Usri Basistha(They / Them / Theirs)

Associate, Inclusion at Work, Queer Affirmative Counsellor, Advisor & Trainer (ADAH), Queer Non-Binary Neurodivergent Activist

Educational Qualification

PG Diploma Certificate Course

Psychological Counselling and Family Therapy, Jadavpur University, Kolkata

M.A. in English

Presidency University

Certificate in Queer Affirmative Counselling

Mariwala Health Initiative, Mumbai

Relevant Past Experience

Moner Pathshala

A Residential program about Queer Affirmative Counselling Practices, organized by Sappho for Equality, an NGO and queer collective based in Kolkata, 2022

Completed the pilot Peer Support Program

Organized by One Future Collective in January, 2023

Contributed a Personal Essay in the Anthology

Side Effects of Living: An Anthology of Voices on Mental Health

After having worked as a writer, editor, and translator for nine years Usri shifted gears to queer rights and mental health advocacy. To that end, Usri has completed a PG Diploma course in Guidance, Psychological Counselling and Family Therapy from Jadavpur University, Kolkata. They trained as a Queer Affirmative Counsellor from Mariwala Health Initiative, Mumbai. Pursuing a trauma informed approach, they also certified as a Peer Supporter from One Future Collective, Mumbai.

Under the ambit of Mental Health at Work, their work involves creating content and generating awareness through trainings and other engagement tools on mental health, wellbeing and resilience, focusing on the intrinsic and extrinsic factors impacting wellbeing at the workplace, working with organizations and managers to work towards building healthy workspaces.

As a part of Inclusion at Work their role involves creating content and generating awareness through trainings and other engagement tools on the topic of inclusion at various levels—such as queer and or disabled folx, rights of persons with marginalized identities, understanding the biases against queer and neurodiverse folx, and factors influencing vulnerabilities of the LGBTQIA+ and neurodiverse persons; working with both neurodiverse, queer persons and cisgender heterosexual able-bodied neurotypical people who create the larger framework of mainstream workspaces.

They completed their Masters’ in English from Presidency University, Kolkata and pursued a writing career. Previously, they worked as a Features Writer for Tehelka Magazine. During their writing stint they have also worked in the capacities of an editor and translator.

Usri has nine years of experience around ideating and creating projects around various human-interest stories, which mainly revolve mainly around the intersection of gender, sexuality, mental health and culture. They have covered stories on acid attack survivors, portrayal of LGBTQIA+ in cinema and the first edition of India’s “International Film Festival for Persons with Disabilities”.

Usri’s passion in creating spaces of safety and community for marginalized identities comes from their lived experience and understanding of intersectionality. As a queer non-binary neurodivergent person, they have contributed to an anthology about mental health, “Side Effects of Living: An Anthology of Voices on Mental Health”. Their bylines also include publications like Smashboard, Feminism in India, Re:Set, The Naked Truth, Gaysi Family etc. In their spare time, Usri uses the mediums of art and poetry to craft stories on diversity, interpersonal dynamics, social forces, and the universal need to belong.

Articles Written By Them

Inclusion

Inclusion at Work