SALCO’s staff is comprised of a dedicated group of activists, lawyers, community legal works, and support staff. They bring tremendous experience from many parts of the South Asian Diaspora and are passionate advocates for the issues that face our low-income South Asian constituency.
(416) 487-6371 ext. 40
Shalini Konanur is the Executive Director and a lawyer at the South Asian Legal Clinic of Ontario (SALCO). As a student at Osgoode Hall Law School Shalini worked at both Parkdale Community Legal Services and C.L.A.S.P. in the worker’s rights division. Shalini has been actively involved in several areas of poverty law reform, including lobbying at the municipal, provincial, and federal level for social assistance, housing, immigration, employment, and family violence reform. Shalini has also spearheaded SALCO`s test case work, challenging issues of racial, gender, and religious discrimination at the Supreme Court of Canada, the Ontario Court of Appeal, and the Federal Court. Shalini’s work focuses on the promotion of access to justice for racialized communities in Canada and on addressing poverty for SALCO’s low-income constituency.
(416) 487-6371 ext 42
Silmy Abdullah was called to the Ontario bar in 2013. She holds a Juris Doctorate degree from the University of Ottawa and a Masters degree in Sociology and Equity Studies from the University of Toronto. Prior to joining SALCO, Silmy was a staff lawyer at an organization that works to end violence against women, where she focused on public legal education, research and law reform. Silmy is also a passionate fiction writer. She is currently working on a collection of shorts stories and is represented by the Transatlantic Agency. In 2016, she completed a six month mentorship with Canadian author, Lawrence Hill under Toronto’s Diaspora Dialogues program for emerging writers. At SALCO, Silmy practices primarily in the areas of Immigration and Poverty law and provides services to clients in Bangla, Hindi, Urdu and English
(416) 487-6371 ext. 45
Vanathy Wimaleswarans has been an employee of the Legal Aid sector for over 17 years. A graduate from Ryerson University, Vanathy has always had a passion to work in the administrative sector. She has been working in the capacity of an Office Administrator at SALCO since it’s inception in 2008. She brings her quick wit, efficiency and amazing organizational skills to SALCO and is the glue that keeps SALCO running smoothly. Her positive attitude and cheerful disposition enable individuals to feel at ease and welcome.
Community Legal Worker/Paralegal – Currently on Mat leave
Aruna Boodram has been with SALCO since 2013 and is a licensed Paralegal and Community Legal Worker. After completing an Honours Degree from Queen’s University, she continued her education at Seneca College in the Paralegal Studies program, where she graduated with honours. She has been a community organizer for the past 12 years in Toronto and Kingston and has worked with a plethora of communities on various social justice issues. In addition to her legal work, she is an independent consultant and facilitator that specializes in anti-oppression, facilitation training and strategic planning sessions for non-profits and grassroots organizations.
(416) 487-6371 ext. 41
jasleen holds a specialized honours degree from York University, and a Juris Doctorate from Osgoode Hall Law School. During her time at Osgoode, she worked in the administrative law division at C.L.A.S.P and assisted with various areas of law, including housing and social assistance. She used her time in law school to engage the student body in various social justice initiatives, such as an annual fundraising event for Eva’s Place through the Osgoode Feminist Collective. She graduated with the C.L.A.S.P. Prize for Social Justice. jasleen articled at the Community Legal Clinic – Simcoe, Haliburton, Kawartha Lakes. In 2019, she was one of the key organizers of “Push Back! Drive Forward!”, the Law Union of Ontario’s Annual Conference. She currently is a director on the board of the Alliance for South Asian AIDS Prevention. At SALCO, jasleen offers services in English and Panjabi.
Community Legal Worker/Paralegal
(416) 487-6371 ext. 48
Athursh Vaithilingam is a licensed Paralegal and Community Legal Worker with SALCO. He graduated from both the Paralegal Studies and Law Clerk programs from Centennial College. He has been an active member within the Durham Tamil community as a youth since 2000, and has worked with various grassroots organizations providing progressive leadership in the Tamil community in Canada. He is a member of the Tamil Cultural and Academic Society of Durham and the Tamil Canadian Centre for Civic Action. He has been involved in access to justice and social justice projects, providing a voice for the most vulnerable members of society. He is passionate about the emancipation of Eelam Tamils, working with youth and community building initiatives. Athursh offers services to client in both Tamil and English.
416-487-6371 ext 47
Fareeha has over ten years of experience working in the areas of social justice, law reform and transitional justice issues. She brings her years of experience working with the South Asian community including in Sri Lanka, India, Nepal and Thailand. Fareeha has conducted many training programs and been part of several research and publications in the areas of human rights, conflict transformation and peacebuilding. She holds a Masters in Law degree from Osgoode Hall Law School, York University. Prior to joining SALCO Fareeha worked at CASSA to develop a Legal Toolkit: A Guidebook on Transitional Issues for Refugee Youth. She is a Mediation Coach and an alternative dispute resolution (ADR) practitioner. She offers services to clients in Tamil, Sinhala, and English.
416-487-6371 ext 43
Iqra Rafique was called to the bar in June 2018. She holds an Honours Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from York University, as well as a Juris Doctorate from Osgoode Hall Law School. In law school, Iqra worked as a Division Leader at the Community and Legal Aid Services Program, where she assisted clients with income security matters, tenancy disputes, and applications to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board. Iqra also worked at a non-profit organization focused on ending violence against women and youth as well as at the Barbra Schlifer Commemorative Clinic. After law school, Iqra articled at the legal branch of the Office of the Public Guardian and Trustee, where she gained experience in civil and estates litigation, family law, and guardianship and power of attorney matters. At SALCO, Iqra practices primarily in the areas of immigration and income security law and provides services to clients in Urdu and English.