She is a psychiatrist by training and a co-founder of SCARF. She has been the Director since 1996. In 2018 June, she stepped down as Director and was named Vice Chairman of the Board and Chair, Research and DEMCARES. Passionate about disability issues, she lobbied a lot to include mental disability in the Persons with Disabilities Act in 1995. She was largely instrumental in the development of ‘IDEAS’, a measuring tool to assess mental disability. Dr.Thara is instrumental in linking with WHO and other international organizations. She is the Advisor on mental health issues to the DG, WHO, Geneva and was a member of the Institute Body of NIMHANS. She has over 150 research publications and is on the Editorial Committee of several international Journals.