Bitchitra Collective Artist Relief Fund - India

UPDATE: This fundraiser has ended. Thank you so much for all your support. Please see the update page below for a list of all grantees.  



By April of 2021, the 2nd wave of Covid-19 had hit an already vulnerable community of struggling independent audio-visual artists harder than ever. Many of All these artists lost their wages as they saw the country grind to a standstill without any safety or pandemic insurance. Particularly for those facing Covid-19 within their homes, loss, medical bills and trauma, this is a living nightmare. With limited vaccination so far, the impact of the next wave will be even more disastrous. While attention is, rightfully, going towards medical needs, a grave financial crisis is also being experienced amongst grassroots filmmakers. Yet, as filmmakers who bring us stories of their world and the world around them, they want to continue to create and grow.


Bitchitra Collective is in contact and in communication with artists in the hardest hit communities in rural and urban India who are facing extreme financial struggle and personal losses due to the second wave of COVID-19. Through nominations by the members of our collective, and their networks, we have identified several such women/non-binary artists who need urgent support. Some of the grantees include community based film researchers, sound designers, voice narrators and audio producers from central India who have won awards and accolades from organizations like Digital Empowerment Foundation (DEF). Many are children of daily-wage and farm laborers who have worked in brick kilns to supplement their family’s income. Today, they have taken to the power of storytelling to bring to light issues facing their communities and the stories of women in their communities. They need this support to continue with this important work.  The Bitchitra Collective is raising money to support these artists.  


  • Identify as a woman, transgender or non-binary
  • Identify as a filmmaker with an established record of one or more audio/visual films to their credit.
  • India based
  • Demonstrates a financial need due to or exacerbated by covid 19 pandemic



You’ve heard this before and it needs reiterating that every penny counts. Please donate as much or any amount you can.

  • $500 (38,000 rupees) will go to each artist in the hope that they will be able to provide for themselves and their families for the next few months.
  • With your help, we hope to not only reach our current set of nominees, but far surpass the current fundraiser bar and reach an even wider group of people. This process of identifying grantees is being done through nominations as well as an open call (depending upon the amount fundraised.)
  • All donations are tax deductible and routed through the 501c(3) organization – Walking Iris Media  that is supporting our collective in disbursing the donations to beneficiaries. Walking Iris Media supports initiatives and programs that promote the visibility of documentary filmmakers of color and addresses the challenges around access and sustainability specifically faced by people of color within the documentary industry


Bitchitra Collective is a growing group of South Asian women and non binary filmmakers who came together in response to the devastating second wave of Covid-19 in India. With limited vaccinations and a mutating virus, the impact of next waves will be even more disastrous. In light of this, we aim to be a support group of South Asian audio-visual artists that also creates opportunities for collective growth. 

Many of us are also members of the larger collective of Brown Girls Doc Mafia – an initiative advocating for 4500 women and non-binary people of color working in the documentary film industry around the world.

Bitchitra Collective is a secular and inclusive network dedicated to the values of equity, justice and diversity.



In addition to your support, if you are a woman/non-binary filmmaker, please join our collective.

More information:



(In alphabetical order) 

Ambarien Alqadar 

Radha Mehta Castro 

Mridu Chandra 

Meghna Damani 

Poorva Dinesh 

Tula Goenka 

Sonali Gulati 

Nishtha Jain 

Leena Jayaswal 

Chithra Jeyaram 

Farha Khatun 

Miriam Chandy Menacherry 

Samina Mishra 

Ruchika Muchhala 

Sneha Mundari 

Meena Nanji 

Devshree Nath 

Avantika Nimbalker 

Maya S Patel 

Raji Ram 

Anu Rana 

Sriyanka Ray 

Richa Sanwal 

Ghania Siddiqui 

Vaishali Sinha 

Juhi Sharma 

Meenakshi Shedde 

Anula Shetty 

Lina Srivastava 

Ishita Srivastava 

Shuchi Talati 

Shashwati Talukdar 

Prerana Thakurdesai 

Priya Thuvassery 

Laj P Waghray 

Kavita Yadav 

Allies from Brown Girls Doc Mafia 



Donations (137)

See top
  • Natasha Israni
    • $50 
    • 2 yrs
  • Lisa Barcy
    • $50 
    • 2 yrs
  • Neville Desouza
    • $30 
    • 2 yrs
  • Victoria Chalk
    • $10 
    • 2 yrs
  • Annie Heminway
    • $200 
    • 2 yrs
See all

Fundraising team (9)

Bitchitra Collective
Raised $375 from 8 donations
Forest Hills, NY
Walking Iris Media
Registered nonprofit
Donations are typically 100% tax deductible in the US.
Prerana Thakurdesai
Team member
Raised $2,367 from 23 donations
Vaishali Sinha
Team member
Raised $1,230 from 17 donations
Shuchi Talati
Team member
Raised $945 from 12 donations
Anu Rana
Team member
Raised $345 from 7 donations
See all

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