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Fri 21 Jan 2022
Sat 22 Jan 2022

9:00 AM - 5:30 PM (UTC+5.5)

Event Type: Date

Conference on Indigenous Story Telling Traditions of India



INDICA Presents

Conference on Indigenous Story Telling Traditions of India

09.00am-05.00pm on 21 & 22 January 2022Day 01, 21 Jan


Inaugural Session – 09.00am to 10.00am

1 Shivakumar GV Welcome Address & Concept/Overview of the Conference
2 Deepa Kiran Context of the Conference
3 Dr. Nagaraj Paturi Scope of the Theme/Topic
4 Dr. Kirin Narayan (TBC) Keynote Address


Sesssion 01 – Story Telling Forms – 10.00am to 11.00am

1 Ipsita Sardar Prevarication in Panchatantra: As Seen Through a Linguistic Lens
2 Sneha Nagarkar
Transcendental Narratives, Transcendental Waters: A Study of the Kṛṣṇa Kathā and its Association with the Water Kuṇḍas of Vraja
3 Shubha Das The Evolution of Tholpavakoothu – A Ritualistic Art Form


Special Session 01 – 11.00am to 11.30am

Nalini Ramachandran Lore of the Lands


Sesssion 01 – Story Telling Forms Continues – 11.30am to 12.10pm

4 Vishakha Khetrapal & Smriti Rekha V.
Neurocognitive Benefits of Traditional Indian Stories: A Conceptual Understanding
5 Dr. Janardan Ghosh
Katha ‘Koli Storytelling: Locating the Indigenous Body by Performing the Sensorial Responses to Memory & Ever Changing Narratives


Session 02 – Social & Cultural Impact of Story Telling – 12.10 to 12.30pm

1 Varada Sambhus Rāshtrīya Kīrtan: The Unknown Story of the Indian Freedom Struggle


Special Session 02 – 12.30pm to 01.00pm

Geeta Ramanujam Story of a Story Teller


Lunch Break – 01.00pm to 01.30pm

Session 02 – Social & Cultural Impact of Story Telling Continues – 01.30pm to 02.10pm

2 Prof. Vinita Dhondiyal Bhatnagar
The Katha and the Kathakaar: A Reading of Ramkinkar Singh Upadhyaya’s Ram Katha
3 Sri Hari Vittal
Mothers – Storytellers – The Civilization Makers (Studies on Informal Storytelling Event Genres)


Session 03 – Story Telling in Visual & Performing Arts – 02.10pm to 02.50pm

1 Debomitra Das
A Comparative Study on the Story-Telling of Bengal Patachitras: Then and Now
2 Madhavi Menon Re-Enactment through Color in Theyyam


Special Session 03 – 02.50pm to 03.20pm

Eric Miller Two Stories from Natural Environments in Tamil Nadu


Session 04 – Story Telling in Epics & Classical – 03.20pm to 04.20pm

1 Swetha Prakash Storytelling in Yoga Vasistha – A Study
2 Sara Bubber & Dr. Rachana Bhangaokar
Mitrabheda and Mitraprapti from the Panchatantra: Being and Becoming Friends
3 Daniya Latypova
‘Sripāda Srivallabha Charitamrutam’: An Eastern ‘Odissey’ that Leads Beyond the Mind


Special Session 04 – 04.20pm to 04.50pm

Lavanya Srinivas Story of a Story Teller


Day 02, 22 Jan

Session 05 – Contemporary Applications of Story Telling – 09.00am to 10.00am

1 Dr. Pradheep Chhalliyil, Dr. M. Madeshwaran & Lakshmipriya Vinothkumar Five Level Method of UNI5 Storytelling – An Effective Tool for
Confronting Dilemmas in Life
2 Supriya Choudary Rediscovering Stories of the Family – Encouraging Storytelling through Effective Use of Technology and Social Media
3 Lokesh Ghai & Gauri Raje Crafting Stories: Re-articulating the World of Local Art, Stories and Listeners


Special Session 05 – 10.00am to 10.30am

Priya Muthukumar Story of a Story Teller


Session 06 – Story Telling in Folk Literature Performances & Culture – 10.30am to 11.30am

1 Geeta Ramanujam Myths and Symbols from Nature – The Natural Connection to Tales
2 Vikram Sridhar Snakes and Reptiles in Indian Folktales
3 Lavanya Prasad VILLADICHAN PAATU ( VILLUPAATU) : The journey of a war instrument from extermination to expression

Special Session 06 – 11.30am to 12.00pm

Jeeva Raghunath Story of a Story Teller


Session 07 – Story Telling in Musical Forms – 12.00pm to 01.00pm

1 Smt. Sridevi Iyengar & Smt. Hema Jayaram Gamaka/Kaavya Vaachana
2 Meena Sundaram Raga Sudha Rasa – The Confluence of Katha-Kutcheri
3 Dr. Diti Vyas
Sleep Oh Sleep My Child…: Lullabies in Gujarati Language as Female Narratives


Lunch Break – 01.00pm to 01.30pm

Session 07 – Story Telling in Musical Forms Continues – 01.30pm to 02.10pm

4 Shanmugam .S Overview of Story Telling using Bow as Musical Instrument – Villupattu
5 Yogeendra Ranganathan Art of Story Telling in Dasapadas of Karnataka


Special Session 07 – 02.10pm to 02.40pm

Peter Chand Story of a Story Teller


Special Session 08 – 02.40pm to 03.10pm

Rachna Chhabria Festival Stories Throughout the Year


Special Session 09 – 03.10pm to 03.40pm

Deepa Kiran Ramayana within a Folk Tale – Sweet and Salty


Session 08 – 03.40pm to 04.10pm : Valedictory by Dr.Nagaraj Paturi



Shiva Kumar GV

Writer, Indica Today

Shivakumar GV is an IT professional with deep interest in Bharateeya Samskriti. His special areas of interest are Mahabharata, RigVeda and Indian History. He writes on Mahabharata regularly at Indica Today ( where he contributes as a Consulting Editor and anchors Kannada content on Indic civilization and culture. He is also one of the authors of “Unsung Valour: Forgotten Wars of Kurukshetra” - curated by SaiSwaroopa Iyer for Indica Org. He is currently curating an Anthology on Indic Women of Substance for Indica Org.


Deepa Kiran


Dr Nagaraj Paturi

Director, 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.


Dr. Kirin Narayan (TBC)


Ipsita Sardar

Postgraduate student and junior researcher, Recitater, Theatre practitioner and Playwriter

Ipsita Sardar is a Postgraduate 1st year student of Jadavpur University, India. Her previous research is in Sociolinguistics which lies on folk culture releted with Medieval Bengali literature, "Mangal Gaan" which is associated with pan-Indian deity or local Bengali deity. Her current work is concerned about linguistic effects on people in social structure and Linguistic aspects on the developments of neuroscience.


Sneha Nagarkar


Sneha Nagarkar is currently a visiting faculty at the Department of Archaeology, Centre for Extra Mural Studies, University of Mumbai. She also runs her cultural education forum called Pancajanya Cultural Heritage Initiatives. She has done her Masters in Archaeology from Deccan College, Pune and holds diplomas in Sanskrit, Museology and Indian Aesthetics from the University of Mumbai. She has presented papers in state, national and international conferences. Her fields of specialization are ancient and medieval Vaishnavism, Ancient Indian Art History and Ancient Indian Political, Economic and Religious Histories. Her special area of study is the Mathura Vrindavana region. She has conducted many heritage walks in Mumbai and Vrindavana. She also runs her own YouTube channel and is associated with institutions like Braj Sanskriti Shodh Sansthan, Itihas Sankalan Samiti and Indic Academy.


Shubha Das

Professional Storyteller

A seasoned banker turned Early Educator/ IELTS Trainer/ Professional Storyteller. After 8 years of clatter and clink, she found music amidst the giggles and guffaws of children and there has been no looking back since then. Storytelling happened to her as a professional hazard and has since shared myriad stories with children and children at heart across various festivals, schools, and libraries of repute. Her repertoire includes performances at the Jaipur Literature Festival Outreach programme, Ganga Utsav, Ziro Festival of Music, to name a few. She specializes in retelling folk tales, Malayalam classics, and stories based on cultural heritage with a contemporary edge. And when she's not telling either of them she prefers to write an original narrative for her audience. As a self-trained artist, she visualises every story of hers as a piece of art and believes in performing it in a manner that leaves an aural and visual imprint with linguistic hues in the minds of her audience. She is a part of team Your Story Bag and Delhi Storytellers’ Tribe and calls herself a “Story under construction”.


Nalini Ramachandran

Writer & Editor

In the past two decades, Nalini Ramachandran has worked as a writer and editor across various media—film and television, newspapers and magazines, children's books and graphic novels. She takes a keen interest in Indian culture, especially the art and craft of storytelling. She is the author of Lore of the Land: Storytelling Traditions of India; Nava Durga: The Nine Forms of the Goddess; APJ Abdul Kalam: One Man, Many Missions; Gods, Giants and the Geography of India; Trumpet Calls: Epic Tales of Extraordinary Elephants.


Vishakha Khetrapal

Social-Sciences Researcher, Writer and Educationist, former Manufacturing Engineer

Vishakha Khetrapal is an Independent Consultant, former Manufacturing Engineer and a lifelong learner. She earned her postgraduate degree in Social Entrepreneurship from the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai. She has multifaceted interests, including Sustainability, Creative writing & Indigenous Knowledge systems. Vishakha has run an experiential tourism project, engaging with the tribal artisans in Madhya Pradesh. She was a former UNESCO-Sahapedia research fellow. A Kathak learner, Vishakha has a passion for teaching and continuously engages with organizations working on the holistic development of Youth and Children. She is also an active volunteer at the Anaadi foundation. She can be reached out at


Smriti Rekha V

Co-founder, Anaadi Foundation

Smrithi Rekha is the co-founder of Anaadi Foundation and Dharma Gurukulam. She co-founded Anaadi Foundation for loka sangraha and designs various programs and initiatives that blend ancient Indian wisdom and modern science and technology. A practitioner of Yoga and a modern-day story-teller, Smrithi devotes her time in sadhana, organizational management and swadhyaya. She has 10+ years of rich academic and teaching experience in academia and has mentored several tech startup companies. She can be reached at


Dr. Janardan Ghosh

Performing artist, Academic, Theatre director, Film actor, playwright, performance coach 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.


Varada Sambhus

Assistant Professor

Varada is currently working as a Junior Research Fellow at Nehru Memorial Museum and Library, New Delhi. She has been teaching as an Assistant Professor at Maharashtra National Law University, Mumbai since 2015. Her subject domain is Political Science and her research focuses on Bhakti Practices, mainly in Maharashtra. Varada's research interests include Political Theory, Indian Political Thought, Religion and Politics, Law and Governance.


Geeta Ramanujam

Master Storyteller

Geeta Ramanujam is a Master Storyteller, Academician and Trainer who wears many hats. She founded KATHALAYA A TRUST in 1998 and later KATHALAYA’S International Academy of Storytelling that offers Certified courses in Storytelling recognised globally with Affiliations to Universities in the USA, UK and Sweden. Geeta has personally trained 93 491 people in the Art of Storytelling and has travelled to over 44 countries of the World with her Storytelling presentations performances and training. She has won several accolades like the Best Storytellers Award at Brazil , the Best Story Narrators award from the governor of Tamil Nadu and recently being mentioned by Prime Minister Modiji in his Man Ki Baat program.


Prof. Vinita Dhondiyal Bhatnagar

Professor and Dean at the Department of Humanities at RGPV Bhopal

Vinita Dhondiyal Bhatnagar is Professor and Dean at the Department of Humanities at RGPV Bhopal. She has many books, monographs and articles to her credit. She has taken to storytelling in the recent past and was part of the Team Ramayana telling of Ramayana at the FEAST festival.


Sri Hari Vittal


Sri Hari Vittal currently pursuing Data Analytics with IIT (Madras). his inclination in Indian Cultural Knowledge has led him to a Public Leadership Course with Rashtram School of Public Leadership, Haryana, INDIA


Debomitra Das


Debomitra Das an under-graduate final year student from Jadavpur University, department of Comparative Literature. her interest areas are cultural studies, story telling , folktales of Asia, Food literature, Paintings etc.


Madhavi Menon

Kathakali and Seraikella Chhau practitioner

Madhavi Menon is a Kathakali and Seraikella Chhau practitioner. Her work spanning over three decades in the realm of performing arts, radio and education has gained her immense recognition. She writes poetry and narrates stories with elan. She has acted in three films. She is also a walk leader with Darwesh, a Delhi based enterprise.


Eric Miller


Swetha Prakash


Swetha Prakash has authored the book Indian Storytelling Traditions (Authorspress, 2016). She has also won a grant from the Indic Academy to record Indic stories on Youtube. The work from this grant can be found here - Indic Storytelling - YouTube. Swetha is the author of 12 other books – these include Indic books, children’s books, short story collections and a poetry collection. Swetha has been the recipient of the Times and Scottish Book Trust Jura New Writer Award and the Charles Wallace India Trust Award.


Sara Bubber


Sara Bubber is a Certified Storyteller from Kathalaya's International Academy of Storytelling. She has an academic background of Human Development and Family Studies and strives to bring the two fields together as a research scholar. Sara is an author inspired by nature, poet inspired by the flow of life and a meditator and trainer of meditation at Heartfulness Institute. She understands the value of Indic knowledge body and tries to convey them through storytelling


Dr. Rachana Bhangaokar

Assistant Professor

Dr. Rachana Bhangaokar is an Assistant Professor at Department of Human Development and Family Studies, The Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda, India. Her research interests include cultural psychology, Indian perspectives on moral development including concepts of Dharma, Karma Yoga and Shraddha, youth civic engagement, and Gandhian philosophy.


Daniya Latypova

Social projects manager,fundraiser

Managing all projects such as rehabilitation process, fundraising and searching for donors; grants writing. One of my job responsibilities was to find resources needed to treat children who can avoid disability in their first year of life. Mostly I contacted parents who have children with special needs so that I can know their story to share. I communicated with donors who can help and donate us money or other resources. Together we organized fundraising events and flashmobs (online too). In the sphere of my work there was also organisation of inclusive children holidays where these families can feel themselves safe and comfortable. In addition, I created and edited a corporate newspaper about charity and medicine, worked with volunteer team.


Lavanya Srinivas


Dr. Pradheep Chhalliyil

a Scientist, Educator, Speaker, Entrepreneur and an Author

Dr. Challiyil co-founded a 503(c) tax-exempt non-profit non-religious organization called Sakthi Foundation. More than 23 Million View hits, the web page has information on all aspects of life based on Universal Energy Pattern. With this approach traditional knowledge based problem solving approach on health, education, Professionalism, Selftual improvement and Spiritualism are offered through Uni5 Schools and training programs as well.


Dr. M. Madeshwaran

a Director of UNI5 schools and public Speaker.

Dr. Madeshwaran is the Director of UNI5 Schools. Have around 26 years of teaching experience. He conducts training workshops for parents. He has introduced Traditional Arts in Education.


Lakshmipriya Vinothkumar

an Educator, Speaker, and Entrepreneur.

Lakshmipriya Vinothkumar Board of Directors for a 503(c) tax-exempt non-profit non-religious organization called Sakthi Foundation. More than 23 Million View hits, the web page has information on all aspects of life based on Universal Energy Pattern. With this approach traditional knowledge based problem solving approaches on health, education, Professionalism, Selftual improvement and Spiritualism are offered through Uni5 Schools and training programs as well.


Supriya Choudary

communications and content professional

Supriya is a communications and content professional based out of Hyderabad. She has worked in various sectors including financial and professional services, real estate – residential and commercial, management consulting, agribusiness, financial research, information technology to name some. She enjoys watching movies, critiquing them sometimes and writes poetry when there is a muse that can range from nature to people and emotions. She is intrigued by the human mind, behavior, and motivation. An occasional cook but an absolute foodie, Supriya enjoys travelling to quaint, unknown places, small bazaars and explore the culture and people of the land.


Lokesh Ghai

textile artist and researcher

Lokesh Ghai is a textile artist and researcher working with traditional Indian craft practice. He has showcased his textile art at V&A Museum of Childhood, London; based on folk narrative. Lokesh has been founding faculty at Somaiya Kala Vidya, Kutch, India’s premier design institute for traditional craft communities. Lokesh is faculty at School of Design, UPES University, Dehradun, India


Gauri Raje

Storyteller and anthropologist

Gauri Raje is a storyteller and anthropologist based in Scotland and India. She works with different genres: folk tales, fairy tales, epics and myths, mainly from non-European regions, and autobiographical storytelling. She is fascinated by myths and their power to hold community memories, and has been increasingly working with the ways in which stories allow migrants to create a relationship with the land they settle in.


Priya Muthukumar


Vikram Sridhar

Performance Storyteller and Theatre Practitioner

Sitting behind temple elephants, nursing wounded puppies, working with various Drama groups, Vikram Sridhar is a performance storyteller and Theatre Practitioner combining his various interests and work in Conservation , Social work and Theatre over 20+ years . His stories , workshops and Performance for Children , Adults and Families are rooted in Heritage , Ecology and Folklore . He strongly believes A STORY A DAY KEEPS THE DOCTOR AWAY .... NOT AN APPLE


Lavanya Prasad

Professional Storyteller

Lavanya is an Electrical Engineer turned professional storyteller and believes that she makes better and long lasting connections through stories either than electrical wires. Her organization Tale'scope will be stepping in to its ninth year this March,2021 and works with children adults and senior citizens using stories as a medium. Lavanya has been invited as a featured teller in international storytelling festivals .( Singapore, National storytelling network ,USA) and has had the privilege to take her stories in person to the Australian storytelling guild, Melbourne and the massai marra children in Africa. Her project roots with senior citizens was in the year 2020 acknowledged and appreciated by Honorable PM Shri. NARENDRA MODI JI. Her vision is to help the folk and the traditional storytelling art forms in India reach the younger generation.


Jeeva Raghunath


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 a Masters degree in South Indian classical Music from University of Mysore.


Smt. Hema Jayaram

Electrical Engineer, Retired Air Force Pilot Officer

Smt Hema Jayaram is an electrical engineer, Retired Air Force Pilot Officer and currently a trained educator in a reputed school in Bangalore. She has also trained in south Indian classical music and loves to weave stories and bring in a fresh relevant perspective based on scientific, analytical and spiritual thinking. The duo are cousins by birth but sisters by heart and have presented a few programs together and eager to present more theme based ,bilingual shows.


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.


Dr. Diti Vyas

Associate Professor, Anant National University

She is an Associate Professor in Writing and Communications Department at Anant National University. Grounded in Literature, Management and Fine Arts, Dr. Diti Vyas has a rich experience of academic teaching, research and consulting spanning close to two decades. Her doctoral research from Indian Institute of Technology focusing on Indian children’s literature in English and regional languages, has received national and international accolades by bodies such as International Research Society for Children's Literature (IRSCL) and The Irish Society for the Study of Children's Literature (ISSCL). She has widely lectured and presented at international and national forums such as Maastricht University, The Netherlands, University of Worcester, United Kingdom, York University, Canada, Marino Institute of Education, Ireland, National Institute of Design (NID), Indian Institute of Management Bangalore and Indian Institute of Management Udaipur, Bharatiar University, Tamilnadu and Calicut University, Kerala. She has mentored mid-career executives of Apollo Hospitals, Adani Group, Sterling Hospital, State Bank of India, British Council and more through various Management Development Programmes (MDPs) in the areas such as Leadership Communication and Interpersonal Skills. Her research in the areas of gender studies, communication studies and sustainability communication, has been appeared in publications of repute such as IRCL and Routledge Taylor and Franscis. She represents Gujarat in the collection of Folk tales, Legends and Modern Lore of India, “The Owl Delivered the Good News All Night Long” by Aleph Book House of Rupa Publication. She holds a diploma in Painting and is trained in Kathak and Hindustani music.


Shanmugam .S


Yogeendra Ranganathan


Peter Chand


Rachna Chhabria


Rachna Chhabria is a children’s author, a former creative writing teacher, a freelance writer, and a columnist with two of India’s leading English newspapers: The Asian Age and Deccan Chronicle. She freelances for five English newspapers, writing short stories, features and doing book reviews. She has written more than 300 features and stories for newspapers. Her publishing credits include Festival Stories Through The Year (HarperCollins Children’s Books, 2018), ‘Lazy Worm Goes On A Journey,’ (Scholastic 2014), The Lion Who Wanted to Sing (Unisun 2006) and Bunny in Search of a Name (Unisun 2006), Ganesha’s Blanket of Stars (2012). Her stories and articles feature in many school text books published by Oxford University Press, Pearson Books and Indiannica Learning Private Limited. Several of her new books are awaiting publication.