Our supervisors come from different professional and creative backgrounds bringing significant experience and strength to the supervision of API trainees.
Dr Gitanjali G Govindrajan
Dr. Gitanjali G Govindrajan, a Certified Rehabilitation Professional (CRR No: A93207) with Rehabilitation Council of India, Honoris Causa (Social Work, LADC Institute, USA) is an educationist, social innovator, entrepreneur, and an Arts Based Therapy (ABT) Practitioner, an Arts Practices for Inclusion (API) Educator. She is a fellow of the Complementary Medical Association (UK), a TEDx speaker with a Post-Graduation Diploma in Community Based Rehabilitation, a distinction with a CDP certified Diploma in Neuropsychology, and a university rank for her Masters in Biochemistry. She is on the path to be certified with the International Coaching Federation.
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For over two decades Gitanjali been pioneering effective ways to bridge developmental deficits in education, and weave inclusion into the mainstream world. She has always been clear about wanting to spend time with children with special needs, learn of a world that does not discriminate, a people who love you for who you are and not what you do, who are not quick to judge, but rather quick to embrace. Years of working with children and adults, culminated in Snehadhara Foundation. Over the past few years Snehadhara has worked with around 7500 children through direct and weekly interventions, with over 70000 children through indirect interventions in schools and other receptive environments and trained over 2500 professionals in about 500 organisations across the country. Over the past two years, Snehadhara’s international journey has carried its best practices to Canada, Argentina, Brazil, Qatar, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Nepal.
Her research-based innovations in curriculum, pedagogy, content and delivery are what has allowed her to create pioneering innovations evidenced by recognition from marquee organisations like Qatar Foundation, Millenium Alliance, Association for Experiential Education at Montreal, Canada, Conferencia International, Buenos Aires, amongst others. Gitanjali consults with corporates to create a culture of inclusivity through appropriate trainings and workshops. She has conducted workshops regularly in diversity/inclusion for corporates like Oracle, AMAT, Alation, Intel, Google, Accenture to name a few.
Gitanjali many awards and accolades to her credit and her work has been recognized in various platforms internationally. To mention a few – Gitanjali is an awardee of the Millennium Alliance Global Award 2020 which takes her stellar innovation ‘Kala Samvaad – Arts Practices for Inclusion’ to Nepal. She has been awarded the Nation Builder Award by Rotary Literacy Mission. Gitanjali has been awarded the 2nd Creative Art Therapy Award 2020 in recognition of her outstanding contribution to the field of Art Therapy by the Sancheti Healthcare Academy as a recognition to the silent heroes who have done exemplary and exceptional work in the field of Creative Art Therapies.
She has been recognised by Global Ethics Forum and Indian Institute of Management, for working towards establishing an impartial and fair world. She has also spoken at the prestigious TEDx BITS Hyderabad on ‘The Goodness of Life’. Gitanjali was invited as a key speaker at the Conferencia Internacional – Por una Educacion que despliega las habilidades del Ser in Buenos Aires, 2019. Gitanjali has been selected as an ACTIVATEE speaker at the 45th International Association for Experiential Education (AEE) Conference in Montreal in November 2017. Gitanjali Govindrajan is the proud recipient of the Millennium Alliance Grant as a social innovator of one of the top five Innovations in the country for Education, 2017 by FICCI and in partnership with United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Technology Development Board, Department of Science and Technology, Government of India.
Gitanjali has been conferred an honorary doctorate in Social Work (LADC, USA) and holds a Masters in Biochemistry along with a Post Graduate Diploma in Community Based Rehabilitation. She has completed the TA 101 Course and training in Transaction Analysis and as a Coach with the International Coaching Federation. She also holds a Diploma in Neuropsychology (Accredited to Complementary Medical Association and Quality License Scheme). Gitanjali Govindrajan has a certificate in Psychological First Aid from Johns Hopkins University. She also has a certificate in Social Psychology from Wesleyan University. Born and educated in Mumbai, she has been a Lady Tata Memorial Scholarship Awardee and a University rank holder in Biochemistry. She has studied Applied Buddhist Psychology and Ethics from Pune University. Gitanjali is a trained Bharatanatyam dancer and has trained in Hindustani and Carnatic vocals. She has trained under Arthur Hull in Drum Circle Facilitation. She is presently training in Mixed Martial Arts and Kickboxing.
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Sumathi Ramjee is the Joint Managing Trustee at Snehadhara Foundation and is part of the faculty of the Arts Practices for Inclusion Certificate course that has been launched in 2021. Sumathi, an Arts Based Therapy Practitioner has been the recipient of Pearson Teaching award for Outstanding Contribution to Special Needs children in the year 2012-2013 and Pearson Special Jury Award in the year 2012-2013. She has presented a poster on “Crossing Sensory Boundaries using Arts” at the South Asia International Autism Conference 2015, Delhi.
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Sumathi is a First-Class B. Tech in Electronics from Madras Institute of Technology, Chennai. After working as an assistant director with the Institute for Design and electrical measuring instruments, Mumbai, her field diverged and she acquired a Certificate in Guidance and counselling from Christ College, Bangalore. Thereafter followed a certificate in Learning Disabilities, a Post Graduate Diploma in Creative Teaching, and a Certificate course on Arts Based Therapy from WCCLF, Pune.
Thereon Sumathi practised Special education, language therapy and ABT at Deepika, Snehadhara, Bubbles Centre for Autism and ASHA in Bangalore. Her domains of specialisation include Children with Learning Disabilities, Autism, Behavioural problems, Developmental Disabilities, Slow learners. She has been the creative director for ASHA school annual day programs for about 8 years.
Sumathi has trained facilitators during courses on “Inclusive Education”, “Learning Disabilities” and “Care givers”, conducted Summer Camps for Mainstream children and has been an ABT Guide to ABT Certificate students. She has led workshops in Teaching Aids, Creative Teaching, Teaching Methodologies, Stress Management, Process of Counselling, Personal Development, Memory techniques and Study skills, Learning Difficulties, Multisensory Teaching techniques, Multiple Intelligence, Differentiated Instruction, Fun ways of teaching Maths and Social Science. She has also conducted a course called “Creative Connections in Classrooms” for mainstream teachers focussing on alternative creative ways of teaching in a classroom. She has been a part of the faculty that conducted a 3-month online training program for Government school teachers from Udupi, conducted by Rotary Club, Manipal and DIET (District Institute of Education and Training, Karnataka Govt.)
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Ruthika J, an Arts Practices for Inclusion (API) is a certified Arts Based Therapy (ABT) practitioner with seven years of experience in facilitating therapeutic interventions using various art modalities. Previously a scientist with a Master’s in Biotechnology, she is now a special educator with a diploma of Special Education for individuals with Learning Difficulties (KPAMRC), a guest faculty at KPAMRC and an artist currently pursuing Post Graduation for Art Therapy from Maharashtra institute of technology (MIT), Pune. She recognises and believes in the profound impact of art as a tool for self-expression, healing and inclusion. She leads the Open Studio programme at Snehadhara Foundation.
Sindhu is an enthusiastic, creative educator whose interests and wide range of skills have combined in her ongoing work with women and children. She is a Chevening Scholar with a masters degree in Holistic Science from Schumacher College, England, and is a certified Arts Practices for Inclusion practitioner, 2022. She has been working with children from marginalized communities in Rishikesh and has co-founded an initiative ‘joiningthreadsjoininglives’ for rural women; that provides training and employment using different craft skills. She likes to spend time with her cat and enjoys music and baking.
During her API course, Sindhu worked with children of ragpickers in a slum colony in Rishikesh. Her API community inclusion project focussed on creating shared group memories and learning experiences outside the learning center while visiting different communities and common spaces like playgrounds and river banks.
Cristelle Hart Singh
Cristelle co-founded the Dil Se Association with Marina Racine in Switzerland in 2000. She has been the Managing Director of Dil Se India since 2009. Cristelle is an Anglo-Swiss national who moved to Kochi in 2000. Since then, as a social worker, she has set up and run several children’s homes, helped families in need with food and education and worked with people living with HIV/AIDS. Throughout those years, she encountered many sexually abused children. When a 14-year-old who had previously been cared for by Dil Se became pregnant, Cristelle set up Tejus Home, a home for abused pregnant teenagers, along with Birthvillage (natural birthing centre). Between 2013 and 2015, Cristelle attended several workshops and training sessions on the prevention of child sexual abuse. Seeing Kerala’s desperate need for greater awareness and healing, she initiated the setting up of the Child Advocacy Centre.
Cristelle wanted to be able to work on a more personal level with people and so decided to become a certified Arts-Based Therapy (ABT) practitioner. Cristelle uses ABT mainly to work with abused and pregnant girls, but also with various other populations to help them express emotions. Cristelle lives with her husband and two young sons who study in a child-led learning centre. Her interests include nature and reading.
Yashaswini Gupta is an MA Psychology graduate from Ambedkar University Delhi. She completed her BA Psychology from Delhi University. Currently she is working as the Associate Director at Snehadhara, and is the Arts Practices for Inclusion Research Lead. She is on the path to be certified with the International Coaching Federation.
She is interested in research and has completed multiple research papers including presenting a paper at the International Purple Fest 2024 on ‘Socio-Emotional and Inclusion Wellbeing in Children with Disabilities using Arts Practices for Inclusion’ and her master’s Dissertation on the topic “Narratives of Indian Parents who have Children Diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder”. She has worked with Light Up-Emotions Matter Foundation, facilitating Emotional Intelligence in residents of a juvenile home from 2018-202, and has worked on a research project to understand the impact of Social-Emotional Learning classrooms on children’s learning. Her internship experiences vary from content writing at BeepWeep, to clinical psychology at the Centre for Child and Adolescent Wellbeing and Moolchand Hospital.
Yashaswini also owned a home bakery and is passionate about her culinary skills. During her graduation, she was also actively involved in her college choreography dance society, and is trained in ballet, contemporary, chhau and Bharatnatyam dance forms.
Varahalakshmi (Vidya) has been a special educator for the past 11 years with experience of working abroad and in schools in Bangalore. She is currently the Head of the Learning Centre, Middle School at the Bangalore International School. An engineer by training, she quit her job as a software professional to take up teaching children with needs. She holds a Cambridge international diploma for teachers and trainers (CIDTT) and is a certified Arts Based Therapy practitioner. She has been able to encourage the expressive capabilities in students through visual arts, voice and rhythm. Her passion is to work on helping children understand their true potential. She believes that the therapeutic aspects of arts, especially in a group, can positively impact one’s social skills and bring about behavioural changes.
Aparna Chandrahasan is a Special Educator ( Diploma in Special Education – Autism Spectrum Disorder) and an Arts Practitioner (API batch 2022). She works as an Arts Practioner at Bubbles Centre for Autism and Pragati Towards Livelihood. She works with both children and young adults with special needs.
A mom to two girls and a lover of all things Bangalore – she loves to talk, dance and experiment with coffee.
Darvi is Facilitator at Snehadhara Foundation and is an MA Gender Studies graduate from Ambedkar University Delhi. She completed her Bachelors in Political Science from University of Delhi. Currently she is working as an API fellow, while completing her Arts Practices for Inclusion course at Snehadhara.
Her interests lie in community work, facilitation and research. She has experience in working with women and children residing in marginalised communities across Delhi, on the issue of gender based violence. Darvi enjoys music, doodling, photography and cat whispering.