Special Presenters

Ms. Anita Ratnam

Executive Director, Samvada, an NGO that works with young people, focusing on their livelihoods and career development.

Traditional Occupations in the Modern World: Looking at crafts in the context of globalisation.
Anita holds a Master of Arts degree in Development Studies, from the University of East Anglia, UK and has specialised in Rural Management from the Institute of Rural Management Anand, India. She is a specialist in Institution Leadership, Development and Governance, Training Design, Curriculum Development and Facilitation. She has evaluated a wide variety of NGOs for the impact of their programmes and organisational processes

Anita has guided various research projects including a study of the linkages between Call Centres and Experiences of Youth-hood, documentation of dying sports and indigenous games in Rural Bangalore, Situation of Textile Artisans in different parts of India and presented this as a photo-exhibition and guided students research into land sales in the wake of liberalisation, and the situation of workers in the floriculture units around Bangalore.

Samvada the organization she founded works with college students and youth to sensitize them to issues relating to caste, communalism, gender, environment and poverty. It links them with social movements in the country and encourages them to work in the fields of alternative media, education, energy and health. Laying a strong emphasis on livelihoods, Samvada offers the following courses on Alternative Livelihoods

Sustainable Building Technologies targets young workers in the construction industry and equips them with skills and perspectives on energy efficiency, water management and use of ecologically sustainable raw materials in building construction and maintenance.

Community based Eco-Tourism enables youth from forest communities earn a livelihood by organizing 'adventure cum sensitization' activities for tourists. Local youth thus function as conservation activists as well as environmental and cultural educators.

Counselling for Empowering Women will train youth who work with women to double up as counsellors and mediators in times of conflict and stress.

Journalism for peace and Development trains budding rural journalists in the Kannada Language, to equip them with skills so that social issues are contextualized in their writings.

Sustainable agriculture trains youth from agricultural families owning 0-5 acres of land and demonstrates how small holder agriculture can be a viable and sustainable option when organic farming is combined with agro-based diversification

Anita and the Jiva Conference
An important strand in the conference will examine changing conceptions of work and livelihood. Anita's experience and expertise will be brought to bear on understanding the impact of the forces of modern development on occupations and livelihoods. She will particularly focus on the relevance of crafts in the context of globalisation.

You are invited to submit papers on matters pertaining to livelihoods, art and craft from your region and be a part of her session. For details do take a look at the ,'Traditional Occupations in the Modern World' page.

Ms. Kamini Ramachandran

Co-Founder/Partner: MoonShadow Stories

Telling Tales: Exploring the folk tale as a counselling technique.
Storytelling has always been vital for Kamini Ramachandran, from her earliest memories of her grandparents telling her stories to her efforts in continuing this storytelling tradition with her two young sons everyday since they were six months old.

Kamini studied English Literature & Language at the University of Reading (UK) and taught Speech and Drama privately in Kuala Lumpur before becoming a mother. While she is comfortable telling stories to children using puppets, kamishibai boards, masks and songs, she is also adept at telling stories for adults, drawing on her preference for darker, ambiguous, other-realm tales

Presently a Singapore resident, Kamini joined forces with Verena Tay to found MoonShadow Stories in Nov 2004 to promote the lost art of the oral narrative. Both Kamini and Verena strongly believe that children will benefit if the beauty and wonder of storytelling is first re-introduced to adults. They were the first contemporary storytellers in Singapore to focus on storytelling for adults. Since 2005, MoonShadow Stories has been busy telling stories to adults and children at various venues in Singapore.

Kamini helped found the Storytelling Association (Singapore) in early 2006 and is currently serving her second term as its President. Her role in the SAS consists mainly in providing training and performance opportunities for upcoming local storytellers

As part of a special SAS sub-committee, she was instrumental in helping the National Book Development Council of Singapore (NBDCS) to organise the Asian Storytelling Congress and the International Storytellers Showcase that formed part of the inaugural Singapore International Storytelling Festival (SISF 2006). During the SISF 2006, she told stories at the Storytellers Showcase and Sayang Singapore. She has also represented Malaysia in the Storytellers Showcase 2005 organised by the NBDCS. Her relationship with the NBDCS continues in various avenues from providing her talent as a storyteller to her expertise in planning and organizing events.

Drawing on her extensive knowledge of stories and the storytelling craft, Kamini has provided storytelling consultancy services for a variety of educators, educational institutions and commercial entities. She is featured regularly in the Singapore media sharing stories 'live'on radio.

Kamini and the Jiva Conference
An internationally renowned story teller, Kamini will lead the 'Telling Tales' section of the conference which will explore the role that folk tales could play as a career counselling technique.

You are invited to submit folk tales from your culture and be a part of her session. For details do take a look at 'Telling Tales' under Special Sessions

Dr. Shanti Pappu

Founder/director of the Sharma Centre for Heritage Education, and Sharma Children's Museum, Chennai/Pune, India.

Dr. Pappu is an archaeologist who obtained her MA. and Ph.D from the Deccan College of Postgraduate and Research Institute, Pune, India. She is also a former Homi Bhabha fellow, a Charles Wallace Fellow for conducting research at the University of Cambridge and Ancient India and Iran Trust, Cambridge, U.K.

She was awarded the Prof. H.D. Sankalia medal for standing first in M.A, the Prof. H.D. Sankalia young archaeologist award, and the Young Scientist award of the Earthwatch Institute, USA. She has been actively involved in archaeological research in Tamil Nadu since 1991, and has been excavating the prehistoric site of Attirampakkam, Tamil Nadu. Her projects have been funded by the Leakey Foundation, Earthwatch Institute, Ministry of Culture, Government of India, Indian Space Research Organisation and Regional Remote Sensing Service Centre, Bengaluru, and Sharma Centre for Heritage Education. Dr. Pappu has published a book, a monograph, and more than 20 research papers in Indian and peer-reviewed international journals.

She has participated in seminars and conferences in India, USA, U.K., Israel, Sri Lanka, China and France, and has organised themes in conferences. She was a consultant to the State Department of Archaeology, Government of TamilNadu for excavations and analysis of prehistoric finds. She is a member of various national and international societies and is currently joint editor of the journal Man and Environment.

The Sharma Centre for Heritage Education has a strong social commitment towards generating popular awareness of issues in Indian heritage (natural and cultural) and organises workshops for teachers, students, villagers, and other stake-holders. Dr. Pappu, has published numerous popular articles on archaeology and one book for children on this subject.

Dr. Pappu and the Jiva Conference
The past holds the keys to the present and the future. Dr. Pappu will work with interested delegates to mount an exhibition that will explore the history of work in the context of modernisation. For details do take a look at 'Yesterday, For Today and Tomorrow' under Special Session