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PROFILE OF SPEAKERS OF HRDI SYMPOSIUM ON WITCH HUNTING

SPEAKERS

1. DR. CHARUWALI KHANNA: Dr. Charu WaliKhanna, is a leading women’s rights lawyer.
Dr. Charu WaliKhanna started her career in the world of advertising with a Diploma from Sir J. J. Institute of Applied Art, Mumbai. Having achieved success at an early age and disturbed by the violence and inequalities in society, as lawyer she advanced the cause of vulnerable and marginalized sections of society, especially women. She founded Social Action Forum for Manav Adhikar (SAFMA) a NGO with Special Consultative status of the ECOSOC of the United Nations. She has developed simple self help manuals for women in vernacular languages e.g. Hindi and Tamil on the special Constitutional provisions for women, Right to Life; Violence against Women including Domestic Violence, Dowry, Female Feticide, Sexual harassment, How to file a FIR, legal aid; Panchayati Raj & Governance.
Using law as a tool for development she has authored books: “Married But Not Legally Wed”,”Women Silent Victims In Armed Conflict : An Area Study of Jammu & Kashmir”; “Supreme Court & High Court Judgements relating to Women & Children” and “Laws on Violence Against Women. Research works include “Drug Abuse Among Scheduled Caste Women in Gwalior Madhya Pradesh- A Female Perspective” for Min. of Social Justice & Empowerment; “Human Rights Violations of Victims of Trafficking” and “Discrimination of Girl Child in Uttar Pradesh”on behalf of National Commission for Women. Dr Charu WaliKhanna, has organised and conducted numerous Gender Sensitization Workshops and seminars on gender and the law. In coordination with Delhi Police she conducted Gender Sensitization Workshops for constables in Police Stations of South Delhi District, in which the self help manuals are used as training tools.

2. SUTAPA DEB: A postgraduate in English literature, Sutapa Deb is an Indian television journalist. Her journey as a journalist began with Indian Express and India Today in Delhi. Eighteen years ago, she made the transition from print to television when she joined NDTV. As a television journalist she has reported on diverse issues and sectors among them education, women, children, health, labour, disability and unemployment, prompted by the belief that these were people’s issues. She travelled to villages in West Bengal, Manipur, Chattisgarh, Jharkhand, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh and other states to bring the voices of the rural to mainstream news coverage.
She is the driving force behind the pioneering series India Matters on NDTV.
In certain cases, the reports have made the administration take action. In, 2002, her documentary on the Unsung Heroes of the Gujarat Earthquake won her the Indian Telly Award for the best documentary of the year.
Sutapa Deb has been honoured with the ‘Commonwealth Broadcasting Association-Thomson Foundation Journalist of the Year’ award at the CBA’s Broadcasting Awards for 2008.

3. MADHU MEHRA is a feminist lawyer, a founding member and Executive Director of Partners for Law in Development (PLD), a legal resource group working in the fields of social justice and women’s rights in India. PLD is a leading resource group on CEDAW with its resource book ‘Restoring Rights on Women: CEDAW’ widely used by NGOs and governments in South Asia, that is now available in four languages. She has worked at the Asia Pacific level since 1996 as a member of Asia Pacific Forum for Women, Law and Development (APWLD) and International Women’s Rights Action Watch (IWRAW-AP).

4. DR. RITA NATH KESHARI:Dr. Rita Nath Keshari is Head of the Department of English, Arignar Anna Govt. Arts College, Karaikal (Union Territory of Pondichery) and has a Ph. D. From JNU, New Delhi.
Her published books are: The Transplanted Wife ( a collection of short stories), 2005; Glimpses of Pondicherry (co-authored with P. Raja), 2005; The Post-colonial Encounter: India in the British Imagination, 2006; Busy Bee Book of Contemporary Indian English Poetry (co-edited with P. Raja), 2007 and Anguish and After (a collection of poems), 2008; Shadow of June (a novel), 2012, Never Alone (a collection of Poems), 2013 (forthcoming).
She has also contributed over 500 articles to newspapers, Journals and periodicals on woman rights and other social issues. She has also contributed a large number of articles and various other write-ups.

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