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Gandhi Research Foundation

Researchers & Coordinators

Dean of Research: Prof.Gita Dharampal

Gita Dharampal, retired Professor and Head, Department of History, South Asia Institute, Heidelberg University, acquired an interdisciplinary academic training in literature and philosophy (Manchester, England and Leipzig, East Germany, 1970-74), social anthropology (Cambridge, England, 1975-76) and Indian cultural history (1976-1980, SOAS, London and Sorbonne, Paris, Ph.D.), and completed her Habilitation (= German professorial dissertation) in early modern history (Freiburg, Germany, 1992). Her publications and research focus on topics ranging from pre-modern transcultural interactions between Europe and India, the maritime cultural history of the Indian Ocean region (1400-1800), medical history, religious-ritual transformations (1500-2000), the socio-cultural and political history of the colonial period, in general, with a special emphasis on Mahatma Gandhi’s movement of political and cultural resurgence. Besides participating actively in international conferences and giving invited keynote talks, she has held visiting fellowships and professorships at various international institutions, among others, at Stanford University, USA, as well as an Indian universities (Delhi, Kolkata, and Hyderabad). Her language competencies include English, German, French, Latin, and basic Hindi.

Dean of Academics: Dr. John Chelladurai

Dr. John did his doctoral research on ‘Social Conflict’ at Peace Research Centre, Ahmedabad, India. Prior to joining GRF, as the Director of India Peace Centre, Nagpur, he worked on idea creation and dissemination in the areas of social justice, equitable economics, ecology and disarmament through field research which also included concept building, public discussions, consultations, and documentation, as well as dissemination of knowledge by means of trainings, study camps, workshops, public lectures and email correspondence. One of his expertise lies in Training on ‘Dealing with Conflict’, an inclusive methodology training to transform conflict into a creative experience. He has facilitated sixty-four workshops on ‘Dealing with conflict’ and twenty-three TOTs on ‘Peace Building’. He is equipped to design conflict transformation modules for a diverse group of participants with a wide range of challenges. As Dean of Academics at GRF, he initiated the post-graduation diploma in Gandhian Social Work and introduced optimized economic collectives among marginal farmers. He also offers an innovative learning experience of ‘self’ called ‘Peace Walk’.

Program Co-ordinator and Editor: Ashwin Zala

Ashwin Zala is pursuing his doctoral dissertation on ‘Gandhi’s Resource Mobilization for Public Work: Cause, Method and Management’ from Gujarat Vidyapith, Ahmedabad. His Master’s dissertation work on ‘People’s Preparedness against Disaster’ in reference to Kutch district in Gujarat was conferred with the ‘best research work in disaster management’ award by Unnati Foundation and Government of Gujarat. He is regularly invited in universities and colleges for lectures on Gandhi and Ahimsa, the scope of social work, Gandhian economics, and Gandhi as a leader and management guru. His research and publication focus on various tenets of Gandhian thoughts. Prior to joining GRF, he has been the coordinator of MSW College affiliated with Bhavnagar University and a core member of the curriculum design committee at Bhavnagar University. At GRF, besides being the faculty and program coordinator of the PG Diploma course in Sustainable Rural Reconstruction, he is also the editor of the GRF’s bi-monthly magazine ‘Gandhiji Ki Khoj".

Research Co-ordinator: Vidya Krishnamurthi

Vidya Krishnamurthi holds a bachelor degree in History from Miranda House and a Masters in East Asian Studies from the Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Delhi. Her research interests include the social and cultural history of India, ethnographic studies of Indian rural communities and their traditions of aesthetic expression and philosophical tenets of Indian aesthetics. Prior to joining GRF, she was working as an assistant editor at Indus Source Book, a publishing house in Mumbai. She has also had a brief stint at NITI Aayog (erstwhile Planning Commission) as a Young Professional with Dr.Bibek Debroy and Women & Child Development Division. She has co-authored a book titled ‘Indian Railways: The weaving of National Tapestry’, published by Penguin Random House, India. She also writes short stories for children that have appeared in Children’s World (published by Children’s Book Trust) & Tinkle.