Without our leadership, Katha would not be where it is today. Our board members hail from the upper echelons of a diverse range of industries and sectors. Their guidance and strategic decision-making—as well as their commitment—inspire us and help steer Katha toward our goals.
KATHA GOVERNING COUNCIL
An IAS officer from Madhya Pradesh Cadre, Anshu Vaish retired as Secretary of School Education and Literacy ,Ministry of HRD, Government. of India. Over her more than 37 years of experience as a public servant, she has worked in several key sectors both at
the State and the GoI levels. Her extensive experience is in the social sector in the Departments of Culture, Women & Child Development, Health, Social Justice and Empowerment. She is the Chairperson of the Task Force on Restructuring of the
National Council for Teacher Education. She serves on the Board of various other nonprofits.
A novelist and short story writer, Dhruba Hazarika is undoubtedly a pioneering writer of Indian writing in English from the North East. His short stories have been published in various newspapers including The Sentinel and The Telegraph. He is the founder-
secretary of the North East Writers’ Forum established in 1997. Two of his novels– A Bowstring Winter (2006) and Sons of Brahma (2014) – and a collection of short stories, Luck (2009), have been published by Penguin India. He was honoured with the
All India Katha Award for Creative Fiction in 1996 and the DY365 Award for Literature in 2014. Previously as a member of the Assam Civil Service, he has had experience in the sectors of Tourism, Sports & Youth Welfare, Environment & Forests. He went in for voluntary retirement to devote more time to his abiding passions, reading and writing. He is an avid trekking and martial arts enthusiast
Geeta Dharmarajan is an inspirational writer, editor, social entrepreneur, and educationist. An award-winning writer for children and adults, with over 48 published books and more than 450 pieces in leading newspapers and magazines, she has over 40
years of professional experience, having served at the India Today Group of Companies, The University of Pennsylvania and INTACH, before Katha. She believes in a world where every child can fulfil their potential and none is stunted by material, emotional or spiritual poverty. Her deep interest in how children and communities learn led to her starting Katha in 1988. She conceptualized and developed Katha’s unique Story Pedagogy and earth-friendly curriculum that is the bedrock for all the reading and education programmes of Katha. She believes that translation is a counter-divisive force in India and her work in literary translation has made Katha a pioneering publisher in the country with a strong pan-Indian community of writers, translators, academics and editors.
She has also served as honorary Chairperson of the National Bal Bhavan, Jawaharlal Nehru’s dream institution for children in India, across social and economic divides. She was honored with the Padma Shri in 2012 for her contributions in the field of Literature and Education.
During his career as an IAS officer of Tamil Nadu cadre, K Dharmarajan served at both the State Government and the GoI levels in the key areas of Finance, Energy and Urban Development, before his retirement in 2003. He has over 30 years of wide-ranging
experience in the field of urban governance and poverty. He was a key player in the drafting and implementation of the 74 th Amendment to the Constitution, and was also instrumental in implementing a nit Area based self assessment Property Tax Reform in Delhi. He is a voracious reader of both adults and children’s books, and is keenly interested in science and technology. He has been a Consultant with the UN and various multilateral and bilateral agencies on energy, urban poverty, urban policy and governance issues.
Internationally recognised for her path-breaking, multidisciplinary work, especially in the fields of culture and the arts, Dr Kapila Vatsyayan is the author of over 15 books. Among her publications, Classical Indian Dance in Literature and the Arts and The
Square and the Circle of the Indian Arts have been milestones of critical scholarship. She is the editor of several volumes on Concepts of Space (akasha) and of Time (kaal). She has edited The Cultural Heritage of India (Volume VII, Parts 1 & II) and co-
edited Aesthetic Theories and Forms in Indian Tradition (Vol. VI, Part I). A Life Trustee of India International Centre (IIC) and the Chairperson of IIC-Asia Project, Dr Vatsyayan was formerly Secretary, Department of Arts, Ministry of HRD; Founder Academic
Director, Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts; a nominated MP (Rajya Sabha); Member, UNESCO Executive Board; and President, IIC. She has been conferred several awards for contribution to the arts and culture including the Padma Vibushan, Sangeeta Natak Akademi Fellowship, and Rajiv Gandhi Sadbhavana Award.
Leela K Ponappa
Ambassador Leela K Ponappa has been a career diplomat for over 35 years. She has served as the Ambassador of India to Thailand and Netherlands, and as a permanent representative to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, and
Permanennt Representative of India to ESCAP. She has served as the Deputy National Security Adviser and Secretary, National Security Council and Additional Secretary in the Ministry of External Affairs. In the Ministry of External Affairs she has held various
important assignments dealing with India’s relations with its neighbours covering a wide range of issues including border negotiations; national security issues including terrorism and narcotics; sharing of river waters, disaster management and
infrastructure projects; and trade and investment. She has also had teaching and research experience – at the National Defence College, New Delhi, as Faculty and the Centre for South and Southeast Asia, University of California, Berkeley, as Research Associate.
Parvinder Kaur joined Katha as a volunteer in 2000 and soon became a full-time faculty member who rose to the position of Vice Principal of the Katha Lab School. She had played a key role in institutionalizing the Katha’s innovations and scaling up the various
initiatives at Katha while maintaining the highest standards of quality. A committed and dedicated member of the Katha family, she soon took over as Principal of the Katha Lab School, then as Director Education, and as Asst Executive Director. She has represented
Katha in many national and international forums to share information on educational trends and issues, and has fostered lasting collaborations and strong relationships. She was elevated to the position of Executive Director in 2014.
R Balasubramanian is a practising Chartered Accountant and a partner in S Ramanand Aiyar & Co (a CA firm established in 1950). He has over 40 years of experience in Auditing – Statutory, Internal, Management and Forensic; Taxation – Domestic and
International; Advisory Services on Company Law Matters, Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA), Foreign Collaborations including issues related to Foreign Direct Investment. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants, a member of the Institute of Internal Auditors of India, and is on the Panel of Arbitrators of Bombay Stock Exchange Limited.
A former Vice Chancellor, National University of Educational Planning, Prof Govinda is presently the JP Naik National Fellow for Studies in Education and Culture, Indian Council for Social Relations. He has taught at the M.S. University of Baroda, Institute of
Education, University of London, and at the International Institute of Educational Planning, UNESCO, Paris. Prof Govinda is member of several national and international bodies such as the Council of Consultant Fellows of International Institute of Educational Planning and the International Advisory Group of the Global Monitoring Report, UNESCO. His current areas of interest cover primary education, decentralised management, policy analysis, human rights and democracy. His publications
include India Education Report — Profile of Basic Education, Oxford University Press; Community Participation and Empowerment in Primary Education in India, SAGE Publications, New Delhi, and Who Goes to School: Study of Exclusion in Education, Oxford
Prof Shantha Sinha is an anti-child labour activist of international reputation. She is the founder of the MV Foundation (named in memory of her grandfather Mamidipudi Venkatarangaiah), and is a Professor in the Department of Political science in Hyderabad Central University. She headed the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights for two consecutive terms (3 years each).
She has made an immense contribution in the area of child development. She has strived hard for eliminating child labour and has played a pivotal role in universalizing elementary education.Her focus is on the development of the girl child and children who
are engaged in the industries as bonded laborers. She has been honoured with several awards including the 2003 Ramon Magsaysay
Award for Community Leadership, the Padma Shri, and the Albert Shankar International Award.
As Managing Director of BT India, Sudhir Narang heads business operations for BT Global services in the Indian subcontinent. He was a member of the Board of Directors of Accel Frontline, and former CEO of Tulip IT services – a data telecom service provider
and IT solutions provider. He has over 20 years of wide experience as a management professional in the Indian IT and Services sector with a strong grounding in all aspects of sales, business development, product support and customer service. Sudhir Narang
has had long stints in senior managerial positions as Vice President (India and SAARC) at CISCO and GM at HCL Connect, where he has dealt with handling verticals comprising enterprises, IT/ITES Public sector and Service Providers, and networking business.
Sudhir Singh Dungarpur
Currently a Partner with PWC in the advisory business, Sudhir Dungarpur is involved in the areas of technology, education and corporate social responsibility. He is also responsible for license management and contract compliance business in Asia with a
mandate to help and advice industries in these areas. He has over 18 years of global experience working in both start-ups as well as multinational corporations in the areas of technology, education and consultancy. Prior to PWC, Sudhir Dungarpur was a Partner in KPMG, where he headed two diverse service lines. He worked with top software publishers, Government and the corporate
clients to curb software piracy and misuse. He also helped set up the Development Sector Practice – a business line which focused on inclusive development within South Asia region. His other earlier senior assignments include as President and CWEO of Q2A
media – an education content provider focused on pre K-12 market; and Vice President at Patni Computer Systems; (now iGATE).Sudhir contributes regularly to voluntary community services which include initiatives in education, environment and improvisation of public services.
OUR FOUNDING MEMBERS
Asang Machwe was the publisher and Managing Director of Wiley Eastern Ltd., a leading publishing house of books and digital solutions for engineering, business and management, computer science, and IT.
NS Jagannathan was a noted journalist and former Editor-in- Chief of Indian Express and Financial Express. He was also an extremely talented writer. He edited the English version of Kamba Ramayanam by Prof P S Sundaram.
An extremely able administrator, P Shankar is a senior Tamil Nadu cadre IAS officer. He has held various positions both in the State and Central Government ministries including Secretary – Ministry of Heavy Industries and as Chief Secretary – Chennai.
Rosalind Wilson was an English woman. She had heard a lot about India when she was studying in Oxford, England. She saved money and travelled to India in 1966. She never went back. Rosalind loved writing for children. She was the founder-editor of the popular children’s magazine Target.
An extremely able administrator, Sarla Gopalan had been occupying very high and responsible posts in government. One of the early woman entrants in the IAS, she retired from the post of Secretary to the Government of India in the department of Women and Child Welfare.
Dr Saroj Pachauri is a distinguished scholar. She joined the Population Council in 1995 as Regional Director, South and East Asia. Prior to joining the Council, Dr Pachauri worked with the Ford Foundation, where she developed the Foundation’s child survival
and reproductive health programmes. She initiated work on HIV and AIDS when there was little acknowledgment of the problem in India and no government programme was in place. Dr Pachauri has published extensively on family planning, maternal and child
health, SRH, HIV/AIDS, adolescents, and reproductive tract infections.
Satya Bhushan Verma
Dr Satya Bhushan Verma was Professor Emeritus in the Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi; Visiting Professor and Academic Advisor in Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University of Japan; and Director, JIGA Institute of Japanese Language, New Delhi. Prof
Verma had been the first professor of Japanese language and literature in India and the founder chairman of the Centre for East Asian Languages in Jawaharlal Nehru University. He was also Visiting Professor in the International Research Centre for Japanese Studies in Kyoto, Japan, during 1991-92.
Srinath ji served in the Government before becoming an entrepreneur. He was an established name in the Export business and entrepreneurship. He was the Managing Director of Nath Brothers Exim International Ltd.
VB Eswaran was an excellent administrator and the doyen in research and development of policies on environment and ecological sustainability. He belonged to the Gujarat cadre of Indian Administrate Services, having served there in various capacities. Later
on, he moved to the Central government, and retired as Expenditure Secretary in the Ministry of Finance. But all along his career, his own first love was conservation of energy, development of sustainable water and forest ecosystems and making natural resources available to the poorest of the poor in the country. He was the Executive Director of Society for Promotion of Wastelands Development.
OUR PRECIOUS PAST MEMBERS OF THE GOVERNING COUNCIL
An economist and career Diplomat, Dr Abid Hussain served as India’s Ambassador to the United States of America. As an IAS officer, he was secretary in the Ministry of Commerce and Heavy Industry, Member of the Planning Commission, and was also advisor to UNESCO.
Anees Jung was the editor of Youth Times (a publication of the Times of India) from 1973 to 1980 and has been a freelance writer and columnist since then, writing for many international publications, including the New York Times, Christian Science Monitor, Vogue and the International Herald Tribune. She was also adviser to the Director-General of UNESCO in Paris from l994 to 1999.
Renowned Writer and former Vice Chancellor of International Hindi University.
Arun Seth was former Chairman of British Telecom UK and British Telecom India. He was a key driver in establishing BT as a leading telecom company in India and also headed the BT's corporate social responsibility activity. Later, he became the Chairman
of Alcatel-Lucent’s India operations to steward the India region to consistent value creation over short, medium, and long term. He was also on the Executive Committee of NASSCOM and a member of the advisory board at TERI.
Arvind Pande is the Chairman of Steel Authority of India Ltd. He passed his MA in Economics from Allahabad and Cambridge University, UK. Mr Pande started his career in the Indian Administrative Services in 1965 and has since then worked in various
governmental and corporate capacities.
Dr Ashok Vajpeyi is an Indian poet in Hindi, essayist, literary-cultural critic, apart from being a noted cultural and arts administrator, and a former civil servant. He was the Chairman of Lalit Kala Akademi, India's National Academy of Arts, Ministry of Culture,
Government of India from 2008–2011. He has published over 23 books of poetry, criticism and art.
An able administrator, CP Sujaya was Joint Secretary in the Department of Women & Child Development; subsequently she held various positions in the ministries at both State and Central levels.
Gowher Rizvi has formerly been the Director of the Ash Institute for Democratic Governance and Innovation at John F Kennedy School of Government, in Harvard University; was Vice Provost for International Programs at University of Virginia, Ford Foundation Representative for South Asia in New Delhi, Dy. Director – Governance & Civil Society at New York office; Director of Contemporary affairs of The Asia Society, New York, Founding Editor of Contemporary South Asia – an academic and policy studies journal published from Oxford.
Krishna Kumar is Professor of education at the University of Delhi, India. Noted for his writings in sociology and history of education, Prof Krishna Kumar has used the school curriculum as a means of social inquiry. As a teacher and bilingual writer, he has developed an aesthetic of pedagogy and knowledge that aspires to mitigate aggression and violence. From 2004 to 2010, he was Director of the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT), an apex organization for curricular reforms in India.
First woman judge of the Delhi High Court and first woman Chief Justice of a State High Court, Leila Seth was former Justice of the Supreme Court of India. She was a member of the 15th Law Commission of India from 1997 to 2000, and was responsible for the
amendments to the Hindu Succession Act that gave equal rights to daughters in joint family property.
A civil Engineer with a Doctorate from University of Minnesota, USA, M Anandakrishnan was Fellow of the Institute of Engineers and Fellow of the National Academy of Sciences in India. He was Chairman of Tamil Nadu Council for Higher Education.
Mani Narayanaswamy was a Trustee at the UB Group.
A retired IAS officer, NN Tandon was the Director at UNIDO, United Nations Industrial Development Organization.
Panna Bharat Ram
Panna Bharat Ram was the Vice Chairman of Sri Centre for Performing Arts.
The founding Partner of Amrop India, Preety Kumar has more than two decades of experience across multiple industries and has a deep understanding of leadership matters and talent issues. Starting with the Eicher Group, Preety has held senior management positions with Amrop globally, having served in Global Task Forces on New Brand Development and Restructuring Global Governance Model. She is also a member of the Global Management Assessment Practice.
A Project & Finance Consultant, S Krishnamoorthy has served as Financial Controller in the Ministry of Civil Aviation. He has also served as Financial Controller, National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT).
Sanjana Kapoor is an Indian theatre personality and former Indian film actress of British and Indian descent. She ran the Prithvi Theatre in Mumbai from 1993 to February 2012 where she regularly curated exciting theatre calendar, toured festivals, presented
theatre at other Mumbai venues and introduced an arts outreach programme for children. She initiated India Theatre forum, an all-India network of theatre practitioners. Currently she is Director of Junoon which is her platform that takes innovations for theatre to practitioners and spectators beyond Prithvi.
One of India’s most respected and influential commentator on political and economic issues, Dr Baru was associated – as an editor/Chief Editor with a number of Financial Newspapers including Financial Express, Economic Times, Business Standard and Times of India. Mr Baru was official spokesman and Media advisor at PM’s office from 2004- 2008. He was also a Member of the National Security Advisory Board in the Prime Minister’s office. He has quite a few publications to his credit on economic and strategic
policies in India and abroad.
Shabana Azmi is a national award-winning theatre and film personality with over four decades of acting experience. She is involved in various social movements and campaigns for rights and justice, particularly for women and minorities.
Sharmila Tagore is an Indian film actress known for her works in Hindi cinema as well as Bengali cinema. She led the Indian Film Censor Board from October 2004 till March 2011. In 2013, she was awarded Padma Bhushan by the Government of India.
Syed Shahid Mahdi
Former Vice Chancellor of Jamia Milia University, Prof Syed Shahid Mahdi was also former Chairman of Delhi Education Society, Dr Zakir Husain Memorial Welfare Society, and Member of Council of National Institute of Educational Planning & Administration
Tarun Das is an Indian industrialist, corporate executive, writer and a former Chief Mentor of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII). He served CII from 1967 to 1974 as its director general and from 1974 to 2004 as its chief executive.
UR Ananthamurthy was an Indian writer and critic. He wrote in the Kannada language. He was thought to be as one of the pioneers of the Navya movement. In 1998, he received the Padma Bhushan award from the Government of India. He was the President
of Sahitya Akademi, and was also one of the finalists of Man Booker International Prize for the year 2013.
An educationist and sociologist, Veena Das is Professor of Anthropology at John Hopkins University. She is an established figure in Indian Anthropology, and one of the most frequently cited anthropologists. Her areas of theoretical specialization include the
anthropology of violence, social suffering, and the state.