Recipient of the prestigious Padma Shri Award in the year 2004, Gowri Ishwaran is an innovative educationist with over 30 years of experience in the field. She has brought a paradigm shift on how education needs to be imparted to young students, owing to her clear understanding of the needs of growing children.
She was the founding Principal of Sanskriti School, New Delhi, which is counted among the leading schools of India, achieving the distinction within a short span of 10 years. She has also been instrumental in developing, organising and conducting training programmes and seminars for students and teachers, and actively disseminating her experiences and learnings.
Padmashri Geeta Chandran is a celebrated Bharatnatyam exponent, who has synthesized the traditional knowledge of the art–form with her personal vision of dance. With a deep understanding of forms of Bharatnatyam and Carnatic Music, she presents her art through television, videos and films, theatre, choreography, dance education, dance activism and dance issue journalism.
Constantly striving to create new spaces for the classical arts and reaching out to new and young audience, the Artistic Director of Natya– Vriksha and the Professor Adjunct, Birla Institute of Technology, Pilani, she believes that dance should make a difference to life and living. She skilfully weaves abstract notions of joy, beauty, values, aspirations, myth and spirituality, through her presentations and choreographies.
DR. MEENAKSHI GOPINATH
Dr. Meenakshi Gopinath is former Principal of Lady Shri Ram College rated among the best institutions of higher learning in India. After graduating with Honours in Political Science from Lady Shri Ram College, New Delhi, she took her Masters degree from the University of Massachusetts, USA and her doctorate from the University of Delhi. In addition to her work on higher education, her research interests and publications focus on issues of security, peacebuilding, gender, Gandhian philosophy, Marxist politics, Buddhism and the performing arts.
Dr. Gopinath is also the Founder and Honorary Director of WISCOMP (Women in Security Conflict Management and Peace) an initiative begun in 1999 to promote the leadership of South Asian women in the areas of international politics, peace, security and diplomacy.
Dr. Gopinath was the first woman to serve on the National Security Advisory Board of India which she did from 2004 to 2006 where she sought to mainstream gender and human security concerns. She serves on the Governing Boards of research institutes, think tanks, NGOs and educational institutions.