Who we are
Kathalaya Trust- The House of Stories was established as a trust in 1998. Here is the story of how Geeta Ramanujam, its founder came upon this idea.
Once upon a time on a rainy day in 1998, three teachers met under a Banyan tree to discuss Storytelling and its impact on learning in society and schools........Geeta Ramanujam who was also a librarian along with the other two teachers found answers to some of the doubts raised by the education system then. " How do we make concepts in Education interesting for students?" " How do we motivate children to interact and get involved in their subjects?" STORYTELLING was the unanimous answer to it all. Well, that’s how it all began.
Kathalaya’s vision was ‘To Make a Positive Change in Education’ which soon extended to help NGOs, Schools, Corporate and professionals from different fields. By 2003 Kathalaya became a Global phenomenon supported by well-wishers, funding agencies, and Storytelling Institutions around the World. Kathalaya spread its roots far and wide.
2003- Kathalaya set up an International Academy of Storytelling with Certified Beginners Course in Storytelling Affiliated to the USA. The Diploma course was soon set up to groom professional tellers and to take up Storytelling as a career. Both Sweden and Scotland extended their support by giving us accreditation.
By 2023 Kathalaya completed 160 batches of its beginner’s courses and 30 Diploma courses training over 93,000 people in the Art of Storytelling. Traveling to over 43 countries in the World and 27 states in India Geeta personally spent over 24 years to put India as one of the best countries to sustain and grow Storytellers. Kathalaya besides being the pioneer of the Storytelling Movement in India sowed the seeds for many Storytellers to take it up as a career and life.
Kathalaya also set up over 15 Story space centers around India and the World to carry out its mission to Revive ancient Storytelling forms and to reach out to children through Storytelling.
Stories are about collaboration and connection. Kathalaya has networked with more than 122 NGOs and over 1000 schools to take Storytelling to the nooks and crannies of the country.
Kathalaya also organized the First International Storytelling festival in 2005 and has since then become the flag bearer of many festivals. Kathalaya also has over 10 collaborators in India to carry out its programs. Indeed with so little time, the concept of storytelling has become more important in corporate settings. Stories also have a timeless appeal.
Meet The Team
Founder and Executive Director
Geeta Ramanujam ,is a Master Storyteller, Trainer Founder and Executive Director of Kathalaya’s International Academy of Storytelling and Kathalaya Trust. She is also an Academician and Administrator with 24 years of experience in Storytelling. She is a Pioneer of the Storytelling movement in India having trained 85000 people in the Art. She has traveled to 48 countries around the World and 27 states in India to groom professional tellers- sowing seeds of Storytelling around the world for the last 40 years.
Deiva is the operations head and backbone of Kathalaya, making sure that the stories flow seamlessly. She has been with Kathalaya for almost a decade and has efficiently managed all sections of the organization from Accounts, Administration, Social media, Academic
co-ordinations and other upkeeps and changes.
Trainer and Storyteller
A trained trainer of the Academy of Storytelling Kathalaya She is an experienced storyteller who enjoys bringing together her passion for life skills, early learning, arts and books into one wholesome package called Storytelling.Manjusha is also our Academy trainer and coordinator of Kathasangama and the Story Weavers program for children
Counsellor and storyteller
Rakhee is the coordinator of Kathalaya’s children's programs and trainer. She is also a coordinator of our Storyweavers and the Kathasangama programs.
Counsellor and trainer for 40 years
V. Gayathri Kanan
English Teacher and Educator for 3 decades
Vipin works with clients to identify opportunities and support them with value enabled solutions. His areaof specialization is integrating training with mentoring and coaching, to impact behaviour at workplace
OUR INTERNATIONAL ACADEMY OF STORYTELLING CENTRE COORDINATORS
Our Advisory Board
Jimmy Neil Smith-Director, International Storytelling Centre, Tennesse, USA
Donald Smith -Scottish Storytelling Centre, Edinburgh, UK
Mr. G. Krishna-Corporate Consultant, Bengaluru
Mrs. Nirmala Sethuraman, Chennai