Dr. Cheriyan Alexander is a professor of English. Dr. Alexander graduated from St. Joseph’s College with a B.Sc, and went on to CMC, Vellore, where he did a PG Diploma in Medical Microbiology. Then, he shifted his academic field completely and joined MA in English at Bangalore University. He has been teaching since 1982. He earned a distinction for his M.Phil, which he did at Bangalore University as an FIP scholar, and later completed his PhD from the University. His doctoral work was on Post-War Eastern European literature, particularly the effect of totalitarian political regimes on the region’s literature.Dr. Alexander has written on issues of literature, culture and the arts for newspapers and magazines. He has edited a book of short stories by Bangalore writers entitled ‘Many Rooms, Many Voices.’ His essays have been included in English Textbooks of Bangalore University. He has also given several radio talks both on AIR and Gyan Vani. He has served on textbook committees of both the PU Board and Bangalore University. Dr. Cheriyan Alexander’s first priority is to be an inspiring and stimulating teacher and he finds it fulfilling when his students come back and tell him that his classes gave them new insights not just into literature in English but also into many aspects of life.
Rev. Dr. M. C. George is an ordained Minister of the Mar Thoma Syrian Church. He completed his B.A. in Philosophy from Kerala University, B.D. from Serampore College and Ph.D. in Counselling from Vision Christian University, California. He has over 40 years of experience in education, administration and rural development work. He worked as a Project officer in Wandoor Rural Development Project, Malapurram district, as Director of the Development department in Kunnamkulam Malabar diocese and later of the Uppada Mission Complex. He was also the Superintendent of the Ravi Varma Destitute Home in Trichur and Balikamandiram – a hostel for girls of socially and economically backward families, Perumbavoor. Rev. Dr. George has also served as a Counsellor in various educational institutions including Mar Thoma residential School, Tiruvalla and Titus II Teachers Training College, Tiruvalla. He was the President of the Deena Bandhu Mission Hospital, Kunnamkulam and Association for the Development of Women and Children. He was closely associated with the formation of the Christian Agency for Rural Development and later served on its Governing Board. He was also associated with the formation of a school for children with speech and hearing impairment in Kasargod and a hostel for working women in Nilamboor. He has served on the Mar Thoma Publication Board and was the Chief Editor of “Our magazine”. He has contributed over 70 articles and poems in several publications. He is the author of two books on family and parenting, published by CSS (Christava Sahitya Samithy) titled “Ini Avar Randalla” (they are no longer two) and “Makkale Valarthumpol” (when you bring up children). He moved to Bangalore in May 2007.
Jean completed her Master’s Degree in Social Work, specializing in Medical and Psychiatric Social Work from Roshni Nilaya, Mangalore University, followed by an M. Phil in Psychiatric Social Work from the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS) deemed university, Bangalore. She began her career as a School Counsellor and was involved in providing Life Skills Training for junior and high school students of private schools and imparting AIDS awareness to college students. Thereafter, she served as a Development Co-ordinator in a child-centred NGO where her role included designing and coordinating the activities of the Trust, mobilizing resources, liasioning with other NGO’s and educational institutions. Jean then worked at St. John’s Medical College Hospital, Bangalore where she tutored under–graduate and post–graduate students in Psychiatry and Social Work, and trained nursing staff and community health workers on common mental disorders. She was part of the clinical consultation team in Psychiatry providing specialized interventions, namely, individual case work, family therapy, marital therapy, group work and rehabilitation. She later worked as a consultant in Human Dynamic Asia Pacific, an organisation providing People Management Services like Critical Incident Stress Management, Learning & Development, and so on. Jean also has experience in training corporates on topics of mental health and volunteers her time in an NGO focusing on families.
Mahalakshmi is a consultant, working with environment, development and health related organizations since 1995. She has varied experience in Research, Communication, Networking and Administration.
Research – Mahalakshmi has a proven track record of action research and “appraisals” (pre and post finance appraisals) for Indian and international donors, which fostered grass roots development. She has also applied these skills to help with practical fund-raising and related research for several voluntary organizations working in diverse fields.
Communications – Mahalakshmi has been able to present her research in environment and development issues to the larger public through her journalistic articles and publications. Her other activities include a keen interest in the viusal medium with a focuson effectively portraying matters of environmental justice to a wider audience. She has been involved in research and production coordination in the making of two documentaries – Faces of Kudremukh & The Curse of Talakad.
Networking – She has helped several organizations to extend its network of support and create issue-based linkages through networking with other Indian and International organizations.
Administration – Her varied work experiences have been founded on solid administrative and organizational skills. Mahalakshmi has also organised national and international conferences on environment and development issues.
Through her association with the development sector, her efforts have been aimed at attempts to secure justice for the people who have been affected by unjust policies or those who have been adversely affected by things beyond their control.
Naveen began his career in Sirsi in Uttara Karnataka district of Karnataka, where he worked on environmental and forest management issues as part of Jana Aranya Vedike. He later worked with Community Health Cell, Bangalore, where he was involved in health research and activities of the people’s health movement. He later helped in the co-ordination of a community health fellowship scheme, where young doctors and social scientists were oriented and trained in community health. He was also part of the World Health Organisation- Watch (WHO-Watch) team of the International People’s Health University (IPHU). He is involved in the activities of the All India Drug Action Network (AIDAN). Naveen has been part of various disaster responses such as Orissa Super Cyclone response of Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), drought response in Western Rajasthan and tsunami response in South India with Oxfam GB, and flood response in North Karnataka with headstreams. He worked with Oxfam GB on a project dealing with health and disasters. He was subsequently Oxfam International’s lead evaluator for studying the permanent housing programme in tsunami-hit areas of Tamil Nadu and Kerala. Naveen has been involved in different studies like A Research Study on Tobacco Usage, Production and Cultivation; A Study on Global Public Private Initiatives (GPPIs) in Health; Law and Ethics in Public Health –The Case of Pharmaceutical Policy in India; A Study of Charitable Giving for the Extension of Health Services; A Study of Joint Forest Planning and Management in Karnataka, and so on. He completed his Master’s in Social work from Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), Mumbai, and was later awarded Ph.D. in Social Work from the same University. Naveen has completed a specialised (post-graduate diploma) course in Medical Law and Ethics from National Law School of India University, Bangalore, and a IPHU short-course in Primary Health Care and the Political Economy of Health
Nitya is a corporate lawyer with over two years of work experience. She is currently working in a firm which provides legal advice and services to clients in India and abroad. After completing her studies in Law, Nitya also did an advanced Post Graduate Diploma in Business Law from National Law School, Bangalore. Nitya has a vision of using her legal skills for the empowerment of common people, especially women and children. Her interests lie in the fields of arts, theatre, music, pottery, and Indian classical dance.
Santhy completed her graduation in English Literature from Indra Prastha College, Delhi and Master’s from Madras Christian College, Chennai. Subsequently she did her B.Ed from Titus II Teachers Training College, Tiruvalla. She later taught in Kristu Jayanti College, Bangalore for three years where she had an opportunity to interact closely and work with youngsters on various issues affecting youth. She has been interested in family and parenting issues from a very young age, and has attended a course in Family Developmental Counseling
Selena is passionate about children, especially in issues w.r.t. their psychosocial development. She has experience in this through her work as child facilitator at the learning co-operative Bhavya in Bangalore, an orientation course she did at NIMHANS, Bangalore, working with the Child And Police (CAP) Project with Dr. Reddy’s Foundation, Hyderabad, and through mothering her daughter. Apart from this she has experience in community forest management (working with Prakriti, Mussorie), in issues of education (working with Shikshantar, Udaipur), medical and psychiatric social work (through TISS, Mumbai) and in writing and editing (through work at Femina, Mumbai). She is extremely interested in issues of nutrition, ecological conservation and theology.
Shailesh completed his degree in medial and psychiatric social work from Tata Institute of Social Sciences. He has worked with Oxfam India Trust, Path Canada, Modi Foundation on environmental and health issues. Later he worked with Population Services International on a project named Connect in Bangalore. His area of work included HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis workplace intervention. Shailesh is currently working on tobacco control related issues in the Asian region