Katha Utsav Mentors

Arunima Mazumdar, Writer & Journalist

Arunima works with Roli Books, one of the foremost Indian publishing houses of India. She has worked as a journalist in the past and continues to write on arts, culture and travel for various publications such as The Hindu Business Line, Scroll, Femina, and Mumbai Mirror. Books are her best friend and she has keen interest in travel literature, written especially by Indian authors.


Ankit Chadha – Writer & Storyteller

Ankit Chadha is a writer-storyteller who brings together performance, literature and history. He specializes in Dastangoi – the art of Urdu storytelling, and has written, translated, compiled and performed stories under the direction of Mahmood Farooqui. His first book for children, the national award-winning My Gandhi Story was published by Tulika in 2013.


Arvind Gaur

Arvind Gaur, Indian director, is known for his work in innovative, socially and politically relevant theatre.Gaur’s plays are contemporary and thought-provoking, connecting intimate personal spheres of existence to larger social political issues. His work deals with Internet censorship, communalism, caste issues, feudalism, domestic violence, crimes of state, politics of power, violence, injustice, social discrimination, marginalization, and racism. Arvind is the leader of Asmita, Delhi‘s “most prolific theatre group”, and is an actor trainer, social activist, street theatre worker and story teller.

Gaur was the recipient of a research fellowship awarded by the Ministry of Human Resource Development (India). He was on the guest faculty of Delhi University for Theatre in education program for three years. He has conducted many theatre workshops and performed in colleges, institutions, universities and schools in India and abroad.

He has organized theatre workshops for children in schools and slums as well as street theatre performances on socio-political issues. He has directed more than 60 stage plays over two decades.

Dr.Vidur Jyoti

A surgeon by training, Dr Vidur Jyoti has lived the opportunity provided by his profession to experience Life in totality as it unfolds to him in the form of an interaction with the suffering and the smiling. Acquaintance with the physical lead him to search the metaphysical, knowledge of the mundane provided the impetus to search the wisdom of the transcendental, seeing the picture goaded him to seek a vision of the canvas. Medical training lead him to literature in the pursuit of his quest to savour the ultimate experience of oneness which the creation and creativity reveal by themselves through all that gets created irrespective of the form or duration of that revelation. He has expressed his quest and the resultant experiences in the form of prose and poetry with equal élan. His writings have been anthologised widely and translated too. He lives in Gurgaon, India where he is engaged in his practice of Surgery besides pursuing his interest in photography, philosophy and Vedanta.

He was one of the editors of the First Katha Book of Haiku Haibun Senryu and Tanka, His work has been included in many anthologies like ‘Indian Haiku’. Modern English Tanka, Sketchbook and also published in online and print journals of Haiku and Haibun. He also published his haiku and Haibun in a book called ‘Carvings on Dew’ published recently by Partridge.

Kala Ramesh

Kala Ramesh is neck deep in haiku! With her face barely visible, she’ll take you for a swim in an exotic Japanese river. Come, enter the cool waters!  Kala has more than a 1000 poems published all over the world and is an external faculty member of the Symbiosis International University where she teaches haiku, renku – collaborative linked verses and tanka – a lyrical five line poem.

Kala’s work is anthologised in two prestigious publications: Haiku 21: an anthology of contemporary English-language haiku (Modern Haiku Press, 2012) & Haiku in English – the First Hundred Years (W.W. Norton 2013).


Kamal Pruthi

Kamal Pruthi is a recipient of ATSA (Art Think South Asia-2014) fellowship in the field of Arts management and Goethe’s Scholarship for young theatre practitioners of the world-2006. Active in the Theatre industry since 1999, Kamal is active as the artistic director of a young theatre company “Museum Theatre” since 2012. The theatre company is named after a unique storytelling format created by him, which breaks the convention of proscenium and street formats of theatre.

Along with his experimental use of spaces, his specialization lies in Children Theatre & Storytelling for children & adults and most of his directed plays are in storytelling theatre format. As an actor, kamal has rendered professional performances in 6 languages, that is Hindi, Urdu, Punjabi, English, German and Kannada.

Manisha Gupta, Founder & MD (LOGIHQ Training & Publishing)

Writer, Poet, Painter & Trainer, Manisha is an M.Sc-Maths (University Topper) with PGD in Computer Applications and carried out extensive work on IPRs (Intellectual Property Rights) and ADR and is also a Trained Mediator. IPR work spans 14 years, focusing on protecting India’s Intangible Cultural Heritage including   consulting assignments for the UN.

Recently her Debut Screenplay WON 3 Awards at International Film Festivals (Los Angeles, India) and nominated at many. Her short film WON an Award at an internatioanl film festival in India & has been NOMINATED in 8 International Film Festivals in India & Abroad.

A prolific writer with many articles published in leading national dailies, reputed magazines, been a columnist with “The Financial Express” magazine “SME World”. Has lived in Japan and learnt the Japanese language art & culture, including Haiku. Has been invited to Judge Interschool Poetry Competitions at D.P.S R.K Puram (2015 & 2016) and also conducted HAIKU workshop for the school.

She has been invited to speak at international conferences in India and abroad (“Innovasia-2005” in BANGKOK and “Women in Leadership Forum–India-2010”). Has trained people on IPRs, Quality & Branding, Social Compliance, Entrepreneurship & Motivation and is involved in various skill development programmes. Has been Visiting Faculty at a centre of Ministry of Textiles- New Delhi.

Her debut painting exhibition was a Japanesse Embassy endorsed event & part of the “Japan-India Friendship Year-2007” celebrations.

Nirmala Nair – Communication Designer & filmmaker

Nirmala Nair is a communication designer and documentary filmmaker. She graduated from the National Institute of Design in Visual Communication Design and wants to focus on bridging the existing gap between mainstream, popular content and meaningful, socially relevant content. She works on issues like social-inequality, caste based discrimination, human trafficking and gender inequality and uses media to bring about a change in attitudes and behavior of people.

Nirmala manages the MTV EXIT campaign for India. MTV EXIT is the world’s largest behavior change campaign in the fight against human trafficking and exploitation. She has a keen interest in community media, dance, theatre and the arts and is a trained Kathakali artist.


Piyali Dasgupta

Piyali Dasgupta an independent consultant. She is a capacity building/expressive arts specialist, experientialist and strategist. Over the last 16 years she has been working across industries like education, hospital, corporate, NGOs and creative organizations.  Her calling and work for “children, youth and adult’s empowerment” has given her an intrinsic knowledge of the psyche and developmental needs of children and youth spanning a diverse age group of 3 -25 years. Her first documentary film, “Voices in our head” was premiered and showcased as one of the 53 international films at VIBGYOR International Film Festival, Kerala; 2013.She is the founder and organizer of “India Festival of Children and Youth” which shifts the current educational discourse to a broader vision of social awareness and creative consciousness amongst youth. The event debuted with 200 children hailing from underprivileged backgrounds as participants. As a certified storyteller she is also part of a select group of 1000 international professional storytellers from 47 countries, RED INTERNACIONAL DECUENTACUENTOS. She strives to bring together philanthropy, commerce and creative arts together as the best possible means to achieve a sustainable world. He has been an AIR commentator for events like the Republic Day Parade, Independence Day, the 1987 Commonwealth Summit [Vancouver] etc.

Rashmi Chaudhary

Rashmi started writing at a very young age. She is well versed in writing poetry, short stories and articles for various magazines. Some of her works have been published by Target Publications and National Book Trust of India. She is very passionate about children’s literature which also happens to be her current field of research. She has also worked as an announcer at AIR Almora for almost 4-5 years. A very enthusiastic badminton player, blogger and a dancer, Rashmi is currently pursuing her PhD at IIT Bombay.”


Sangeeta Barooah Pisharoty

Sangeeta Barooah Pisharoty is a New Delhi based senior journalist. She began her journey in journalism 20 years ago. While the first six years were spent covering a range of political and social issues for the United News of India, the rest of the 14 years were spent in The Hindu where she concentrated on writing features on a wide variety of subjects which included social development, education, literature, travel, gender, food and lifestyle and India’s Northeast. She is presently on a sabbatical to translate a novel from Assamese to English.


Shilpi Sarkar

A couple of years ago, she embarked upon the adventure of setting up ‘Suvro’s Institute for Self-development and Leadership’ to provide individuals with the chance to explore their true potential and experience various processes which can lead to living lives of greater awareness, meaning and happiness. She was certainly not the conventional good student (one reason that she encourages high-school students not to obsess over examination marks but to find out what they are really interested in and what they are good at) but went on to become a knowledge hunter. Along the way, she gathered two Master’s degrees (Presidency College and Purdue University), won fellowships and did a PhD (Purdue University) on her mentor, Suvro Chatterjee. She spent decades of observing, reading a wide mix of material, listening, reflecting, studying, learning, teaching and imbibing certain ideas and ideals which have become a part of her experience and self.


Suverchala Kashyap 

is an accomplished educationist, communicator and journalist. She has a versatile background, with a dual degree (Masters) in Botany and Education, topped with a diploma in Journalism and Communication.  She was an International Associate (India) for Aspire Trust Liverpool, UK (www.aspire-trust.org). Recipient of two National awards for innovation in education. Rajiv Gandhi Education Excellence Award 2011 conferred on 25th August 2011. The Dr. Radhakrishna Samman conferred by the director of Avantika, Dr. Anand Agarwal on 26th November 2010. Founded an educational firm called Intelliscape EdVentures LLP and currently am the CEO, heading a partnership that is closely involved in bringing about a change in the field of education. Have conducted training and interventions in Nepal, Lucknow, Surat, Ahmadabad and Vadodara.


Vikramjit Singh Rooprai

Vikramjit Singh Rooprai is a Heritage Activist, who started his career as a Software Engineer. While he still consults with few MNCs as their Digital Marketing Consultant, he spends most of his time promoting and protecting the Heritage of India.

He is the founder of Delhi Heritage Photography Club and Youth for Heritage Foundation. His organization conducts exhibitions, walks and lectures at Corporates, Colleges and Schools.


Vikram Abhishek Mall – Trainer

Vikram Mall has 19 years of experience in facilitating and designing of Learning & Development initiatives for organizations.  He has worked with The Body Shop, Freight Systems, Samsung and Nokia. He is accredited in MBTI, DISC and TKI. He is also a Member of Toastmasters International, theatre enthusiast, SCUBA diver and enjoys horse riding, cooking and the outdoors. Before moving into L&D has run a farm, taught at a leading boarding school and worked at an elderly people home.

Vikram Sridhar 

Vikram Sridhar is a Performance storyteller and theatre practitioner based in Bangalore. He has been working with a number of theatre groups across India for about a decade now is the co-founder Tahatto, a Bangalore based theatre group. Tahatto performs regularly in Bangalore and in festivals across India.  He has volunteered and worked with different organizations in the Animal welfare and conservation space from his childhood days. And also consults and works with organizations in the social sector.  He combines the three in his Storytelling to make a difference. He performs his stories across various spaces and cities in India .He has been written about in various media for his high energy interactive style of Storytelling. He was a panelist at the Hindu Literary Festival, Chennai and the Bangalore Literary Festival this year .He was a recent TEDx speaker and spoke about the power of Oral Storytelling in the contemporary times and has been invited to the Hindu College-Delhi, MSRIT- Bangalore and other prestigious institutions to share his idea of a future with world of Choices. He has spoken at the Construktfestival, Toastmasters, Rotary Round tables, Financial Planner summit etc in the quest to tap the power of Oral Stories and Arts in a contemporary world.

Over the last 3 years he has been sharing stories to children of various age groups and background across India.