Dakshina is a writer, rights advocate and well-being specialist. She trained as a criminal barrister working on cases of murder, rape,domestic violence and child abuse. She has a Masters in Criminology and was granted a scholarship to pursue a PhD in forensic medicine,the doctor-patient relationship and occupational cultures for which she was awarded honorary membership to the society of Police Surgeons and a lectured in Criminology and Jurisprudence at the University of Leeds Law Faculty.
She played a key role in the development and implementation of patient Chronic Disease Self-Management practice in the UK (including HIV, cancer and mental health) and helped to establish the Frida Network for women with disabilities to advocate for their sexual and reproductive health culminating in making a speech in the Houses of Parliament for women’s health rights.
In Brazil, Dakshina was President of an international women’s network raising awareness and funds for orphanages, HIV communities and street kids. She was engaged by Ambassadors and CEOs as a high performance personal development coach; launched exhibitions for local paintersand photographers; and had over 60 ‘South Side Stories’ articles published by the US Embassy.
In India Dakshina was creative consultant on a documentary film focusing on children of sex workers and human trafficking (listed for an international film award); edited Delhi Bites and contributed the text of the photography book Picture Delhi. Dr Gammanpila moonlights as an MC including the miniatures exhibition and the East India Company introducing the British, Dutch and French ambassadors and William Dalrymple; as well as the annual Melbourne Cup and openings for the French company L’Opéra. She was President of Women’s International in its Golden jubilee year.
Dakshina’s 2 columns one for the US Embassy and another for Delhi Diary have been widely read and she hosts in conversation sessions at the Oxford Book Store including topics on section 377 and gender, rights and identity. She hosted the Dance/drama debut for a New York/ India collaboration on HIV research. Dakshina was contributory playwright for 6 sell-out performances at the National School of Drama tackling issues such as xenophobia, homosexuality and domestic violence. She has conducted well-being workshops on mental health, stress, pain-manangement and a wide variety of women’s health topics.
This year Dakshina was as an expert on two International Women’s Day panels and has given talks to students on race, gender and bias. She is currently writing a book with Padmashri awardee architect and designer Sunita Kohli. Her book South Side Stories is Dakshina’s first collection of her columns of life as an ex-pat.