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 founder of The Art Outreach Society (TAOS), a non profit organization that works towards social and individual change using art as a tool, amongst women and children.
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 organization 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 December 2019.
She has a bachelors 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” at the Zurich University of the Arts, Switzerland/University of Reading, UK.
Operations in Charge
Drishti Marwaha is a PhD scholar in Health Economics at Amrita University where she has also done her MBA, specialising in operations and finance. She is a proud Xaverian from St.Xavier’s Kolkata where she did her B.Sc Economics (Honours). She has worked with Apeejay Oxford Bookstores (HR and Events), Fayz – Fourthambit (Creative Lead), Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences (Value Stream Mapping, Operations) and Nitta Gelatin India Ltd (Cost of Quality, Operations and
Finance). She has also been with Make A Difference as an education support volunteer.
She is very passionate about the social sector and believes data and economics can be combined effectively with issues such as mental health, women empowerment, health disparity and inequality in the world to overcome them
Women Empowerment Project
Ajay is an upcoming writer in Malayalam film industry. He has completed his Post Graduation in Public Health from MG University. He has lots of experience in Administration and has secured a challenging position as a Public Health Officer and as a Program Officer. He is working along with TAOS as an Administrator Coordinator.
Shyama Monsi is a practising counselling psychologist who graduated from Sampurna Montfort College, Bangalore, with a masters in Counselling Psychology. She specialises in family and marriage counselling along with individual counselling. Her vision is to de-stigmatise the notion that only people who are “mentally ill” undergo counselling. She aims to promote mental health in all its glory. In her spare time, she enjoys travelling, hitting the new food joints in town and creating music.
Arathikrishna is an MSW graduate from CPGSSW, Calicut University. Loves to work with children and their parents in general. Did some online courses on developmental psychology, project management and program evaluation. Interested in traveling, gardening and interior decoration.
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, listen to music and engage in social work
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
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 a people person. Her passion includes travelling and working with underprivileged children.
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.
A retired teacher, medical transcriptionist. Self-made artist. Mostly Gond tribal art and black and white drawings. Fought with breast cancer and realized the value of each living moment.
Jefin studied mechanical engineering in college. He worked as a software engineer for a year and later took on a content marketing role. Reading, writing and introspection make up his happy place. He is most passionate about people, how they feel, think, and connect.
Sebastian is a graduate in Sociology from Sacred Heart College, Thevara. He is so eager about art and art education.
Tahir Abraham is a recent graduate from the University of San Francisco. He has previously worked at iwallet as a marketing specialist and is currently working at A.V.R.A as operations support. He is passionate about visual art and music and hopes to start his own experience company and brew a special beverage.
Emotional Health Head
Reena Merin Cherian
Reena Merin Cherian is a development worker, she is currently an Assistant Professor at Christ University, Bangalore. She has previously taught at Department of Social Work, the University of Delhi and National Institute of Social Defence, Delhi and have worked with The Teacher Foundation, Bangalore; Citizen Empowerment Division at St. Mary’s School, Delhi; Praxis: Institute for Participatory Practices, Delhi; Partners in Change, Delhi and United Nations Development Program, India. She has worked in the domain of child participation, Child Development.
Reena is an expert in Child Development, Gender Studies and Behavioural Sciences and a practicing art therapist. An artist and photographer subscribing to the genre of abstractionism, she has published academic work on themes including artistic applications in conflict mitigation, child development, education and responsible business. Her doctoral research was based on adoption laws and practices.
In 2018, she authored a book titled ‘Juxtapose: Seven stories of Adoption’, it is an anthology of seven real-life stories about adoption, narrated in both third-person by the author. The narratives were analysed through texts and subtexts and theoretical frameworks including kinship, friendship, child rights, policies and queer rights. The people and the stories in the book are about happiness, bonding, invisibility, discreetness, anxiety and fear. She is currently in the process of authoring a children’s book on Children and Statelessness (Untitled, 2020, National Book Trust) which is an anthology of stories on children who have been rendered stateless because of conflict and forced migration, the book is meant for children from the age group of 8-15 years to ponder on attachment, surrounding, pain, love, separation and finally hope. She is also a consulting Therapist and trainer with TAOS since 2018.
Anitha Menon is a teacher with 25 years of experience and an artist committed to finding self-expression through her paintings. She has worked as Guest Lecturer, English, in Govt. College, Daman, Associate Professor in Dept of English at The Cochin College, Kochi.
She has taught communicative English at CUSAT lakeside campus, worked as an English lecturer in Dept. of Photonics, CUSAT. ( Cochin University of Science and Technology) She has been an online teacher for students from the US, Canada She worked as Art Mediator for Kochi Muziris Biennale 2018. She currently works as Academic Counselor at IGNOU ( Indira Gandhi National Open University) She has participated in several art exhibitions and conducted her solo art show in Kerala. After her Post Graduation in English Language and Literature, B.Ed and Post Graduate Diploma in Journalism, she went on to study A1 level French with Alliance Francaise, she has also completed MooC courses in Creativity and Creative Writing from New York University and Iowa University, MOOC course by MoMA: Art and Ideas
She is interested in travelling, reading and journaling about her experiences through art and writing. She has conducted art workshops for children. She strongly believes in the healing power of art.
Alexander V S
Alexander is an entrepreneur and a personal trainer. A self-taught artist, his passion for art led him to volunteer for TAOS.
Bibin is a graduated BFA in paintings from Government college of Fine arts Thrissur in 2016 with first rank, and MFA in painting from Government college of fine arts Kerala, Trivandrum with the first rank in 2019. He was awarded Diamond Jubilee Fellowship from the directorate of culture department Kerala in 2019. And also Kerala Lalith Kala Akademi Students Scholarship. He has participated in many exhibitions and camps conducted by Lalith Kala Akademi Kerala.
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 bilateral and multilateral 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 approach for the advancement of youth. Over the years she has volunteered to organize art, architecture and culture walk 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 counselling and psychiatric treatment where required.
Susheela Pai is the Artistic Director of Mudra centre for dance, Kochi and also Creative movement therapy facilitator at Art Aatma. A holistic space for dance vocabulary of all kinds she has been successfully running the centre for the past 11 years and has trained more than 300 people under her. She’s currently pursuing a degree in Kathak under Gandharva Mahavidyalaya and is also a trained Bharatnatyam dancer.
She who has realised the therapeutic value of dance went ahead to receive a certification from the creative movement therapy association of India and council of dance Paris. After completing the course she has facilitated several movement therapy workshops with different client population.
She’s also the founder member of an NGO Amaara Foundation which empowers youth and children. She is also an external faculty for other NGOs in Kerala like The Art Outreach Society and Bodhini. She started Art Aatma a space for such therapeutic and mental health activities.
Sara is a Christian counsellor, artist and a Home Baker. She is very much into art and art education.
Sethy Yoganathan led a few workshops with TAOS in 2018-19 and has been part of the TAOS family since then. Sethy has worked with numerous social development and art institutions across the country, such as Khoj, Sadhana village, Kochi Muziris Biennale. He is interested in art, artificial intelligence and travelling and holds a Bachelor’s in Electrical and Electronics Engineering from LPU, Punjab.
Sujith P R
Sujith is an experimental artist whose best experiment is the invention of ‘Jitaura’, a team who looks forward to branding and advertising 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 advertising 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.