Purna is Deputy Director of the Institute of Public Affairs at the London School of Economics, where she previously set up and ran a leadership programme and ran an MSc degree. She is also Chair of the board of the Kaleidoscope Trust (working with LGBT activists in hostile environments), a member of the Board of RISE, (providing services on violence against women in Brighton) and an Advisor to Justice for Gay Africans. She has served as Head of Human Rights for the Commonwealth Secretariat and as Director for the Asia-Pacific Programme at Amnesty International. She has taught in adult, further and higher education.
Purna’s work has covered various aspects of discrimination and inequality, in the UK and beyond. She has been an activist and campaigner, conducted research, advised governments, produced publications on violence against women, human rights, trafficking, sexuality and sexual control, social development issues and race equality in the UK. Her over-riding concern is that those who are politically or economically marginalised find a respected place in society and can enjoy lives of dignity.
Purna came though the state education system and chose to send her children to state schools, as she believes that those who eat, play and learn together go on to build a society at ease with itself.