Dr Rukmini Rao is a founder-member, Saheli Resource Centre for Women, New Delhi and worked with the organisation from 1981 till 1989 when she returned to Hyderabad. As a women’s rights activist, she participated and shaped campaigns to bring in pro-women legislations including increased punishment for Rape, prevention of Sati, the PCPNDT Act and recognition of Domestic Violence.

From 1990 she worked with the Deccan Development Society to promote women farmer rights, prevent child marriages and child labour. She set up the first rural women’s shelter and for children in Medak district.

Since 1993 she is involved with Gramya Resource Centre for women to prevent trafficking of girl babies and to promote child rights and education. She has been working to ensure education for all in Chandampet and Devarkonda mandals of Nalgonda district. Rukmini works closely with a network of NGOs in India to promote child rights, women’s rights and rights of indigenous communities. She has won the “Woman of the Year” award in 2014. Gramya has won the best NGO award in the mandal in 2015, and the best NGO award in Telangana state in 2016.