Dr. Kota Neelima is an author and researcher, and writes on farmer suicides, gender and rural poor. She has a Ph.D in Political Science from the University of Delhi and a Master’s degree in International Relations from the Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi. Neelima was Senior Research Fellow at The Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), Johns Hopkins University, Washington, DC.

Her research for the past 15 years has focused on distress in rural and urban areas, and an assessment of the role that state and non-state initiatives play in identification and alleviation. She has founded the Institute of Perception Studies, which undertakes research of distressed households in cities and villages of India. Her research identifies gaps in welfare and suggests structured interventions through Rural Distress Reports and Urban Distress Reports, among Farmer Suicide Households (FSH) and High Rural Distress Households (HRDH) through the 10-point Distress Indicator. Besides design, these parameters also help in assessment, evaluation and monitoring of measures taken to reach goals of gender empowerment and emancipation.