Tanya Abraham (Founder – Director)
Tanya Abraham is a journalist, author, arts administrator and curator. She has worked for numerous national and international publications, and is the creative director and curator of Kashi Art Gallery, Fort Kochi, and a patron of the Kochi Muziris Biennale. Her work focuses on skills of artists to enhance poignant concepts, in developing community-art, and marrying heritage spaces to create exhibitions in a story telling format. She is currently working on museum projects in Kerala as curator.
Tanya is also the author of “Fort Cochin, History and Untold Stories”, published with the support of the tourism department of Kerala by Ink on Paper. Her book “Eating with History, Ancient Trade Influenced Food of Kerala”, is published by Niyogi Books , New Delhi and is the first documentation and research on food culture that developed from India’s ancient spice trade.
In 2010, UNESCO nominated her for the Asia Pacific Heritage Awards for her contribution to the restoration of a historical Dutch building in Fort Kochi, to an economically viable project. She also won the NGO leadership award granted by the organisation World Leadership Day, in 2017 for her work with The Art Outreach Society. Tanya is the recipient of the 2018 Award Iconic Women Creating Change” by Women Economic Forum, Birmingham, UK and was also presented the Social Innovator Award, presented by “e unnathi”, Women’s Conclave 2019 in Kochi. Her recent award is the South Indian Women Achievers’ Award in Art and Culture by Syrafill in 2020.
She has a bachelor’s degree in Economics from Stella Maris College, Chennai, India, a Masters in Journalism from the London School of journalism, UK, and a Masters in Arts Administration from the University of Kentucky, USA. Tanya is currently pursuing a PhD in “Practice in Curating (museums and galleries)” at Zurich University of the Arts, Switzerland/University of Reading, UK.
Tanya Abraham – Head
Tanya Abraham is a writer and Creative Director of Kashi Art Gallery. Tanya worked as a journalist the last twelve years, writing for well-known International and National publications. She is the author of Fort Cochin, History and Untold Stories, published in 2009. She was nominated for the UNESCO Asia-Pacific Heritage Award in 2010, for her contribution to the restoration and design of Old Harbour Hotel, Fort Kochi.
She has a Master’s degree in Journalism from the London School of Journalism and is currently pursuing her asters in Arts Administration at the University of Kentucky, USA. TAOS evolved from her love for the arts, and the recognition of its power to change lives. Tanya is also a speaker who travels to talk about How Creativity Can Change Lives. She has addressed audiences from various walks of life on the subject, and is currently researching on the topic.
Sajitha Madathil – Traditional Kerala Performing Arts – Lead
Sajitha Madathil is the Deputy Secretary of the Sangeet Natak Akademi New Delhi, an autonomous body under the Ministry of Culture, Government of India. She has been active in the Malayalam theatre and feminist discourse in the country for more than a decade. Sajitha Madathil is one of the founders of Abhinethri (Actress), Kerala’s premier women’s theatre group. She’s a theatre-artist, television personality, film actress, writer, academician, and culture administrator. She has also acted in stage plays such as ‘Mudhitheyyam’, ‘Beauty Parlour’, ‘Spinal Code’, and recently, ‘Kalinaatakkam’.
Two recent short films she acted in are Nilam, a four-minute short film about the gravity of lack of public toilets for women, and Ore Udal, about the life of a nun. Sajitha and the movie Ore Udal won several international awards and it was screened at various film festivals across the globe. Feature films she’s acted in are Ee Adutha Kaalathu, Shutter, Idukki Gold, Njan, Rani Padmini, Thilothama, Ithu Thandada Police and Hallelooya. She has received accolades and awards for her writings as well as films, three of he books being Aranginte Vakabedangal, Malayala Nadaka Sthree Charithram and M.K. Kamalam, A Biography. Sajitha has an M.A in Drama from Rabindra Bharati University, Kolkata, MPhil. in Theatre Studies from School of Letters, Mahatma Gandhi University, Kottayam, and is currently pursuing a Ph.D from School of Arts and Aesthetics at Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. She is married to Rubin DCruz, Assistant Editor at National Book Trust of India. Their son Aromal is studying in New Delhi.
Ambili Nambiar – Head
Ambili Nambiar is a Management Consultant in Strategy and Operations for start-ups. She has over 14 years of experience in the software industry. She did her Post Graduation in Management from IIM-Kozhikode and her B.Tech. in Computer Science from CUSAT, Ernakulam. She loves travelling and photography and is also passionate about mentoring and coaching.
Gouri Balakrishnan – Head
Gouri Balakrishnan has over five years’ experience as an internal auditor in Finance advisory and Information Technology firms. She’s currently engaged in the family-run restaurant business, handling internal controls.
She has a Masters degree in Financial Management from Christ University, Bangalore, and is passionate about driving and travelling and loves to listen to music.
Tamina George – Lead
Tamina holds a Masters degree in Human Resource Management & Marketing from XIME, and a Bachelors degree in Psychology.
She has worked for the Young Indians (youth wing of the CII) to involve students in entrepreneurial activities. She is also involved in social service, working with the government hospital and orphanages.
Nina Nayar – Lead
Nina Nayar is an independent consultant with 25 years’ experience in financial inclusion. Her expertise lies in the areas of promoting sustainable livelihoods among vulnerable populations through policy advocacy, research, strategic planning, project design and training. She has served as a consultant for various bi-lateral and multi-lateral organizations worldwide in over 40 countries, including UNIFEM, UNDP, UNCDF, and also development finance institutions such as the ADB, EBRD, IFC and World Bank. Nina received her Bachelor’s degree from the University of Virginia, Charlottesville, USA and her Master’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, USA.
Nina has a particular interest in incorporating fine arts, music and culture into the knowledge building and self-development approaches for the advancement of youth. Over the years she has volunteered to organize art, architecture and culture walks for young people in various historical cities in India, Indonesia and Europe. Nina is currently working on an initiative to develop management capacity of a Government Girls’ Home in Cochin, with particular focus on designing a programme to ensure sustainable livelihoods for teenage girls from low-income households – the majority of whom have been affected by some kind of physical or psychological abuse – which emphasises the importance of good mental and physical health through, nutrition, timely medical interventions and psychological counseling and psychiatric treatment where required.
Priya Deepak – Lead
Priya is a Senior Management Consultant with over two decades of work experience in the fields of IT, Programme Management, Business Excellence, Quality Analysis, HR and Capital Management, Employee Engagement Models and Robotics Process Automation, etc. She’s is the Co-founder & COO of The VillageFair.
She has an MBA from TAPMI, Manipal and is an ICF Professional Coach as well as accredited in various capacities. She’s an ardent parasailor, and is interested in trekking and Table Tennis.
Kuku Ravi – Head
Kuku’s experience in the travel industry for over 15 years has seen her hold senior managerial positions with some of the leading airlines of the world as well as travel agencies.
She is a proven team builder and people person. Her passion includes travelling and working with underprivileged children.
Payal Bafna – Lead
Payal Bafna is a mother of two boys, with a passion for cooking. She has worked for Young Indians as a volunteer in administration and joined TAOS for the love of art and philanthropy.
Thankam Joseph is a Kochi-based entrepreneur who started a shop called Odds and Ends in 1988 and a branch in TajVivanta in 1989. What began as a unique gift/ book shop, soon diversified into a place for furnishings and interior design.She was also instrumental in starting an event management division that organised destination weddings and conferences for companies from out of Kerala.
She has been involved with the Crafts Council of Kerala from inception and worked closely with craftsmen and artists providing design, quality and marketing assistance. Currently, Thankam is developing a group of craftsmen creating products from coconut shells and other parts of the coconut tree. She is very interested in all forms of arts and their development and promotion.
Jorjeena. C. Joshi – Education
Jorjeena C. Joshi is a second-yearstudent of B.A. French, at St Teresa’s College, Ernakulam. She finished her middle school from Avila Convent, Coimbatore, and her high school from Assisi Vidyaniketan Public School, Ernakulam.
She works in an NGO, Guardian of Dreams, in the fund raising team. As a YouTube broadcaster, she has two channels: “jy space”, a collaborated channel with her friend Yashi, the other her own “Filming jorjie”. She loves to make others laugh, meet new people and their stories, travel, experience something new and exciting.
Yashi Bhatted – Education
Yashi is a student of B.A. French at St Teresa’s College, Ernakulam. She is a dancer, and performs with the Dancity Academy. She operates a YouTube channel with my friend Jorjeena Joshi, making entertaining videos.
Besides dancing, she enjoys reading, listening to music, cooking and craft making. She loves to travel, learn about different cultures and arts.
Dipa Suresh – Lead, Special Projects
Dipa Suresh is an independent content writer with a diverse clientele in India and abroad, publishing articles, blogs, short stories and research papers over a decade. She has written and published a book of conversations entitled, 66 In Conversation with India, based on the interactions she had with people from all walks of life across the country. Born to an Army officer father and an artiste mother, she spent her early years in Chennai, graduated with degrees in English literature and Fine Arts from Stella Maris College.
She now resides in Cochin with her businessman husband Suresh and their pet cats, Jaimee and Pepe, and is the mother of two children, Aaditya and Dia. She currently makes a living as a Soft Skills Trainer, Visual Artist and a Spoken English Teacher.
Jobin Wilfred – Public Art – Lead
Jobin did his schooling in Cochin after which he graduated in Nautical Science majoring in Nautical Astronomy, Celestial and Terrestrial navigation from Applied Research International, New Delhi. Jobin has been working in the capacity of Chief Officer with a Norwegian Principal on their vessels plying over international waters and is presently pursuing his Master/Captain’s license from the Director General of Shipping in India.
He is the co-founder of an upcoming Art Hostel in Alleppey which has been his dream since the day he started his travel escapades. He is an adventure sports, travel and culinary-enthusiast with a strong penchant towards meeting people from different cultural and philosophical backgrounds and has that occasional unbearable urge to pull pranks on his friends.
Kavita George – Education – Lead
After completing a B.Sc. Nutrition Occupation, she moved into business. She’s a partner in her mom’s 20-year-old frozen food business, Sakty Meat Products. She loves to read, listening to music and engage in social work.
Radhika Bachani – Expressive Therapy
Radhika has been married for five years, runs her own travel company in Kochi, for customers across the globe. The company is also into wedding planning. She loves to travel and see new places, and watch movies.
Public Relations / Fund Raising
Sapna James – Head
Sapna has a vast experience in the travel and hospitality field. She is the Director of Lemongrass Eco Lodges and Camps, based out of Kochi.
She has an M.A. in English Literature and is married and has three children. Her interests are reading, travelling and painting.
Vivekanand Lilladhar – Lead
Vivekanand is a Textile Technologist and Co-Founder of an Art Hostel in Alleppey. After completing his schooling in Cochin, Vivekanand completed his Masters in Advanced Textiles and Performance Clothing from the University of Leeds, England, in 2011. He worked as a Project Coordinator for a well-known research institute for over two years.
Vivekanand returned to India in 2014 to join the family-run, jute business and also follow his entrepreneurial interests. Away from work, he enjoys meeting new people, learning music, cooking, travelling and laughing at terrible jokes.
Sujith P R – Design and Development – Lead
Sujith is an experimental artist whose best experiment is the invention of ‘Jitaura’, a team who looks forward to brand and advertise by looking through all the perspectives. He is educated technically as well as in art. Art was his preference. He did his post graduation in Photography. He started his professional career as a photographer, then experimented in different fields like cinematography, graphic designing, fashion designing, etc.
He serves as an Art Director for a couple of advertisement firms in India. He loves to take up challenges and challenge himself to take a unique path to solve them. He enjoys travelling, exploring cultures and meeting different people on the go.
Ravi John – Website Support Partner – Lead
Ravi has been involved with the software industry for over 25 years. He began his career working for a software development company in Kochi and then branched out on his own in 2000. His company currently services clients in the US & Europe and has specific focus on the automobile, healthcare and e-commerce industries.
Besides technology, his passions are travelling, music and supporting social causes.
Shana Susan Ninan– Content Management – Lead
Shana is a lecturer in Media and English, a Soft Skills trainer and a content writer. She is an academic consultant for Queerala, an LGBT rights and advocacy organisation. She did her masters in Media and Communication from English and Foreign Languages University, Hyderabad, and her BA Communicative English from St Teresa’s College, Ernakulam.
She has published articles on issues related to cyberspace, women’s rights, queer terminologies and contemporary writing. She is passionate about reading and research, painting, adventure sports and cycling. Her husband is a web designer and travel consultant and they have a four-year-old son.
Asiya Nayeem – Fundraising and Research – Lead
Asiya is a student of St Teresa’s College, Ernakulam doing a B.A in French with a minor in travel and tourism. She graduated from The Choice School in 2015, with a focus in psychology.
She’s a freelance writer, who spends most of her free time writing stories and photographing lives. She can’t go a day without reading, and travels when she catches a break. She enjoys collecting maps and listening to podcasts.
Shalini Dominic – Content Management
Shalini is a writer and columnist based in Cochin. She was schooled at the Lawrence School, Lovedale and graduated with a degree in Science from Women’s Christian College , Chennai. Shalini has worked as a special educator at The Raksha School, Cochin.
A passion for the written word, travelling and the ocean defines her. She is a keen cyclist and scuba diver.
Sonya Lizbeth Joseph – Fundraising and Research
Sonya is a student of B.A. French at St Teresa’s College, Ernakulam. She is interested in the fields of art, literature and photography.
Vishal Hari – Design and Development
Vishal H. Kumar, joined an edu-startup, Entri.me as Product Design Lead after completing his Bachelors in Multimedia. He has worked with major NGO’s in Cochin and has volunteering experience of over 3 years. He believes that art and design are powerful tools which can be used to bring harmony to the society. This led him to choose a career in the creative field.
He is an extroverted introvert, dreamer, believer, sports- and animation-movie lover, big time foodie and a wanderlust!