Geeta Dharmarajan

Geeta Dharmarajan Executive Director

Executive Director, Katha

Geeta Dharmarajan, writer for children, translator and teacher, is the Executive Director of Katha, a nonprofit organization that she founded in 1988 to enhance the joy of reading. Interested in learning across boundaries, she started working with children in one of the largest slum clusters in Delhi, in 1990. The same year Katha had a women’s skills development programme and a teacher education initiative to support relevant and innovative learning in all children. In 1995 she started the Katha School of Entrepreneurship; and a few years later, with BT of UK, the Katha Info Tech School. Today more than 78% of Katha children are in college, breaking the national norm; most enter government, international and entrepreneurial careers afterwards. The government of Delhi invited Katha in 2009, to bring its reading campaign to 500 corporation schools. This project has been awarded the Millennium Alliance Award this year by the governments of India and USA. Literary translation is integral to this process for her, especially as a counter-divisive tool in the strengthening of a richly diverse society. The Katha publishing programmes, for children and adults, started by her in 1988, have won many awards and recognitions in India and abroad. Her interests have shaped the inclusive and integrated work of Katha – she and her teachers work with 248 slum communities and their children in Delhi; as well as with the Lisu tribal people of Arunachal Pradesh.

Basically a creative writer, Geeta has more than 30 books to her credit, some of them award-winning. As a professional editor for the last 30 years, she has served on the editorial teams of Target, a children's magazine in the India Today Group, and of The Pennsylvania Gazette, the award-winning alumni magazine of the University of Pennsylvania. Passionate about Indian classical dance and music, she has brought this knowledge to Katha’s teacher edcuation.

Geeta received the Padmashri in 2011 for her contributions to literature and education.

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