Conference

Some of the Speakers

Ven. Geshe Dorji Damdul

Ven Geshe Dorji Damdul is presently Director at Tibet House, New Delhi, Cultural Centre of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. In 1988, Geshe Dorji Damdul joined the Institute of Buddhist Dialectics, Dharamsala for formal studies in Buddhist logic, philosophy and epistemology. After 15 years of study in Buddhist philosophy he finished his Geshe Lharampa Degree (Ph.D.) in 2002 from Drepung Loseling Monastic University. He joined Gyudmed Tantric College for a year for Tantric studies.

In 2003, the Office of H.H. the Dalai Lama sent him to Cambridge University, England for Proficiency English studies. He was a visiting fellow at Girton College, Cambridge University.
He is appointed as the official translator to H.H. the Dalai Lama since 2005. He has been serving as the interpreter for H.H. the Dalai Lama for so many years and at the same time involved in doing written translations of many texts from Tibetan into English such as Arya Nagarjuna's "Mulamadyamikakarika" (Fundamental Wisdom of the Middle Way), Acharya Shantideva's "Bodhicaryavatara" (Wisdom Chapter).

While assigned with the same task of translating for H.H. the Dalai Lama inside and abroad India, he was appointed as the Director of Tibet House, Cultural Center of H.H. the Dalai Lama, New Delhi in March 2011.

As assigned by the Office of H.H. the Dalai Lama, he visited the US in 2008 to work with Prof. Paul Ekman on H.H. the Dalai Lama's book "Emotional Awareness" which is co-authored by Dr. Paul Ekman of the University of California Medical School.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama also assigned him with a text book project. He is one of the chief editors for the text book on Buddhist Science and Philosophy. This text book is to be used for Centers and Institutes all over the world to study more thoroughly on Buddhist philosophy, metaphysics, epistemology, and science.

He was also assigned, along with few other scholars to work on H.H. the Dalai Lama's book "Ethics for the New Millennium – Part II," and the series of "Art of Happiness" book which were jointly written by H.H. the Dalai Lama and Prof. Howard C Cutler. Likewise he is actively involved in critical editing works with other books of H.H. the Dalai Lama like "The Graded Path."

He was affiliated with Drepung Loseling Library where he served as the editor of Dreloma Magazine for eight years from 1994-2001. Prior to that he was the editor and contributor for 5 years for "Lhaksam Tsekpa" – a journal of comparative studies, the theme of which is on Science and Western philosophy, published by the Institute of Buddhist Studies.

He wrote number of important papers for National and International Conferences held in Delhi University, Somaya University in Mumbai, Ramakrishna Mission Institute and so forth. The papers constitute interesting topics such as "The Paradox of Brain and Mind" and "The Ultimate Reality According to Arya Nagarjuna."

He is in the process of writing two important books, one on "Journey into the Paradox of Brain and Mind" and the other "What Constitutes the Ultimate Reality: The Effects of Understanding the Ultimate Reality."

In 2004 – 05, for two years, he was assigned as the Philosophy Lecturer for the Emory University Study Abroad Program which is being held in Dharamsala, India since 2001.

Anu Aga

Anu Aga is currently the chairperson of "Teach for India" and a nominated member of the Rajya Sabha since 2012. She was the Chairperson of Thermax, the leading Indian player in energy and environment management and now is a Director on its board.

After graduating from St. Xavier's College, Mrs. Aga did her post-graduation degree at Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) specializing in medical and psychiatric social work. She was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to study in the US. In 2010 she was awarded the Padma Shri for her social work by the Government of India.
She is keenly involved in the causes of education, communal harmony and human rights.

She is an active practitioner of Vipassana meditation. She has often talked about how meditation has helped her to find peace and equanimity in the most turbulent of times.

Nithya Shanti

What happens when a person rooted in management culture takes a different path – one that is steeped in ancient wisdom traditions, and then synthesizes the two, merging his academic and corporate experience with the timeless spiritual insights on the way to a happy and fulfilled life?

A unique amalgamation occurs.

Nithya Shanti is an internationally respected spiritual teacher, seminar leader and educator, committed to sharing practical wisdom teachings for happiness and awakening with people in a joyful and transformational way.
Blending a deep study of ancient teachings, along with a rich harvest of contemporary learnings, Nithya Shanti specializes in facilitating profound shifts in awareness for people to release limitations and awaken latent potentials for a balanced and fulfilling life.

An interest in inner growth and spirituality from an early age inspired him to read many books and engage in long discussions with friends and teachers. Not content with intellectual understanding alone, he began a daily practice of meditation at the age of sixteen and attended many meditation retreats.

Nithya Shanti completed an MBA from XLRI, Jamshedpur and then worked in the corporate sector. Despite having a promising career, he was drawn to pursue his spiritual quest further. In 2002, he ordained as a Buddhist Monk.

After six years of living in forest meditation monasteries in Thailand, Sri Lanka and also various parts of India and the US, he was guided to live, learn and serve in broader ways than the traditional role of a monk permitted. With the blessings of his teachers he stepped out of the robes in early 2008 and now shares inspiring teachings in Happiness Joyshops, youth programs, corporate trainings and meditation retreats around the world.

Through his sessions, Nithya Shanti helps participants get in touch with themselves, leading the way to personal development and spiritual awakening. His light hearted and informal manner and practical and simple techniques pave the way for an experience that many have found to be life changing.

He keeps his audience engaged through stories and encourages meditation and introspection in an atmosphere of trust. Free-flowing and responsive to the mood of the audience, Nithya Shanti's workshops (which he calls "Joyshops") are the gateway to a happier and more rewarding life. He has been invited to share his insights around the world by leading universities, corporate and non-governmental organizations, he coaches CEOs, senior government officials and school teachers, and taught these principles at international conferences such as TEDx and also in prisons.

He is on the Advisory Board of Axialent, an international consulting firm specializing in enabling a more conscious culture in business. He resides in Pune, India and Logan Utah, USA. Nithya Shanti's aim is facilitating a paradigm shift from 'seeking happiness' to 'spreading happiness' through simple, joyful and practical teachings.

www.nithyashanti.com
www.facebook.com/spreadinghappiness
www.twitter.com/nithyashanti
www.soundcloud.com/nithya-shanti

Fiona Parr

Fiona Parr is a Focusing-oriented Therapist, Teacher and Mentor, and an International Focusing institute Certifying Coordinator. She has been practising focusing for 25 years and teaching for 15 years. This gives her a deep and rich experience in her subject.

Fiona has a private practice of individual clients. She teaches Focusing and Listening to small groups online and in person at her house in the UK. She trains people to professional level, so they go on to become Focusing Practitioners and Teachers.
She produces monthly articles on Focusing which are sent out as a newsletter and subsequently go on to her web site. She has produced a self-help CD which enables people to practice Focusing at home. She has a wide variety of volunteering roles, working to develop the outreach of Focusing in collaboration with colleagues in the UK and internationally.

Her passion for Focusing comes from witnessing real and profound change in her clients' lives, and in her own. People often say they are surprised at how gentle and respectful, and also how powerful Focusing is. Fiona is committed to sharing this wonderful process wherever she can.

Fiona is a lifelong meditator, and spiritual practice is important to her.

Robyn D. Walser, PhD

PhD, is associate director of the National Center for PTSD Dissemination and Training Division, and associate clinical professor in the department of psychology at the University of California, Berkeley. As a licensed clinical psychologist, she maintains an international training, consulting, and therapy practice.

Walser is developing innovative ways to translate science into practice, and is responsible for the dissemination of state-of-the-art knowledge and treatment interventions. Walser has coauthored three books, including Learning ACT, The Mindful Couple, and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy for the Treatment of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Trauma-Related Problems.

Dr. Steven Hickman

Dr. Steven Hickman is a Clinical Psychologist and Associate Clinical Professor in the UCSD Departments of Psychiatry and Family and Preventive Medicine. He is the Executive Director of the UC San Diego Center for Mindfulness, a program of clinical care, professional training and research. Since founding the Center in 2000, he has taught over 60 Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) courses, numerous other Mindfulness-Based Interventions (MBIs) and has been a trainer of teachers in MBSR, Mindful Self-Compassion and Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy. Dr. Hickman is also the Executive Director of the non-profit Center for Mindful Self-Compassion. Dr. Hickman is also a member of the Executive Committee of the UCSD Center for Integrative Medicine.

Bruce Stevenson

Bruce has a B.A. and an M.Sc. in Social Anthropology. Interestingly, Bruce was a Buddhist monk for four and a half years in the Zen and Theravada Buddhist traditions. Mindfulness in Buddhism is the seventh step of the eight-fold path. He believes that the practice of mindfulness is much more than just 'non-judgemental awareness in the moment". His view is that mindfulness is the living practice of the one who "knows" and the one who, in the absence of "thought pictures", directly sees and hears the changing conditions of nature. It is the practice of silently witnessing one's suffering, impermanence and lack of inherent existence.
Bruce has trained as an integrative psychotherapist and has over twenty-two years of experience as a therapist. He feels that the application of mindfulness is a giant leap forward especially in the field of western psychology. He feels that clients benefit tremendously from the practice of mindfulness as it tends to change the way people address or attempt to solve a problem.

Bruce specialises in Internal Family Systems Therapy (IFS) and clarifies the use of mindfulness in this particular aspect of therapy. He discusses the way in which clients get acquainted and gain an understanding of their defenses and how the practice of mindfulness assists them to step back and allow the naked mind to get to what the defenses have been trying to protect so diligently. According to Bruce, mindfulness as traditionally understood involves this investigation, this deconstruction of mental experience, in order to allow the mind that is not fabricated nor elaborated to appear.

Dr. Raja Selvam

Dr. Raja Selvam, PhD, is a senior trainer in Peter Levine's Somatic Experiencing (SE) professional trauma training programs and the developer of Integral Somatic Psychology (ISP), an advanced approach for integrating body, energy, and consciousness into any psychological process, a master training for experienced clinicians.

Dr. Selvam's eclectic approach draws from bodywork systems of Postural Integration, Biodynamic Cranio-Sacral Therapy, and Polarity Therapy, body-psychotherapy systems of Reichian Therapy, Bioenergetics,
and Bodynamic Analysis, Jungian and Archetypal psychologies, psychoanalytic schools of Object Relations and Inter-Subjectivity, Somatic Experiencing (SE), Affective Neuroscience, Quantum Physics, and Advaita Vedanta, a spiritual tradition from India. Dr. Selvam's article on treating trauma symptoms among Indian tsunami survivors was published in Traumatology (September 2008). Jung and Consciousness was published in the analytical psychology journal Spring (Fall 2013).

Dr. Selvam teaches in the United States, England, France, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, Turkey, Russia, Italy, Israel, India, Sri Lanka, Hong Kong, China, Brazil, and South Africa. Dr. Selvam is also currently involved in charitable work to increase treatment expertise among counselors working with war victims in Northern Sri Lanka and mental health professionals working with underprivileged communities in Mumbai, India.

Those interested in Dr. Selvam's trainings in India can contact Mimansa Popat at mimansap@hotmail.com.

Ravi Pradhan

Having lived and worked in Asia and the U.S., Ravi brings over 35 years of experience as a manager, entrepreneur, organizational consultant, management trainer, and social-change agent. He brings an intimate experience of both the corporate and social sectors of both cultures to his current mission: introducing an education of the "heart-mind" in schools and colleges.

Ravi spent several years working at a U.S.-based consulting group known for its innovative and effective program in large-scale safety culture, performance, and project management within the oil and gas industry. He has also coached managers and leaders throughout the U.S., Africa, and Asia in how to improve personal performance, manage teams, and collaborate with stakeholders.
In the aid and development world, Ravi designed and led innovative transformational approaches and methodologies for a wide range of applications: building capacity, strengthening institutions, enhancing leadership skills, building partnerships and alliances, and training of trainers (TOT) at public hospitals in South Asia. His methodologies have proven successful in several countries working with such clients as UNDP, UNICEF, USAID, and DFID. Ravi is considered to be the primary force in spreading Appreciative Inquiry in Nepal, and continues to develop trainers there, as well.He also helped design and subsequently conduct the Leadership for HIV/AIDS programs for the UNDP in several countries.

During the 90's, in South Asia, Ravi introduced several innovative leadership and organizational effectiveness programs based on a combination of Appreciative Inquiry and commitment/promise based management principles in government run hospitals. Nearly 1500 individuals have participated in his various programs in several countries. In 2015, Ravi introduced mindfulness based EQ and leadership programs for the Nepal Police Academy.

In the U.S., he trained under notable innovators such as Fernando Flores, who is known for his work in the area of language and commitment, or promise-based management; Professor David Cooperrider of Case Western University, co-creator of Appreciative Inquiry, a strength based management approach; The Hay Group (USA), a leading HR company in emotional intelligence; and the Landmark Forum group (USA) pioneers in personal change and transformation.

Ravi was educated by American Jesuits in Kathmandu and went to complete his MBA at Delhi University in India. Throughout his life, Ravi has thrived living and working at several intersections: business and social development; East and West; and Buddhism and modern management.

Starting in 1981, he began to study and practice meditation under Buddhist masters. Mindfulness is considered to be the foundation for all Buddhist meditative practice, and he has completed nearly 20 retreats with these masters. In 2015, he completed teacher-training programs under Mindful Schools in the U.S., Mindfulness in Schools Project in the UK, and Mindfulness Without Borders in Canada. Since 2015, he began training students and school teachers in a mindfulness based emotional skills or EQ, starting in Nepal and Vietnam.

Several of his essays have been published in Nepali papers, including: "Social and Emotional Learning," "Know-how is Embodied," "Popular Brain Myths," "The Jagir Culture in Nepali State Organizations," "Chakari, Karma, and Ke Garne," and "An Introduction to Mindfulness." The Appreciative Inquiry Practitioner published an article based on his work in hospitals, titled "The Transformative Power of Appreciative Conversations." His work is also included in the book The Appreciative Inquiry Summit by Ludema, Whitney, et al. Written ten years ago for the UNDP/HIV AIDS global program, his paper, "Why is soft so hard?" represents his thinking on change management.

More recently, two of his essays were published in the Denmark based magazine: "Mindfulness – Growing Pains" and "Hacking the self. (www.levekunst.com)

He is recently widowed and has two grown children in the US. Now based in Bangkok, he travels in the region to introduce an education of the "heart-mind" into schools, colleges and other organizations.

Shefali Kosta

Shefali Kosta is one of the founders of the Swaadha Steiner School, Pune and a Waldorf teacher and educator.

She is a postgraduate in the Vedanta stream of Sanskrit. It was during the course of her education that she was captivated by the beauty and depth of knowledge in Indian heritage. Therefore, though she went on to work in the corporate sector for many years, she kept alive an enthusiastic exploration of alternative living communities. She travelled and interacted with them often and came across many individuals involved in alternative education, thinkers and teachers questioning the why and how of conventions.
She then started to transition to the education sector herself. She underwent formal training in early childhood education and worked with children and travelled to alternative schools to explore enriched learning spaces for children. She observed these schools' and their syllabi', questioning their nature and structures and was fortunate to study places and people giving children an education much beyond the boundaries of syllabi, educating them for life. With a vision of creating learned, culturally rooted individuals, sensitive to oneself, nature and life, she found in Dr. Rudolf Steiner's educational work a basis to take her vision forward. She trained in the Waldorf pedagogy and was very keen to establish a Steiner School in Pune. It is in her mind that Swadha took birth.

Shefali is particularly keen on deepening her journey with children. She is interested in Sanskrit and Hindi literature, world cinema and likes works of art, especially paintings.

Chandrashekhar Datye

Chandrashekhar Datye, is an engineer by profession and a Vipassana teacher. After retiring as a Company Director of an engineering company, he offers voluntary service in Vipassana Centers and in other activities like MITRA Project & Anapana training.

He will be taking a session on Anapana training and its applications.

Zia Nath

Zia Nath is a Craniosacral Practitioner (BCST, IABT, RCST®) working in Mumbai since 2001, founder of Quanta Health Care Solutions, the first clinic in India to exclusively offer Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy. Zia has been supporting individuals and families with a diverse range of health issues and specialises in supporting birthing mums and new borns with issues around labor, birth, breast feeding and developmental challenges.
Quanta Health Care Solutions is the organiser and host for the international 2 year diploma foundation trainings in BCST, facilitated by ICSB - Switzerland, so far having successfully completed 2 foundation trainings since 2013 and certified more than 25 students as internationally recognised Craniosacral Practitioners (BCST). For more information, please visit www.quantacare.org. Email: craniosacralindia@gmail.com

Angelina Richa Kaushish

Angelina Richa Kaushish (BCST, MLIS, RCST®) has been into the field of Craniosacral Biodynamics since 2008 and works in the sister cities of Mumbai and Pune. She has been supporting individuals with various conditions like chronic pain, sleep issues, TMJ, spine support, eye support, autism support and many other issues through this subtle and non-invasive modality of work. Having a background in Psychology with Guidance and Counseling as her main subject, Richa combines Open Dialogue approach during her treatment sessions.
Richa is actively involved with Quanta Health Care Solutions, Mumbai as an associate practitioner and as a team member for organizing Foundation Trainings in BCST in collaboration with ICSB – Switzerland.

In Pune, Richa is a Visiting Practitioner at Just Being, Pune and at Center for Life Sciences, Health and Medicine, Kondwa - Pune.

For more information,visit, www.craniosacraltherapy.co.in Email: info@craniosacraltherapy.co.in

Mooji

Mooji is a spiritual teacher originally from Jamaica. Mooji is a disciple of Papaji, a devotee of the advaita and non-dual teacher Ramana Maharshi.

Since 1999, Mooji has been sharing satsang in the form of spontaneous encounters, retreats, satsang intensives and one-to-one meetings with the many seekers who visit him, from all parts of the world, in search of the direct experience of truth. Few amongst the modern teachers of the advaita tradition expound the 'knowledge of Self', and the method of self-enquiry, with such dazzling clarity, love and authority.
There is an energy that radiates from Mooji's presence, a kind of impersonal intimacy, full of love, joy and a curious mix of playfulness and authority. His style is direct, clear, compassionate and often humorous. Once caught in the grip of his questions, there seems to be no place to hide. So unsparing is his scrutiny and uncompromising stance, that the 'I' concept is inescapably exposed as a mental construction, when viewed from the formless awareness we are.

Mooji has travelled to Spain, Italy, Germany, Sweden, North America, Argentina, Brasil, UK, Ireland, Portugal, Ukraine, Poland, Russia, and India, conducting Satsang meetings, Intensives and Retreats. He is ever open to meeting sincere seekers of truth, whatever their background.

Sandy Dias Andrade

Sandy Dias Andrade is a psychotherapist and the director at Just Being. Departing from the field of journalism, she trained in Clinical Psychology from Mumbai University. Over the years, she has assimilated and synthesized various psycho-spiritual approaches within psychotherapy and group process work and has intuitively moved towards a holistic, transpersonal and integral approach.

She is passionate about merging mainstream psychological processes with mindfulness.
Her enthusiasm and search finds her to be the first therapist from India to receive training in Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) from its developer, Zindel Segal, from the University of San Diego, California, U.S.A. She has also trained in Acceptance Commitment Therapy (ACT), another Mindfulness Based Intervention.

With fifteen years of experience in counselling and psychotherapy, she is trained in a number of approaches that include Cognitive Therapy, Integrated Somatic Psychotherapy (ISP) and EMDR. She is a skilled facilitator and her own ongoing mindfulness practice guides her work with clients and groups. She has further honed her skills in the application of mindfulness through numerous online and in person trainings and retreats with leading teachers and trainers in the field of mindfulness and psychology.

She has developed an approach to psychotherapy 'Presence Oriented Psychotherapy' and trains psychotherapists and counsellor in this approach. She also offers a course in Lay Counselling (Listening with Mindfulness & Embodied Presence) as a bridge program to meet the needs in the community for high quality listening spaces.

She is also involved in the field of suicide prevention and is a trustee with Connecting, a Pune based NGO that works in this field. She initiated its helpline service, the first of its kind in the city based on the principles of listening. She designed and co-developed their training programme in `Mindfulness based Active Listening' and has trained hundreds of volunteers for its programs.

She earlier worked as a school counsellor with the Rewachand Bhojwani Academy (RBA) where she worked extensively with children, teachers, parents, school systems and processes. Through the Madhavi Kapur Foundation (MKF), she continued to offer consultations and trainings to schools and teachers. She authored MKF's Life Skills Orientation manual for counsellors and life skills teachers. She now does mindfulness based work with schools through Just Being.

The application of mindfulness in education, parenting, relationships, communities and organizations is also what she is passionate about. Her own journey in awareness, love and wisdom is what she seeks to nurture and facilitate for herself as well as for others. A journey towards inner wholeness and wholesome communities.

K B Jinan

K B Jinan is an activist, designer and educationist. He has been working with traditional artisans in various parts of India. In the process he has been addressing his own de-colonizing and de-schooling process. Born in 1959 in Trichur district of Kerala, he did his Engineering in 1983 and post graduate in product design in 1989 from National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad.

He has been researching the issues of what is true learning and what children learn naturally, the role of natural play in the cognitive development of children since the last twenty five years. He has also been involved in work with rural tribal societies since more than thirty years.
Jinan considers his way back, from a sense of alienation stemming from modern education to a more authentic way of knowing and Being, to be influenced by his interactions with non literate people and children. His first turning point began with the understanding that only non literate people can make him understand as to how knowledge is created, how learning takes place etc. They became his first teachers. His second turning point began with the discarding of books as the source of knowledge. Stopping reading reactivated the uses of senses and experience as the cognitive source. The third turning point began with very close interaction with a new born child but by giving up all kinds of power over the child. Thus he realized children are born to remind us how far we have moved from our biological moorings.

So two basic areas of his work have been understanding the biological roots of being and the fundamental damages of modernity. Jinan sees modern crisis as a cognitive crisis due to various changes that took place to lead to a total cognitive phenomena. The replacement of cognitive source from real context to text rewires the cognitive tool, process and hence the structure. Reasoning takes over as the means to understand, thereby short circuiting the real process of understanding. We then live in the realm of language and the mind constructed conceptual world.

Whereas in traditional paradigm the biological process are intact to a large extent and mind functions in sync with the body. Content of the mind is directly connected to the real world and is experienced authentically by the being, retaining the originality.

There are two, somewhat distinct phases to the journey of trying to understand what is wrong with schooling. The first one is around the question `how to teach children' and the second around `how children learn'. This for Jinan made the crucial difference in his search as the first question involves psychology and conditioning and the second centers around biology and natural propensity.

Dr. Rajlaxmi

Dr. Nidmarti Rajlaxmi has a doctorate in Ayurvedic medicine, with a practice in gynecology. She was a full time doctor when she began taking classes at the RIMYI Institute and has trained directly under the Iyengars. She is a senior teacher at the Iyengar institute. Drawing from many years of study with BKS Iyengar, Dr. Geeta. S. Iyengar and Prashant Iyengar, she imparts a wealth of knowledge, experience and expertise.

Narendra

Narendra's association with indigenous communities, their rhythms, flows and languages/silences of everyday living, particularly in Bastar, goes back to over 30 years. He has lived with and observed indigenous worldview and non-doing communities.

Dr. Sandip Ravindra

Dr. Sandip Ravindra is an assistant professor in the department of psychology, SNDT Women's University, Pune. He did his Masters and M.Phil in clinical Psychology from Nagpur and Pune University respectively.

He is currently pursuing his PhD in Cognitive Psychology in the area of human-computer interaction, Mindfulness and cognition.

Asavari Gupchup

Asavari Gupchup is a counselor and art based therapy practitioner. She has completed her post graduate diploma in counseling psychology. Asavari has completed the course in Buddhist psychology offered by Savitribai Phule university. She is also an art based therapist, having completed a course offered by WCCLF, which involves art forms such as movement, drama, rhythm and visual arts as therapy. Having keen interest in transpersonal psychology and mindfulness, she has been associated with Sandy Dias and Just Being, where mindfulness and compassion are the focus point of every activity.
Being a dancer herself, she has done a workshop on dance therapy under renowned dance therapist, Tripura Kashyap. She is passionate about the relationship of body and mind and hence she brings movement and dance in her therapies.

Asavari has worked with teachers, women, adolescent children with special needs, students with rural backgrounds and individual clients.

The base belief for her therapy is that every human being is born complete. If a person is stuck in life, he or she only needs a compassionate listening ear, which would then provide an opportunity to peep into oneself and see his or her own solutions.

Kavita Saju Nair

Kavita is currently working as an Art-based-therapistand project leader with the BAPU Trust, Pune. She is also pursuing ABT Educators Program with the WCCLF, Pune.

She oversees the therapeutic groups in the community, working with clients having severe mental disorders and facilitating training programs in non-formal psychosocial care and inclusion.
She has done her M.A. in Social work from Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai and a certificate course in Applied Buddhist Psychology and Ethics, Department of Pali and Buddhist Studies, University of Pune.

Over the past few years, she has worked with diverse groups including the KRIPA De-addiction Centre, Pune, an NGO working with people afflicted with chemical dependency & HIV Infection; ARKIN, Pune, a home school for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder; Parkinson's Mitra Mandal, a Pune based support group for people diagnosed with Parkinson's; Chetna Mahila Vikas Kendra, Pune, which is dedicated to empowerment of marginalized women in Pune and Sindhudurg, Maharashtra. She has worked as a Bal-sakhi in Children's Remand Home in Mumbai, with destitute children and Juvenile offenders.

She is also actively involved with MAITRI, Mumbai a support project for the family members of mentally ill.

Pranita Madkaikar

Pranita is presently the CEO, Tara Mobile Crèches, Pune.

She is a certified trainer in Emotional Intelligence and comes with a 27 years of experience in the field of Intellectual & Developmental Disabilities as a teacher, Principal, Research office and Faculty in special education.

She has worked for 12 years as a Regional Administrative Head at the National Institute for the Mentally Handicapped, Western Regional centre, Mumbai.
She is actively involved in various activities as a member on panel constituted by the Rehabilitation Council of India for assessment of teacher training institutes in special education and instrumental in Capacity building initiatives of children, parents, professionals and volunteers in rural as well as urban areas. She was Instrumental in initiating numerous associations of parents of children with intellectual & developmental disabilities and also scripted & directed street plays on Mental Retardation.

Arul Dev

Arul Dev is a fulfillment coach, integral development facilitator, niche hiring partner, holistic educator, and an inspired entrepreneur. He has been conferred as an Associate Certified Coach (ACC) TM by the International Coach Federation.
For 22 years, Arul Dev is the Founder CEO of People First Consultants which offers learning & development solutions, talent hiring for corporate and integral education programs for teachers & students. His core passion is to work with visionary leaders to cause a change in the corporate work culture and the quality of education imparted in India. His belief is that when leaders are authentic, competent and fulfilled in their work-life, they can naturally inspire their teams to sense & uphold the organisation's purpose & culture; sustain qualitative productivity at work; and deliver evolving value to their clients.

Over the years he has built a unique style of facilitating workshops and creating coaching journeys that help leaders to connect to the depth of their own 'being' space to enable and develop self-awareness and mastery. This approach provides leaders clues about specific inner shifts required, to authentically master chosen skills and competencies. He partners long term with several organisations and creates unique solutions for them that are sensitive and aligned to their culture, processes, purpose and growth needs. Every solution that he facilitates aims at a Win-Win-Win – one is to honor the unique nature & strengths of the individual, second is to nurture the core of the organisation and the third is to honor larger ecology & collective wellbeing of team members.

His unique style of facilitation and coaching includes:
  1. Providing the best in class content experientially to leaders and generating deeper dialogue. This enables them to contemplate and cull out key learning points
  2. Enabling reflection for leaders to explore what is deeply resonating and inspiring to them in each topic. This enables them to explore its nuances, internalize and integrate each topic.
  3. Supporting leaders to recognize the tiny changes they can make in their mind, emotion, energy and habit level that will cause a quantum enhancement in the competencies they want to master.
  4. Being a pure empowering mirror, providing a safe space for leaders to experiment with some inner development & learning work during the session time itself and make specific plans to continue their learning into their work and life.

Some of the key assignments he has delivered for organisations recently include:

  1. Culture 'Essencing', Internalizing and Embedding – Culling out and enabling 'signature experience' of the organization.
  2. Championing change from an inside-out process.
  3. Being Global Centered – developing the global heart and global mind.
  4. Facilitation of 360-degree Feedback, to further individual authenticity and organisational resonance.
In the education space his focus is to inspire teachers to bring in Inspiring and Integral Education methods and practices in their institutions. He is a guest faculty for the Self Awareness and Integral Karma Yoga elective courses, at IIT Madras. He is the author of the Inner Presence model and InPres ™ tool that maps the 'being' layer of individuals and facilitates the discovery of their signature strengths in their mind, vital life energy, body and action. Several papers presented based on this model has won awards & special mention status both in Indian and International conferences.

In the talent search division his primary focus is to 'enrich the hiring interface' for clients, candidates and consultants. He builds leadership and validation process to enable niche hiring to be done with high values, transparency and mutual fulfillment. When hiring candidates for clients his passion is to ensure cultural fitment in addition to ensuring role and competency match. His aim is to continue to develop and build his team of joyful and authentic recruiters who can add great value from their heart and work to our clients.