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Sat 26 Mar 2022
Sun 27 Mar 2022

9:00 AM - 6:00 PM (UTC+5.5)

Conference on Feminine in Hinduism


INDICA Presents

Conference on Feminine in Hinduism

Cotton University, Guwahati, Assam

From 9.00am to 6.00pm on 26 & 27 Mar 2022


DAY 01

26th March 2022

Inaugural Session – 9.00am to 10.00am

1 Dr. Nagaraj Paturi, Senior Director & Chief Curator Welcome Address
2 Ms.Sumedha Verma Ojha, Member – Environmental, Social & Governance Council and Co-curator Concept of the Conference
3 Ms.Smriti Irani, Honourable Minister of Women and Child Development Keynote Address (Online)


Session 1 – Discussion on Constructs of Feminism with examples of Women from Itihas by Ms.Sumedha Verma Ojha, Dr. Lavanya Vemsani & Dr. Sushumna Kannan – 10.00am to 11.00am


Tea Break – 11.00am to 11.20am


Session 2 – Different Reflections of Feminine and Femininity – 11.20am to 12.40pm

1 Neeraja Sheth (Online) The Kanyatva of the Panchakanya – The Ideal of Femininity in Hinduism
2 Dr.Aaryaa Ashutosh Joshi (Online) Feminism of the Earth and the River in Hindu Traditions and Customs
3 Akshay Mohanan & Aishwarya.S A glimpse of HER from the dawn
4 Shefali Vaidya स्त्रीजन्मा म्हणूनी न व्हावे उदास


Session 3 – Folk Traditions – 12.40pm to 1.00pm

1 Hitangi Brahmbhatt The Visual Representation of Radha in the Gita Govinda Paintings from Gujarat


Lunch Break – 1.00pm to 2.00pm


Session 3 – Folk Traditions Continues – 2.00pm to 3.20pm

2 Dr. Komal Agarwal Hyperlocal Deities, Seasonal Festivals and Mnemonic Rituals of the Marwari Community: Women’s Roles in the Preservation of the Intangible Cultural Heritage
3 Prasanth Bhanudevan Bhadrakāḷī Cult of Kerala: Devotional Practices in Textual and Folk Traditions
4 Sri Prabhav Paturi Examining the all Encompassing Nature of the Feminine under the Hindu Pantheon: A Scriptural and Folkloral View


Tea Break – 3.20pm to 3.40pm


Session 4 – STRF Fellows Introduction by Ms.Sumedha Verma Ojha – 3.40pm to 6.30pm

1 Dr. Sushumna Kannan (Online) The Feminine in the Mahabharata
2 Dr. Srilakshmi Peddada (Online) Legal Dimensions of Streedhan
3 Dr. Ankita Dutta Matri Shakti Worship in Bharat: A Study of the Ambubachi Mela in the Kamakhya Shaktipeeth of Pragjyotishpur
4 Deepa Yogesh Kulkarni The Role of Gram Devis in the Lives of Urban Poor, their Link with Shakta Tradition and Carry Over from village Routes of these Communities
5 Shikha Sharma Social Reform through Female Spirituality: An Analysis of the Lives of Sister Nivedita and Acharya Chandana in the Context of Hinduism and Jainism
6 Sandhya MP Anand Extent of Influence and Impact of Female Monks in Special Reference to Kavunthi Adigal in Early Jainism on Hindu Values and Vice Versa with Reference to Sangam Literature and Archeological Evidences
7 Dr. Payal Gaurav Mehta Mompreneurs of 21st Century: Discover the Goddess within ‘You’ with the Concepts of Indic Feminism
8 Nupur Deshpande, Rohit Kunte, Sadiya Mulla & Jayanthilal Twinkle Jain Exploring the Construct of Feminism through Maharashtrian Women’s Perspective on Women Empowerment and their Experience of Festivals


DAY 02 

27th March 2022


Session 3 – Folk Traditions Continues – 9.00am to 9.40am

6 Dr. Rinkoo Wadhera (Online) Altering Destiny-Narrative & Ritual in Shri Ahoi Aathe Vrat Katha at Kashipur
7 Prof. Sarada Thallam Divine Feminine under Siege:The Narratives of Gangamma and Vasavi


Session 5 – Devi and Sakti Concepts – 09.40am to 11.00am

1 Dr. Papia Mitra The Female Absolute: Cosmos as Manifestation of Shakti
2 Arvind V Iyer Cit and Citi: Emergence of the Sacred Feminine in the Understanding of Consciousness via Vedānta and Yoga
3 Shanmugam .S (Online) Gender Equality in Hinduism Literature
4 Dr. T. Ganesan Śakti and Śiva: The Two in One of Śaivism


Tea Break – 11.00am to 11.20am


Session 5 – Devi and Sakti Concepts Continues – 11.20am to 1.00pm

5 Smt. Meena Sundaram Devaki – The Unique Mother
6 Abhisek Kumar Panda Varna Symbolises the Four Forms of The Shakti
7 Smt. Janani Ananthanarayanan Janani – Jagatkarini Paripoorani
8 Dr. Pawan Kumar The Hermeneutics of Misrepresentation of the Divine Feminine: Creating an Eastern Psycho-Philosophical Countercurrent to the Western Interpretation of Śakti in Kunḍalinī Yoga
9 Deepa Kiran Chinnamasta Devi – Agency and the Hindu Goddess


Lunch Break – 1.00pm to 2.00pm


Session 6 – Role Models – 2.00pm to 2.40pm

1 Shital Ravi Women saints of Maharashtra and their impact on society -‘Then and now’.
2 Dr.V.Yamuna Devi The Two Less-known Women Role Models of the 17th Cent. C.E. Dīpāmbā – the Diplomat and Āvuḍai Akkā- the Advaitin


Session 7 – Art and the Feminine – 2.40pm to 4.00pm

1 Dr. Siri Rama From Lasya to Kalika Tandava: A Study of Accommodation and Conflict in the Feminine Aspect of Dance in Hindu Art, Thought and Literature
2 Ms. Lakshmi Subramanian [Durga] (Online) Parallels between Female Menstrual Practices in Relation to Contemporary Classical Dance Praxis, Yoga & Sculpture
3 Dr. Janardan Ghosh Spiritual Realization Through the Performance of the Feminine: Sri Ramakrishna’s Rāgānugā Bhakti Sādhana as a Case Study
4 Dr. Vinay Kumar Feminine Beauty and Social Life as Reflected in Early Buddhist Sculptural Art of Central India


Tea Break – 4.00pm to 4.20pm


Session 8 – Feminine in Hinduism through Performing Arts – 4.20pm to 5.20pm

1 Dr. M. Venkateshwara Rao Ardhanareeswaram (Video)
2 Smt. Sridevi Iyengar Shakti Swaroopini (Video)
3 Deepa Kiran The Feminine Solutions


Session 9 – Valedictory – 5.20pm to 6.00pm

1 Ms.Rashmi Bansal – Online Contemporary Concerns of Hindu Business Women
2 Dr. Ankita Dutta Summary of the Conference
3 Dr. Nagarj Paturi Vote of Thanks

Dr Nagaraj Paturi

Senior Director & Chief Curator, INDICA

Dr Nagaraj Paturi trained in Sanskrit and Advaita Vedanta by his hyper-polyglot, polymath and spiritually accomplished sakala-shaastra-paarangata father, late Sri Paturi Sitaramanjaneyulu garu, he is seriously committed to the transmission of Vedic sciences to the present generation. He designed a very big number of courses of contemporary applications of Vedic Sciences and has been successfully teaching them and getting them taught. Presently he is Presently he is Director, Indic Academy And Distinguished Professor, Curriculum Designer, Executive Committee Member and Member, Board of Studies, MIT School of Vedic Sciences, Pune. Member, Board of Studies for Chinmaya Vishwavidyapeeth, Kavikulaguru Kalidasa Sanskrit University, Veda Vijnana Gurukula. Formerly Senior Professor of Cultural Studies FLAME School of Communication and FLAME School of Liberal Education Former Visiting Professor, University of Chicago, US) In his PhD (1998, UoH) Developed Indic Model of Myth Criticism of Literature. MPhil (1987, UoH) Brought out Vakyapadiyam as theoretical foundation of Ashtaadhyaayee Around 50 publications, around 60 conference /seminar/ workshop papers. Consultancy to numerous culture research and theater and dance innovation projects. Scores of creative writing works for Classical Dance, Modern Theater and magazines. Several series of talks and other programs on Radio and Television channels.


Ms.Sumedha Verma Ojha

Member - Environmental, Social & Governance Council and Co-curator

Sumedha Verma Ojha is an author, columnist and speaker, was born in Patna and educated in Delhi, graduating in Economics (Lady Sriram College) and post-graduating in Sociology (Delhi School of economics). After 15 years in the Indian Revenue Service she switched careers to research and write a book set in the Mauryan period based on the Arthashastra of Chanakya. ‘Urnabhih’ then expanded into a book series on the Mauryan Empire. Sumedha is a Member of the Editorial Advisory Board at Indic Today. She works in the area of translating and explaining the epics and bringing ancient Sanskrit/Prakrit literature to the English speaking Indian as also in the area of a gendered analysis of ancient India. She lives with her husband near Geneva and has two children both studying in the US.


Ms.Smriti Irani

Honourable Minister of Women and Child Development


Dr. Lavanya Vemsani


Lavanya Vemsani, award winning scholar and professor of History specializing in Indian History and Religions, is Professor of History in the department of Social Sciences at Shawnee State University, Portsmouth, Ohio. She holds two doctorates in the subjects of Religious Studies (McMaster University) and History (University of Hyderabad). She was awarded South Asia Council of the Canadian Asian Studies Association's (SACA/CASA) Best Thesis Honorable Mention prize for her Ph.D. thesis at McMaster University. Her research and teaching interests are varied, and multifold. She researches and publishes on subjects of ancient history and religions as well as current history of India. Her books include Modern Hinduism in Text and Context; Krishna in History, Thought, and Culture: Encyclopedia of the Hindu Lord of Many Names; Hindu and Jain Mythology of Balarama. She is the Editor-in-Chief of American Journal of Indic Studies; Managing Editor of International Journal of Indic Studies and Editorial and Review Board Member of Air Force Journal of Indo-Pacific Affairs as well as Canadian Journal of History. She is current Vice-President and President-Elect of Ohio Academy of History (2018-2020).


Dr. Sushumna Kannan


Sushumna Kannan has a PhD in Cultural Studies from Centre for the Study of Culture and Society, Bangalore, India. Her research on the South Asian devotional traditions and feminist epistemology focused on the medieval mystic, Akka Mahadevi and her vachanas. She received the Bourse Mira, French research fellowship in 2006 and 2007 and the Sir Ratan Tata fellowship for PhD Coursework and Writing in 2003 and 2007. She has published some of her research work on Bhakti and dharmashastras and has an essay on translation theory. She has completed a book project on Hinduism, Violence and Nonviolence and is currently working on a translation of the Yoganga Trividhi by Akka Mahadevi and on a research project on the position of women in the Manusmriti. For her writings, visit: www.sushumnakannan.weebly.com


Neeraja Sheth

Seeker, Investor, Entrepreneur

Neeraja Sheth has worked in senior executive positions in Information Technology and Consulting, responsible for multimillion dollar global initiatives. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from Gujarat University, Ahmedabad, India, and a Master’s in Business Administration from Southern Methodist University, Dallas, USA. She enjoys road trips, cooking, trekking, photography, reading and binge-watching whodunnits. She is a student of Hindu philosophy, and a supporter of various Hindu causes, along with her husband Anish and daughter Ashverya. She is working towards a Ph.D. in Indian Knowledge Systems at Chinmaya Vishwavidyapeeth.


Dr.Aaryaa Ashutosh Joshi

Researcher from Jnana Prabodhini Samshodhan Sanstha, Pune. Priesthood craft department co -ordinator and trainer at Jnana Prabodhini, Pune. Subjects of research are Hinduism, Indian Philosophy, Culture and Tradition, Indological Studies.


Shefali Vaidya


Shefali Vaidya is an award-winning author, newspaper columnist and a social media influencer. She is followed by more than half a million people on social media and is a familiar face on TV debates. She has worked with both traditional and new media and has been involved in television programming and content management for websites and writing for magazines and newspapers. She is associated as an Editorial Consultant with a Pune based Digital Media outfit, Ritam. Shefali writes on travel, history, parenting, temple architecture, Indian textiles as well as on Dharma and politics. She has her own bilingual V-log, Shef’s Special. Shefali holds a Masters degree in Mass Communications from the University of Pune, an advanced post-graduate diploma in Spanish language and a post-graduate diploma in Indology. Shefali is an Ananta Leadership Fellow.


Akshay Mohanan

Program Coordinator, Amrita Darshanam-AYUDH, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham,

Akshay Mohanan is working as a Program Coordinator at Amrita Darshanam-AYUDH, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, Amritapuri Campus. Amrita Darshanam offers a lot of online and offline courses on Indian philosophy, arts, literature, culture, tradition, and society. He is currently pursuing M. A. in Anthropology and is also a Film Graduate. He has 1.5 years of working experience in the Film Industry as a camera assistant. A passionate student of Mahabharata, Aesthetics, Ethnic Conflicts, and inquisitive in Slow Cinema.



Program Coordinator, Amrita Darshanam-AYUDH, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham,

Aishwarya S is currently working at Amrita Darshanam AYUDH as a Program Coordinator. Amrita Darshanam offers a lot of online and offline courses on Indian philosophy, arts, literature, culture, tradition, and society. She is also pursuing MBA from Amrita Ahead Online and completed her undergraduate from KLE Institute of Business Management, Bangalore. She has previously worked in Accenture as an HR. Her field of interests are Indian Classical Dance, Carnatic Music and to bring awareness on our Indian Culture and its greatness to the Youth.


Hitangi Brahmbhatt

Hitangi Brahmbhatt completed her Masters in Visual Arts from the department of Art History and Aesthetics with a specialization in Indian Miniature Painting from Faculty of Fine Arts, Maharaja Sayajirao University, Vadodara. She has previously worked as the Museum Curator at Lalbhai Dalpatbhai Museum, Ahmedabad under the directorship of renowned Art Historian, Prof. Ratan Parimoo. Her areas of interest are understanding the text-image relationship within illustrated Indian manuscripts, semiotics and iconology in the process of decoding art works, Indian narrative traditions, Indian Aesthetics and literary criticism. She was on a short-term research fellowship recently at the Forum On Contemporary Theory, Vadodara, which ended in 2020 and intends to pursue PhD in Art History soon. Currently she is carrying out research on a particular set of the Rasikapriya illustrated manuscripts independently.


Dr. Srilakshmi Peddada

Ms. Srilakshmi Peddada is an academician of 25 years, committed to the philosophy of continuous learning. She has a deep interest in facilitating and doing research that is interdisciplinary in nature. She has a proven track record in providing quality education, with a particular focus on jurisprudence.


Dr. Komal Agarwal

Assistant Professor in the Department of English at Shaheed Bhagat Singh College, University of Delhi

Komal Agarwal is an Assistant Professor in the Department of English at Shaheed Bhagat Singh College, University of Delhi. She obtained her doctorate from the Center for English Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University in 2019. Her research interests comprise the epic and popular versions of the Mahabharata, Indian classical literature and aesthetics, folk and popular cultures in India, gender studies and translation studies. She is also an environment enthusiast and the co-convenor of Harithkram, the environment society of her College.


Prasanth Bhanudevan

Assistant Professor at Amrita Darshanam – International Centre for Spiritual Studies, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham

Prasanth B. currently serves as an Assistant Professor at Amrita Darshanam – International Centre for Spiritual Studies, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, Amritapuri campus. He completed his B. A. (Philosophy) from the University of Calicut, Calicut and his M. A. (Philosophy) from Sri Venkateswara University, Tirupathi. He is proficient in Indian Philosophy and Tantra, and has a keen interest in Ritual Art forms of Kerala and Sanskrit. He studied Vedanta under the guidance of the great Vendantic Scholar Swami Kaivalyananda Giri and has been extensively trained in Tantra philosophy and rituals by the renowned Tantri Thazhuvally Matham Subhramanyan Nampoothiri at Thiruvalla, Pathanamthitta District. He served for some time as the coordinator of Cultural Education Department, Amritapuri campus. From its very inception, he has been the Managing Editor of quarterly cultural magazine SAMVIT.


Sri Prabhav Paturi

Cross-cultural psychology researcher, practicing cognitive behavioral therapist, creative writer, kriya yoga and vyoma bindu bhairava tantra sadhaka

Psychologist Researcher Sri Prabhav Paturi is a Psychologist, primarily working in the area of Children and Adolescents Counseling working with kids as young as 5 years old. He also focuses on many other overlapping areas within counseling such as Career counseling, Relationship Counseling and Grief Counseling but primarily focusing on children and young adults. He is a trained CBT professional combining his knowledge of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy with Vedic Psychology, an ancient, extremely effective vertical of Psychological Intervention. He conducts Vedic Immersion Therapy (VIT) Sessions, Vedic Art Therapy (VATSa) Sessions and group Vedic Psychology Sessions for Learners and Mentors (VPSLMs).


Dr. Ankita Dutta

Assistant Professor, Center for Indic Studies, Indus University, Ahmedabad

Dr. Ankita Dutta, Assistant Professor, Center for Indic Studies, Indus University, Ahmedabad, and member, Assam Youth Commission. She is a researcher on the Hindu heritage of the North Eastern region of India, with reference to the decline of Dharma in this part of the country with the rise of Christianity and the simultaneous growth of secessionist movements. She has completed her PhD on the Role of Traditional Institutions in Identity Formation with focus on the institutions of the Sattra and the Namghar in the preservation and consolidation of the Assamese Hindu Identity. She has taught in a few colleges and universities before joining CIS. She is also a public speaker, writer and columnist for various national and local dailies, and a few online portals. She writes on socio-political and cultural and religious issues of North East India.


Deepa Yogesh Kulkarni

Project Head of NGO ‘Niramay’

Deepa Kulkarni is a Project Head of NGO ‘Niramay’. She is responsible for implementing health and life skills education activities for adolescent girls from Pune slums. She is engaged with various study and program for women health and hygiene. She has experience of over 20+ years in social sector. She has done her Masters in Computer management and did Post graduate diploma in Training & Development, has also Completed Post Graduation in MA (Sociology). She was also recipient of Orikalankini fellowship on Eco-feminism. At present she is studying ‘Gram Devata’ from the support received from Indic Academy as a part of the Short term fellowship.


Shikha Sharma

Assistant Professor at SIES College, Mumbai

Shikha Sharma is an Assistant Professor at SIES College, Mumbai, and a Research Associate at FLAME University, Pune. She is a Ph.D. candidate at Mumbai University. She has done her MPhil from Mumbai University, Masters from St. Stephen College, and Bachelor in Philosophy from the University of Delhi. She has experience teaching interdisciplinary courses at undergraduate and post-graduate levels. Her areas of interest are Indian Philosophy, Indian Ethics, Moral Philosophy, Political Philosophy, and Philosophy of Religion. She has participated in various National, and International conferences focused on Indic studies.


Sandhya MP Anand

Freelance writer and Data analyst

Sandhya Anand is a 40 year old freelance writer and data analyst, a mom of two happy kids, and volunteering for cyber safety campaigns and strongly stand for children's rights and environmental causes. Having faced many trials in life. She learnt to rejuvenate herself from the greatest artist, Nature and spiritualty. Career wise She had a journey from science to accounts then to clinical research and finally to poetry Fiction and literature. I love to learn many languages and, so far, been able to master five (currently learning two more). Her Tamil poems have found a place in an anthology "Makarantham". she could present a few works in English and Malayalam at local literary gatherings.


Dr. Payal Gaurav Mehta

Assistant professor, Faculty of Law, GLS University

Dr Payal G Mehta is an assistant Professor at Faculty of Law-GLS Law College, GLS University. She has been teaching communication and Legal Language since long. She has been awarded with the degree of Doctorate (English Lit and Management) for her thesis on “Challenges faced by Pink Entrepreneurs with special reference to Mompreneurs in state of Gujarat. She has successfully conducted many Online and offline National –International Programmes as a Moderator of the event. She is a voracious reader and a passionate classical dancer(Bharat Natyam) who loves to evolve the symbolism hidden beneath Sanatan Dharma Sanskruti. She has been an awardee of ‘Best Research Paper’ thrice at various National/International Conferences. She has done translations of short stories from English into Gujarati language. She aims to write a book exploring unrevealed colours of womanhood. She has intense love for poetry and literature especially for Upanishadas. She has been invited as a resource person at many universities and forum to deliver lecture on the subjects pertaining to Womanhood, Entrepreneurship and Literature like IIMA, IIM Culcutta, SheThe People National TV, American Corner, MultiTasking Mommies Forum, Womenology, WICCI, Rotary Group etc. She is a lifetime member of WILPF(Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom).


Nupur Deshpande


Nupur is a postgraduate student in the field of organizational psychology. She is passionate about reading, traveling and rhyming lines into poetry on the go. She aspires to build a career in the field of Advertising as she finds consumer psychology quite fascinating. Apart from that, she has a keen interest in Indian mythology and is especially curious about the powerful women in these stories. She looks forward to learning more about these women and unravelling the magical and mysterious stories hidden in the immense knowledge from the past.


Rohit Kunte


Rohit is a curious individual, who loves to find the scientific meaning behind everything. He is deeply interested in research. He is currently a postgraduate student of Clinical psychology and is passionate about the mysteries of the human brain. In his free time, you can find him clicking random photographs of nature or finding something new to study about. He loves to play sports and listen to a variety of music. He finds diagnostic systems and healing processes of the Indic system quite fascinating.


Sadiya Mulla


With a major in Psychology and a minor in Sociology in her undergraduate; Sadiya is an enthusiast of human behaviour, mental well-being and is deeply critical of the systems that forge our society. Her interests span a multitude of areas like designing, creative writing, exploring societal frameworks and analysing social dynamics; she likes to find the why before learning the how. She is currently working as an Intern for the HR department at Ubisoft. She is a research fellow under the Young Scholar Research Fellowship at Indic Academy. She plans to dive deep into the topic of organisational behaviour and user experience design in the near future.


Jayanthilal Twinkle Jain


a curious personality with warped sense of humour, who is studying MA. Criminology in National Forensic Sciences University. I aim to become a detective or a Criminal psychologist in the future. Research has always been an integral part of any field and writing about India has always been a dream of mine. Feminism and empowerment in India need a rightful position in the world and I am thankful for the opportunity given to do so.


Dr. Rinkoo Wadhera

Core Faculty at the Council for Historical and Sociological Research, Sarayu Trust, New Delhi

Rinkoo Wadhera (PhD & Post Doctorate) is currently working as Core Faculty at the Council for Historical and Sociological Research, Sarayu Trust, New Delhi. She has taught at school and higher education level for the past twenty five years. Her areas of specialization include Aesthetics, Folkloristics and Philosophy. She has authored Existentialism, Upanishadic Resolution and Via-Negativa in Indian English Poetry-Authorspress(ISBN- 9789389824353) and On Hinduness-Collected Essays( Garuda-forthcoming) and numerous research papers and poetry in anthologies, national and international journals . She has been awarded Saksharta Mitr Award by the Govt of M.P and Post Doctoral Fellowship by ICSSR. She has conducted classes at Academic Staff Colleges of universities and trained nearly 500 teachers in curriculum planning and pedagogy.


Prof. Sarada Thallam

Professor, Department of English, Sri venkateswara University, Tirupati

Prof. Sarada Thallam teaches in the department of English at Sri venkateswara University, Tirupati. With more than 27 years of teaching experience, she has published research papers and books in the domains of contemporary literary studies and classical literature. She has presented research papers in many conferences within and outside India. Besides, she has given numerous talks on multiple aspects of literature and culture. She has authored books on African American Women Playwrights, Feminist Hermeneutics and also textbooks on language and literature. She has had her education at the Madras University and University of Hyderabad. A former Fulbright fellow at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, she has visited the universities of Oxford, Georgia and Emory on academic schedules. Her interests include Gender Studies, Theatre , Performance, Postcolonial Studies, Literary Theory, Translation and Comparative studies. Bhakti literature, especially its women poets are especially closer to her heart!


Dr. Papia Mitra

Associate Professor, English Surendranath College for Women (Calcutta University)

Dr. Papia Mitra, Graduate and Post-Graduate in English from Jadavpur University, Ph.D in same from Rabindrabharati University is working as an Associate Professor in the Department of English, Surendranath College for Women, Kolkata, affiliated to Calcutta University. Her areas of research includes not only English literature but also gender, religion, philosophy, with special emphasis on Hindu scriptures and the epics. She has presented and published several papers on these subjects in various conferences and journals. At present she is on editorial Board of International Journal of Culture Studies and Social Sciences and Theatre International, both UGC-CARE listed journals.


Arvind V Iyer

Arvind V Iyer has a research background in Computational Neuroscience and Biomedical Engineering in areas ranging from decoding of single-neuron responses to analysis of autonomic measures in immersive virtual reality settings. His interests as an independent researcher include Indian languages, appreciation of classical performing arts, and contemplative practices.


Shanmugam .S

associate professor in a college affiliated to university of Madras

S.Shanmugam have completed MSc and M.Phil in Biochemistry and serving as associate professor in a college affiliated to university of Madras. He Presented research papers in various conferences and published paper in journals . Contributed chapters in books. Started sri NS academy during 2021, through this various awareness initiatives taken to preserve tradition , culture and environment.


Dr. T. Ganesan

Research Associate, French Institute, Pondicherry

T. Ganesan, with Ph.D. in Sanskrit worked as Director of Research at the prestigious French Institute, Pondicherry (IFP) since 1985 and now he is a Research Associate there. He is now working on the projects A Comprehensive History of Śaivasiddhānta in Tamilnadu surveying the contents of the entire gamut of Śaivasiddhānta literature (published and unpublished) that spans more than a millennium as well as on the project Critical Edition of the Śaivāgama-s. He is one of the editors the Sukshmagama (3 volumes, 4th volume under preparation) published by the French Institute of Pondicherry. The first two volumes of the Paushkaragama along with the two unpublished commentaries of Umapati and Jnanaprakasa critically edited by him for the first time has been published by the National Mission for the Manuscripts (NMM), New Delhi in 2014 and 2020. Śivajñānabodhasūtra with the Laghuṭīkā of Śivāgrayogī, Siddhāntaprakāśikā of Sarvātmaśambhu with Tamil and English translations (published by the Saivabharati Shodha Pratishthan, Varanasi in 2009) Śivajñānabodhasūtra with the hitherto unpublished commentary of Nigamajñānadeśika (published by the Rashtriya Samskrit Samsthan, New Delhi, 2009) and a few other Śaivasiddhānta texts are some of the important Saiva texts critically edited by him. His monograph Two Śaiva Teachers of the 16th century: Nigamajñāna I and Nigamajñāna II was published by the French Institute of Pondicherry in 2009. He has presented more than 30 seminar papers and research articles concerning Saivism and Saivasiddhanta many of which have been published. He had delivered special lectures concerning various aspects of Saivasiddhānta at The Tamil University, Thanjavur, Pondicherry University, Pondicherry, University of Madras as well as at the Université de Paris III-Nouvelle Sorbonne, Paris and at the University of Marbourg, Germany. T. Ganesan had been honoured with the title Viśvārādhya Viśvabhāratī by the Jangamawadi Matha, Varanasi in the year 2016.


Smt. Meena Sundaram

Guest Lecturer at BITS Pilani Goa Campus

Meena Sundaram Postgraduate in Mathematics and Carnatic Music. Guest Lecturer at BITS Pilani Goa Campus for 'Theory of Carnatic MusicPassionate about teaching and sharing knowledge of India’s rich tradition of musical art. After 23 years of learning – Masters in Mathematics, and 25 years of working – In a Public Sector Bank, following my passion – Carnatic Music. Post VRS I went on to complete my Masters in Carnatic Music. In addition to my contribution to various forums and spreading the interest of Carnatic music I also work as a Guest lecturer in BITS Pilani, Goa Campus teaching ‘Theory of Carnatic Music’. I am continuously keeping myself updated on the subject so as to improve teaching skills and appreciating the nuances of this art. Open to new ideas and implementation to achieve excellence in this field. Adjustable to any situation to the face challenges.


Abhisek Kumar Panda

Research Associate

Abhisek Kumar Panda is a Research Associate in Rashtram School of Public Leadership, Rishihood University. He is a keen observer of Indian cultural issues. He hails from Odisha and has done his B.Tech. from NIT Rourkela. After that, he worked as a business analyst for a couple of years. He left his corporate job to enrich himself with Dharmic perspectives. He can be contacted via his email id- abhiseknitr@gmail.com and Twitter handle- @AbhiSeeker.


Smt. Janani Ananthanarayanan


Janani Narayanan is a storyteller and a children's story writer and has conceptualised the Pancha Mantra Katha series.Two stories written by her received grants from the Govt of Goa for publishing and distributing to various state libraries. She was on the Core Committee instituted by the Directorate of Art & Culture, Goa for inculcating and improving the reading habit among children across the State. She was commissioned by Goa Handicrafts, Rural and Small Scale Industries Corporation for a comprehensive documentation of the status of Handicrafts of Goa. Janani is also a Kolam artist and has conducted several workshops. She has scripted, directed and conducted several plays in various media including Shadow Puppetry and conducted a 10-day Puppetry Workshop for the students undergoing the professional course at the Kala Academy School of Drama, Govt of Goa. She was the Script Writer for Short Films that won awards at contests conducted on the side lines during IFFI. She is the Asst. Editor of Goa's first free to reader fortnightly neighbourhood Newspaper 'Vasco Watch' launched in Aug 1999. Through their publication Vasco Watch she co-ordinates and conducts several Community Initiative Workshops & programmes.


Dr. Pawan Kumar

Assistant Professor of English in Dyal Singh (E) College, University of Delhi.

Dr. Pawan Kumar is an Assistant Professor of English in Dyal Singh (E) College, University of Delhi. He completed his doctoral degree from the Centre for English Studies, School of Language, Literature, and Cultural Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. He was a Visiting Research Fellow at Trinity College, Dublin, funded by the European Union in the year 2016. He has postgraduate and undergraduate degrees from the University of Delhi. In addition to his abiding enthusiasm for and scholarship on Yeats, he is also interested in the fields of mysticism, esotericism, Indian philosophy, Tantra and Hindi literature.


Deepa Kiran

Founder of Story Arts Foundation, storyteller, educationalist, trainer, TEDx Speaker, curator, film-maker and actor

Deepa Kiran. Founder of Story Arts Foundation, storyteller, educationalist, trainer, TEDx Speaker, curator, film-maker and actor. Her musical interactive storytelling presentations & workshops are inspired by Indian oral traditions. She has performed at international storytelling festivals across the world. She has conducted trainings in storytelling as a pedagogical tool for over 75,000+ educators from India and other nations. Her teacher trainings focus on using storytelling in richly diverse environments for developing whole-body communication skills, English, creativity, socio-emotional intelligence & empathetic leadership skills.She is a resource person with Ministry of Culture. She has given lecture-demonstrations on oral traditions of India for professionals from over 80+ countries.  She has curated national & international festivals and conferences. She received National award for Best E-content for her UGC teacher training videos, ELTReP India a British Council research grant award, EYRA Women Artist of the Year award, and Best Actor award at International Wolf Film Festival, Italy.


Shital Ravi

Co-Founder, Disha Counseling Center

Shital Ravi, Co-Founder of Disha Counseling Center, holds a postgraduate degree in Counseling Psychology from Mumbai University. In the last 23 years of her counseling practice, she has worked extensively with children, adolescents and adults. She is also a Mindfulness Master Practitioner and a Storytelling therapist. A prolific writer, Shital has widely written on mental health, parenting, and related topics and has featured as a columnist in a few leading print media. She is a poet too who writes in 3 languages & has published a tri-lingual anthology titled ‘Do Kavitayein’. She is currently writing ‘Pashu Neeti’, a monthly newsletter showcasing wisdom from the animal kingdom. A seasoned classical danseuse, Shital holds a ‘Nritya Alamkar’ in Bharatanatyam from the Akhil Bharatiya Gandharva Mahavidyalaya. She has won National titles like ‘Singar Mani’ and ‘Natyamayuri’, is a graded artiste of the Doordarshan, and the recipient of the prestigious “Central Government Scholarship” awarded by the Dept. of Cultural Affairs, Govt. of India. Giving shape to her leanings towards ‘seva bhava’, Shital co-founded Saaraakassh Trust in 2015, working for the betterment of tribal lives in Maharashtra. The focus is on Education, Health, Sanitation & Environment. A project close to her heart is “Pudchi Peedhi, Pudcha Paaul” which literally means ‘the next step of the next generation’ – which uses story-telling, dance, music, games, role play and a host of other activities to build life skills in the tribal and underprivileged children for a better & Atmanirbhar Bharata.


Dr.V.Yamuna Devi

Assisstant Professor, KSRI Chennai

Assistant Professor, The Kuppuswami Sastri Research Institute, Chennai. Research Guide with four Ph.D candidates and one M.Phil candidate at present. Seven M.Phil candites awarded degree. Published two books. Presented research papers at various National and International Conferences.


Dr. Siri Rama

lecturer, research scholar, author, yoga teacher

Dr. Siri Rama is a Bharata Natyam and Kuchipudi dancer, teacher and choreographer based in Singapore. She is also the founder-director of the dance institution in Mumbai, the Kanaka Sabha Performing Arts Centre. She holds a PhD in the Fine Arts on the study of Dance Sculptures in Belur and Halebidu temples from the University of Hong Kong and has performed to critical acclaim, presented group performances, and lectured, in many different cities of India and in many parts of the world including the USA, Germany, the Middle East, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Taiwan, Singapore and Thailand. She has choreographed and presented several solo and group dance performances to traditional as well as contemporary themes. She has collaborated with musicians and dancers from many other genres including Hindustani music, Chinese and Malay dance, and computer musicians. She is served four terms as the president of the Singapore chapter of World dance Alliance Asia Pacific. She is Adjunct Faculty at the School of Social Sciences, Singapore Management University and Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (Singapore). She has recently published a book, Dance Divine: Dancing Deities of India, Shubhi Publications (2021)


Ms. Lakshmi Subramanian [Durga]

Odissi dancer teacher & Chartered Certified Accountant, UK

Ms. Lakshmi Subramanian is a Chartered Certified Accountant by qualification. She is trained in the classical dance forms of Bharatanatyam and Odissi. She has delivered demonstrations on Sanskrit poetry, paintings and workshops on Odissi dance and sculpture. Her subjects of study include: Study of the choreographic process, Indian ragamala paintings, depiction of metaphors in dance & Rabindra-nritya.


Dr. Janardan Ghosh

Performance Artist, Academic and Storyteller.

Dr Janardan Ghosh is a performing artist, academic, theatre director, film actor, playwright, performance coach and storyteller (Katha ‘Koli, a new art of storytelling) whose practice includes the use of traditional theories, contemporary performance vocabulary, and interactive media. His research- based work engages the indigenous practice methods in urban spaces exploring the perspectives of historicity, spiritual consciousness, intertextual dialogue, and body-space dynamics of myths, tales and gossips. Indeed much of his past work has explored the themes of spirituality, myth, gender, sexuality and society. He has completed his doctorate in Performance and Spirituality from the Ramakrishna Mission Vivekananda University. He has worked with legendary theatre practitioners like Wlodzimierz Staniewski (Poland), Wulfgung Kolneder(Germany), Anjan Dutta(India) and Badal Sirkar(India). He is Teaching & Research Associate with RKM Vivekananda University, Creative Director of OGLAM & Culture Monks. Have acted in plays, web series and award winning movies. Have been awarded for Performance in Education for Social change by Monash University, Australia and The Telegraph. He is launching his next performance of Katha ‘Koli Storytelling in Rasa Festival, Michigan. He is working on his new research based production on Changing Narratives of Ramayana. He is also assisting ICCR Durban to produce their show on Swami Vivekananda. Notably, recently, a film where he played one of the leading roles – Kaalkokkho, has been selected for the competitive section of the Busan Film Festival, South Korea, 2021, IFFI, Goa and International Film Festival, Dhaka.


Dr. Vinay Kumar

Assistant Professor, Department of Ancient Indian History, Culture and Archaeology, Banaras Hindu University

Vinay Kumar (b. 1976), Ph. D. MA (Ancient Indian, History, Culture and Archaeology), MA (Archaeology and Heritage Management), Post-Graduate Diploma in Archaeology from Institute of Archaeology, Archaeological Survey of India (ASI). Presently he is working as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Ancient Indian, History, Culture and Archaeology, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi. Prior to this he has worked as Assistant Professor at Indira Gandhi National Tribal University, Amarkantak, Madhya Pradesh. Dr. Kumar has worked as Consultant and Assistant Archaeologist in ASI. He has also worked as Research Scholar in Indira Gandhi National Center for the Arts and Indian Archaeological Society, New Delhi. His areas of specialization include Field Archaeology, Art History and Heritage Management.


Dr. M. Venkateshwara Rao

kuchipudi Dancer

Dr. Ardhanareeswaram Venkat, holder of Guinness World Records,Global World Records, Limca Book of records, 2 India Book of records, Wonder world Record, Unique World Record and Telugu Book of Records, for \'Revived the tradition of Ardhanareeswaram form of Kuchipudi dance a rare and challenging to perform item which was on the verge of extinction and has given myriad performances that account to 3456 so far\', that spreads the message of male and female complimentarity to the world society, revived from the verge of extinction by Dr.Venkat himself, is the most pioneering Guru and Performer of contemporary times in the Kuchipudi Tradition. Demonstrated his mastery of various items, techniques and nuances of the highly variegated kuchipudi classical dance tradition on stages all over the world, and has become one of the first few names taken when the contemporary state of affairs of the Kuchipudi tradition is discussed. As the director of Nritya Darpana dance academy, he has been training young dancers for the last 26years. Some of his students now become leading performers of contemporary kuchipudi dance taking his flag of performing challenging items forward to various stages in India and Abroad.


Smt. Sridevi Iyengar


Smt Sridevi Iyengar is an engineer by profession and a musician at heart. She holds a Masters Degree in Engineering from University of California and MA in Music from University of Mysore. She has a penchant for presenting theme based music programmes, one of them, Shakti Swaroopini - An ode to the goddess which presented stories and music on the Divine Mother from Kashmir to Mysore.


Ms.Rashmi Bansal

Writer, Entrepreneur & A Motivational Speaker

Rashmi Bansal is a writer, entrepreneur and a motivational speaker. An author of 10 bestselling books on entrepreneurship which have sold more than 1.2 million copies and been translated in 12 languages, including Korean and Vietnamese. Rashmi’s first book was Stay Hungry Stay Foolish, the runaway bestseller on 25 MBAs from IIM Ahmedabad who went on to create successful businesses. Her other popular titles include ‘Connect the Dots’, ‘I Have a Dream’, ‘God’s Own Kitchen’ and ‘Touch the Sky’. Rashmi co-founded JAM (Just Another Magazine) which went on to become India’s most popular youth magazine. She has been a regular contributor to Businessworld, Business Today and currently writes a column for Dainik Bhaskar newspaper. Rashmi mentors numerous students and young entrepreneurs and also teaches a full-credit course called ‘Road Less Travelled’ at Ashoka University. She graduated in Economics from Sophia College, Mumbai and did her MBA from IIM Ahmedabad in 1993.