student Union at SOAS University for two consecutive terms (2022-2024).  As a fervent Ambedkarite activist, Sushant has been instrumental in advocating for the rights of marginalized communities, particularly focusing on issues related to caste discrimination. His efforts have led to the inclusion of caste as a discriminatory category in student union policies at SOAS, University of London, marking a significant stride towards institutional recognition of caste-based discrimination. Sushant is deeply committed to empowering first-generation learners and students from marginalized backgrounds to pursue international education opportunities. Through initiatives like the Dr. Ambedkar Society at SOAS and the Ambedkar Periyar Phule Study Circle (APPSC) at National Law University Delhi, he has provided platforms for dialogue and change, fostering a community dedicated to social transformation. Notably, Sushant’s impact extends globally through his founding of the Global Ambedkarite Scholar Association (GASA), which aims to unite and empower the brightest minds within the Dalit community worldwide.

Our Team

Gazala Shaikh, Director

Gazala Shaikh has over two decades of experience in international humanitarian and development sector in South and Central Asia. Gazala spent a major part of her career working in different parts of India, starting with grass-roots action, going on to lead programmes and campaigns focusing on equitable development, social justice, access to natural resources, and gender-based development for most marginalized communities. While working at leadership positions with institutions like Development Alternatives, Centre for Environment Education and most recently with Mercy Corps in Tajikistan, she engaged extensively with a wide variety of stakeholders’ including- government, policy makers, civil society institutions, media, influencers, and activist groups. She has led multi-cultural teams, managed large-scale programmes, anchored several coalitions, networks and platforms across countries and regions. Policy dialogue, capacity building, behavior change and policy communication, network and partnership development are her forte.

Gazala is a communication specialist by training with additional training in environment education, negotiation and conflict management and policy analysis and advocacy. In past she has served on inter-agency coordination working groups for migration and refugees in Tajikistan. Gazala was national co-chair for CANSA- India chapter (CANSA – Climate Action Network South Asia). Gazala is a LEAD (Leadership for Environment and Development) Fellow from Cohort 10.


Jeremy Corbyn, MP, Honorary Chair

Singh Bahal

Rob Marris

Dr Aidan McQuade

Jean Lambert

Professor Mary Grey

Dr Vincent Manoharan

John Montagu, Earl of Sandwich

Partners and Supporters

The Farthing Trust The Wyndham Charitable Trust St Clare and St Francis Trust