Current projects

PhD (Social Research Methods), London School of Economics and Political Science 

My thesis explores the emerging concepts, frameworks, and identity locations within mental health and disability activism in India by people with lived experience of mental (ill)health and psychosocial disability. I am particularly interested in the intersection of disability and mental health and the emergence of concepts such as ‘psychosocial disability’. My research explores how mental health and disability concepts emerge through activism; how they are mobilized by activists with psychosocial disabilities; and how psychosocial disability activism is influenced by and in turn influences broader cross-disability activism. 

This research project centers the global South, especially India, and the knowledges and experiences of activists with psychosocial disabilities. It rejects a purely biomedical understanding of mental health, rather it aligns itself with the approaches advanced by disability activists and scholars. The research views experiences of disability as multi-faceted and will privilege the work and voices of those who experience multiple marginalisations in India.

Mad Thinking

Along with Alberto Vasquez, I lead Mad Thinking which is a platform which enables research led by users, survivors, persons with psychosocial disabilities, amplifies voices and knowledges from the global South, and connects researchers and activists with each other. It is hosted by the Centre for Mental Health, Human Rights, and Social Justice at the University of Essex.

Mad Thinking aims to make stronger connections between activism and research to enable research which is driven by activism and activism which is supported by research in the global South. We do this by conducting and facilitating participatory research led by people with psychosocial disabilities as well as challenging and problematizing existing knowledge generation methods.

We are committed to privileging activist knowledges and voices from the global South and are committed to intersectional, feminist, anti-racist, trans and queer friendly, justice-based principles. 

Mad Sad Fat Crip

Mad Sad Fat Crip is a very new (and yet kind of old!) collaboration between Akanksha and Akriti. Through pedagogical interventions, research and writing, spaces of crip care, art, and organising, Mad Sad Fat Crip is a project of intentional study and collective learning, of fostering community, and of surviving that is rooted in disability justice, crip of colour theory and activism, fat liberation, abolitionist politics and fighting for freedom from colonial, capitalist, caste oppression for all.