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Tuhina Sharma

Tuhina is a part of the Book Development Team at Parag. She holds a Master’s in Social Work- Children and Families, from the Tata Institute of Social Sciences. Over the past 3 years of her journey in the development sector, she has worked closely with children and their stakeholders across different settings- including municipal schools and Child Care Institutions. With a deep interest in children’s literature, reading and theatre, she is driven towards safeguarding and ensuring children’s rights by building engaging and imaginative learning environments.

When not working, she enjoys taking long walks, journaling and painting.

Lakshmi Karunakaran

Lakshmi leads Parag’s vision and program implementation country wide across verticals. Previously, at Hasiru Dala, she initiated and led the Buguri Children’s Program setting up community libraries for children of waste pickers across Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. For over a decade now, Lakshmi has worked with children experiencing social exclusion in government schools, special needs schools, remedial schools, and in disadvantaged communities. In an earlier avatar Lakshmi was a communication professional leading countrywide communication initiatives in IT organizations. In 2017, she was an artist in residence at the Center for Contemporary Arts, Warsaw, working on a project on children from abandoned mines in Poland. She was a fellow at the Arts or Good Fellowship 2019 at the Singapore International Foundation. Lakshmi writes regularly for Teacher Plus, a magazine for contemporary teachers. The work at Parag brings together her passion for stories, children’s literature and libraries. She is a self-certified cat slave and lives in Bangalore with her partner and two cats.

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Sonika Kaushik

Sonika serves as the Lead for Professional Development vertical of Parag Initiative including the Library Educator’s Course in Hindi and the Children’s Library Course. As the core lead faculty, Sonika oversees implementation, content and strategic direction of the courses. Her areas of interest include development of literacy in the early years, literature for young children and academic development of teachers of young children. She led the Mathura Pilot Project, Reading Development Cell at the National Council of Educational Research and Training as one of the core team members. Her work with the reading and early literacy programmes at the NCERT spans nearly a decade. Sonika started her career as a primary school teacher in a village in Rajasthan and has taught in primary schools in Delhi for about six years. She has taught papers on pedagogy of language and children’s literature as a faculty at the Department of Elementary Education, Jesus and Mary College, University of Delhi. She has been involved extensively in-service programmes for teachers and teacher educators. She has designed and taught a paper on early language and literacy as guest faculty at I Am A Teacher. She has served on committees for textbook development (Delhi government, Hindi textbooks post-NCF), review of textbooks and review of children’s literature and committees for curriculum development of teacher education programmes. She has been a member of the Advisory Board to Room to Read. She holds a doctoral degree in education- early literacy from University of Delhi and was awarded the post-doctoral fellowship by the Indian Council of Social Science Research in 2019.

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Manvi Mehrotra

Manvi (she/her) is an intersectional feminist determined to actively participate in social justice efforts. She leads the Communications at Parag. Growing up in a family of distinguished academicians has instilled a strong sense of learning and respect for academia within her. She deeply believes that reading can transform people’s lives. In the past she managed Communications of the Elder Care Portfolio at Tata Trusts. Manvi has studied Economics from Jai Hind College for her graduation and pursued further studies in Journalism from Xavier Institute of Communications. Her education has cemented her understanding of Social Justice, Education, Human Rights and Communications. Manvi chooses to center her life around bell hooks’ words, “the transformative power of love is the foundation of all meaningful social change.” She loves spending her time in the company of books.

Amrita Patwardhan

Amrita has led development and implementation of two five year strategic plans for Education. She has represented the Trusts on National Mission on Libraries, has been on committees appointed by Ministry of Human Resource Development and National Council for Education Research and Training to review national programmes. Amrita was a teacher in a primary school, volunteered as a teacher educator in tribal schools and researched impact of displacement on children at Clark University, United States. Amrita has done her MPhil in Education from Delhi University. Early literacy, children’s literacy and social justice are her areas of special interest.

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Navnit Nirav

Navnit leads the Library programme at Parag. His work entails building an overall strategy for libraries and strengthen the government school system. He holds a Rural Management degree from KIIT University, Bhubaneswar. Navnit has years of experience in the education sector, with extensive work in rural and elementary education, Governance and policy, community development and development communication. Prior to joining the Trusts, he has worked with Bharti Foundation, Azim Premji Foundation and United Nations Development Program. He is a writer, a poet with dozen of short stories published for adults in leading Hindi magazines and newspapers. He holds special interests in contemporary literature and creative writing. Navnit enjoys working with children, teachers and communities. He likes to travel and read books.

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Nitu Singh

Nitu anchors the Library Educator’s Course (LEC) and works as a faculty. She also coordinates professional development and capacity building at Parag. She works closely with multiple state governments for strengthening capacity of professionals in education sector. Prior to joining Parag, she worked with the Literacy and Library Programme of Room to Read. Nitu began her career as a teacher-educator with District Institute of Education & Training, Madhya Pradesh. She has contributed articles on library and education in different educational journals. Her areas of interest are library, early literacy, reading and teacher’s education. She enjoys reading fiction and biographical narratives. Nitu loves to tell stories to children in the library and engages them with books. She likes traveling and observing local culture and history. She holds a Master’s degree in Education and English literature and has a keen interest in weaving stories through stitching and re-use of trash for library displays.

Parul Bajaj

Parul leads Kitablet, the digital library initiative. She studied Computer Science at Delhi Institute of Technology and Management at IIM Bangalore. She worked in technology companies in engineering and management roles, but gradually found her way to use her qualifications in her area of passion – world of learning and education. She lives in Bangalore. Her interest in curation extends beyond Kitablet and in her free time she enjoys the company of handpicked movies, songs, plays and books. Parag has helped her get back to reading and a book now often finds its way to her hand every day.

Priyanka Singh

Priyanka leads Parag’s book development, and is an integral educator, children’s author and storyteller. She has worked in the field of education for the last 15 years. Earlier, she worked with Mirambika Free Progress School, New Delhi and The Heritage School, Gurgaon as an educator, worked in publishing with Suryastra, and has conducted storytelling sessions across India in collaboration with UNESCO, Times Foundation, Salaam Baalak Trust, Jaipur Literary Festival Outreach, Pratham, The LAMO Trust and the Indira Gandhi National Centre for Arts. She is passionate about education and endeavors to inspire children in an imaginative and engaging environment.

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Proma Basu Roy

Proma is committed to working for education since the onset of her work-life. Books, reading and the library is where she finds heart. She works for the Big Little Book Award and Library Programme in Gadchiroli. She has studied Education for her Bachelors from Calcutta University and Education (Elementary) for Masters from Tata Institute of Social Sciences. In the past, Proma has worked for teacher education, curriculum development and reading programmes both in rural and urban India. She has also worked as a researcher for research programmes of the MHRD, Unicef, ITC and other research organizations.

Suraj Shikhare

Suraj leads Parag’s Accounts and Grant Management. He has worked in the field of Finance and accounts for the last 15 years. Earlier, He worked with Save the Children India for 8 years and prior to this he has worked with Pratham for 4 years. He has a good hold over the functioning of non-profit organizations. He did bachelors of Commerce from Mumbai University and Masters in Business Administration (Executive) from Indian Management Institute. He has knowledge about seeking assignments in Accounts, Finance, Audit, Taxation, Budgeting, Financial Planning, Fund Management, Costing, Bank Reconciliation, Internal Control, Asset Management, Variance Analysis, MIS Reporting, Accounts Payable, Accounts Receivable.

Vivek Thakur

Vivek works with Parag as a Library Manager, in Gadchiroli district of Maharashtra. His key responsibilities focus on managing the Parag library programme which is a part of the Trust’s Integrated Rural Upliftment Programme (IRUP). He holds a Masters’ degree in Management and in Education. Vivek began his career in education as a fellow at Azim Premji foundation, wherein he worked closely with government functionaries, teachers and children of Uttrakhand and Chhattisgarh. He finds interest in Education and Public Policies. He enjoys travelling, spirituality and engages himself in exploring how local available resources can be utilised to teach subjects. Working and being around children motivates him very much.