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Who we are

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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 169 batches of its beginner’s courses and 34 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.

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Geeta Ramanujam
Founder and Director 
Kathalaya's International Academy Of Storytelling

Core Team

Geeta Ramanujam

Founder and Executive Director

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Deivanayaki
Operations Head

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Rohini Chidambaran
Trainer and Storyteller

 

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Manjusha Vijayakumar 
Trainer and Storyteller

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Rakhee Manchanda 
Counsellor and storyteller

Varalakshmi Vijayakumar 
Counsellor and trainer for 40 years

 Gayathri Kannan
English Teacher and Educator

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Vipin Ravindranath
Trainer

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Aruna Shylesh
Storyteller

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Neha Dinesh
Storyteller

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Aishwarya
Storyteller

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Prabha
Storyteller

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Jayalakshmi
Storyteller

OUR INTERNATIONAL ACADEMY OF STORYTELLING
CENTRE COORDINATORS

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Shefali Malhotra

New Delhi

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Dharithri Krishnamurthy

Pune

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Chetan Mahajan

Satkhol

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

Team
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