Raj Chauhan, President
Deeply committed to promote larger progressive ideas through arts and culture, Raj Chauhan is a well-respected local resident living with his family in Khampur village for several generations. An alumnus of Springdales School, Pusa Road and Shri Ram College of Commerce, Delhi University, and later running his own business, Raj always remained close to Delhi’s cultural circuit. A freethinker with keen interest in theatre, Raj personally knew Safdar and has seen Jana Natya Manch’s (JANAM) work since 1970s. This association grew profounder when Studio Safdar and May Day Café and Bookstore were built in Shadi Khampur in 2012. Since then his contributions to Studio Safdar has been multifaceted. Raj has become a neighbour, regular audience member, local resource person and a very close friend of Studio Safdar. He played a crucial role to facilitate Janam’s engagement and research on local community during collaboration with Dr. Ambedkar University for Shadi Khampur Neighbour Museum Project. Always keen in social outreach activities, Raj played a key role in mobilizing local people for recent events as part of Not In My Name campaign to foster secular values among the communities living in the area.
Moloyashree Hashmi, Secretary
Moloyashree Hashmi has worked in the field of elementary education for forty years as a school teacher, teacher-educator and as a curriculum consultant. She has written several textbooks and evolved new educational material. She was on NCERT’s curriculum development team for Performing Arts. She has extensively used theatre as a pedagogic tool in the classroom and explored the interface of the Arts and Education. She has been associated with the Theatre Practicum of the Bachelor of Elementary Education (Delhi University) from its planning stages, and has conducted the Practicum for the student-teachers for the last seventeen years in many colleges. She regularly conducts workshops on innovative learning techniques for several subjects at the elementary level for teachers in government and private schools. For the last forty-six years, she has also been engaged in theatre, and is currently President of Jana Natya Manch, India’s premier street theatre group. She has been involved in the creation of more than 80 street plays and has more than 6,500 performances to her credit. She is the Secretary of the Studio Safdar Trust and coordinates the Studio Safdar Library.
Sudhanva Deshpande, Treasurer
Sudhanva Deshpande is an actor, theatre director, and publisher. He's been with Jana Natya Manch since 1987, acting in, helping devise, and directing dozens of plays, both on the streets and in closed spaces. He's performed, and led workshops, in several countries, including Palestine, South Africa, the US, UK, Germany, Poland and the Netherlands. Since 1999, he's been Managing Editor at LeftWord Books. He has co-directed two documentary films on the theatre legend Habib Tanvir and his group Naya Theatre, and has taught at several institutions, including National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad, and AJK Mass Communication Research Centre, Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi. He is part of the Core Team for SMART, India's only theatre management training programme.
Surajit Sarkar, Trustee
Surajit Sarkar is currently Associate Professor and Coordinator of the Centre for Community Knowledge at Ambedkar University Delhi. He is the current President of the Oral History Association of India (OHAI), Executive Member of the International Association of Agricultural Museums (AIMA) and is on the Public Advisory Board of the Society for Cultural Anthropology (USA).He has been a Fellow at the Institute of Advanced Study, University of Durham (UK), and at the International Institute for Asian Studies, Leiden (Netherlands). Prior to an academic career, he worked as a photocopier salesman, a bank officer and primary school teacher, films and TV director. As a video artist, he has worked in theatre and dance productions, museums and galleries in India and abroad.
Joyoti Roy, Trustee
Joyoti Roy is an arts manager and museum consultant. She has a Masters in art conservation from the National Museum Institute and was heading the Outreach Department of National Museum as a consultant until August 2017. She has worked with Intach, the Alkazi Foundation for the Arts, CSMVS Museum (formerly Prince of Wales Museum), Mumbai, National Culture Fund, Ministry of Culture, Govt of India and National Museum, Ministry of Culture, Govt of India. She is the India Clore Fellow to UK in 2017. Joyoti is also a Trustee of the Tram Arts Trust and has worked as an actor and singer with Jana Natya Manch from 2001 to 2014. She has worked with leading international museums such as the British Museum, London, Tate Gallery, London, SOAS, university of London and the J Paul Getty Trust, USA. She is also the Director of Achi Association India which is a company managing conservation of Himalayan Buddhist Heritage in Ladakh. Joyoti has been nominated by the Ministry of Culture on a national committee for devising a policy for conservation of artefacts in India. She advises on the Amar Mahal Museum, Jammu and Itihaas, New Delhi.
Praveen Vadhera, Trustee
Praveen Vadhera is an advertising professional based in Mumbai. His connection with theatre began when he was an undergraduate in Delhi University and began acting in college plays. Soon, he came in contact with Safdar Hashmi and joined Jana Natya Manch. He acted in several Janam plays over the years, and even though his job has kept him away from Delhi, he continues to be connected to Janam and its activities in various ways. He is also a lighting designer, and has illuminated several Janam proscenium plays.