Past Speakers

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Mrs. Kunda Vijaykar

Social Activist

Kunda Vijaykar is the first woman mayor of Nagpur, India. She was elected as the mayor in January 1997, and served in the position for three years. She is the first woman from Nagpur to be elected as the mayor of the city. During her tenure, she initiated a number of projects that helped to improve the city’s infrastructure, including the construction of new roads, bridges, and other public works. She also oversaw the improvement of public transportation in the city, as well as the introduction of a number of public parks and recreational facilities. She is a strong advocate for women’s rights, and worked to improve the safety and quality of life for women in the city. Kunda Vijaykar’s work as mayor of Nagpur is widely remembered and appreciated. She is seen as an example of how women can and should be involved in the decision-making process in cities, and her legacy lives on in the city of Nagpur.

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Sangeetha Mahajan

Activist and Photographer

Sangeetha Mahajan is an activist-photographer who has proven that the camera is a double-edged sword that can fight against injustices. In addition, it possesses a poetic lens that zooms into beautiful horizons. For the spectators, this is a first-hand visual treat. Here, she reminisces about her hitherto journey, her childhood and adolescence in slum dwellings, and the reaping of success after a series of hardships. She fondly narrates how she has bagged a good deal of awards including the Fugi International Award. For her, it is a mark of prestige that her photos are met with due credit in international dailies like the London Times and London Independence.

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Dr. (Mrs) Atya Kapley

Chief Scientist (Jan 2019 to date) Head, Environmental Biotechnology and Genomics Division CSIR-NEERI, Nehru Marg Nagpur Vice President, Asia, Organization for Women in Science for the Developing World, (OWSD) A program unit of UNESCO

Dr Kapley uses metagenomic tools to understand microbial diversity and function so as to add new dimensions into environmental pollution research, especially in wastewater reuse and rejuvenating degraded soil. She has developed an in-situ drain treatment technology that combines microbiology and engineering to address the problem of untreated sewage. With a research experience of 30 years, she has developed scientific as well as administrative skills, leading many National and International projects. She brings in two specific domains into her scientific career (i) Generating knowledge via basic research and (ii) taking science to society. She is a fellow of the “Maharashtra Academy of Sciences” and member of various committees at National level. She works extensivelyfor the empowerment of women in science via the Organization for Women in Science for the Developing World, (OWSD), a program unit of UNESCO, where she is the Vice President of the Asia Pacific region.

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Mrs.Padmini Jog

A home science graduate, a Montessori teacher and an experienced yoga teacher

Mrs. Padmini Jog ( age 78 ) says she will continue with her mission till her last breath. It is her passion and mission. Her husband was in the Army and he fought two wars with Pakistan in 1965 and 1971. They conducted 561 yoga camps together free of charge, especially for the Army Navy Air Force police schools, and colleges. After the demise of Col Pratap Jog, in 2014 She is continuing the mission wholeheartedly. As of date, she has conducted 940 yoga camps free of charge. Recently she conducted yoga camps for the troops in North Kashmir in eleven different locations at a height of 12, 300 feet. About 1, 600 jawans benefitted.

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Bhagyashree Deshpande

Social Educationist

Bhagyashree, Director (Academics) at AGVS holds an engineering degree from the National Power Training Institute and a management degree from Flame University. Having worked with corporates like Essar Power Ltd. and Credit Suisse, Bhagyashree was seeking work that meant more, that promised satisfaction at multiple levels, even if not financial. She personifies sincerity and simplicity and she recognizes the value of good management of resources, especially human resources - despite the various backgrounds that hardworking people come from. It is her vision to identify the best that a teacher can offer in a rural area and encourage her to give her best. Bhagyashree herself is keen to learn new and natural ways of learning for children especially those that promote trust, empathy, and growth rather than fear, threat, and arrogance.

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Riddhi Vikamshi

Vocalist, composer and music producer.

Riddhi Vikamshi is a 17 year old musician from Nagpur. She is a Vocalist, composer and music producer. Her songs are a fusion of electronic genres with Hindustani classical music. Her team was also the part of the top ten nominees of India film project's 50 hours Music challenge in the category Folk fusion. She has also been organising a community music session called ‘Baithak’, where musicians from different backgrounds come together to make new and original music. She is also the founder of 'India Music Fest', central India's first interactive music festival. She has performed at various events including The Orange City literature festival and was a featuring artist at IIM Nagpur's fest.

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