to ISN homepage

Indian Storytelling Network




Storytellers (and other Story Experts)
(in alphabetical order)

1) Aarti Kute.

2) Lopamudra Mohanty.

3) Neeraj.

4) Neha.

5) Nidhi Bagaria.
6) Nilum Jajodia.

7) Preeti Bapat.

8) Samvedna Amitabh.

9) Shital Ravi.

10) Shukrita Sankaran.

11) Smita Rajan.
12) Usha Venkatraman.

Ongoing Storytelling Activities in Mumbai.





Aarti Ashwin Kute.

Aarti Ashwin Kute is the founder-director of the "Masti Ka Pitara" club, which provides fun-filled science-related story sessions.  She is passionate about telling stories to young people, and also about coaching them to tell stories.  She was drawn towards storytelling while telling stories to her own child.  She has studied storytelling with Ms.Yogita Ahuja, founder of Storycircle Edusaarthi.


Aarti believes that science principles and concepts can be made fun to understand and learn through stories.  She uses stories to explain concepts like how rainbows are formed, and the life-cycles of butterflies, frogs, and plants.  She introduces stories to present concepts such as Reuse and Recycle, and Pollution and Its Causes.  Sometimes she uses already-existing stories, and sometimes she develops her own stories.


Aarti has earned Post Graduate degrees in Microbiology, and in Marketing Management.  She has more than 15 years of work experience in the Insurance Industry (Medical Underwriting, etc).


Aarti truly feels that the blend of her educational and professional backgrounds, and her storytelling skills, can help young people to understand complicated concepts easily.


Aarti is associated with Navi Mumbai Kendra (Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan's Children's club), and Balvikas (a Shri Satya Sai Organization).  She conducts various kinds of Storytelling, and Storytelling-related, Workshops, such as: Making and Telling Stories with Finger Puppets; Warli Art; 20 National Symbols; Diwali Mela; and Writing and Performing Dramas.


A photo is here.


Contact info


Mrs. Aarti Ashwin Kute

Founder-director, "Masti Ka Pitara" club.

Based in Vashi, Navi Mumbai.



96199 34493









Lopamudra Mohanty.

Lopamudra is the Founder of Big Buddy World.

     She has studied Rural Management at Xavier’s Institute of Management, has studied Storytelling at Kathalaya (Bangalore), and is a certified Phonics trainer.  She is presently the Academic Support Consultant for Trinity College, London (India Office); and is on the Board of Advisors of the Bookwallah Organization.  She is an ex-banker, and has been a teacher in the Delhi Public School Group.

     Lopamudra has developed a Reading Program for children (3 to 7 years old) which integrates Storytelling with literacy skills.  This Program has been highly appreciated by parents and is quite effective in developing childrens' reading proficiencies. 

     She is a theatre professional, an Odissi dancer, and a marathon runner.  She is an author of a children’s book on Phonic sounds, AEIOU Sounds.  She loves working with children.

     Lopamudra conducts Story sessions for children in schools, and conducts Storytelling workshops for teachers and parents.  She also conducts Story sessions at literary events.  She creates spaces for Personal Storytelling.

     She also has been acting in theatre pieces written and directed by Zubin Driver.  She is the core member of Mumbai Storytellers Society.

Contact info

73033 03000

LinkedIn page





Neeraj is a Motivational Speaker, Storyteller, Mentor, Coach, Communication Expert, and Retreat Leader worldwide. 

     For him, coaching is learning again and again…again and again…  An award-winning facilitator, Neeraj uses the timeless techniques of mentoring, collaboration, and performance.  Neeraj is a voice, speech, diction, accent, and communication mentor with Narrative Therapy through Transformative Storytelling. 

     Neeraj has been studying holistic techniques since 1996.  During more than 20 years of learning, relearning, unlearning, sharing, and teaching.  It has been his conscious quest to work on different eclectic Techniques such as Subtle Face Yoga, Shinrin-yoku (“forest bathing”) Theatre, Languages, Tai Chi, Butoh, Aikido, Expressive Art, Story Therapy, DOGa Yoga, etc.  He helps people understand subtle and essential aspects of the mind, body, and spirit connection.

     Neeraj is the author of the holistic growth manual “Sapere Aude (Dare to BE Wise)”.  He has been featured in various publications such as BBC-Hindi, Zee TV, Elle, The Hindustan Times, DNA, Times of India, Indian Express, and News Nation.

     Neeraj often works in the following cities (in alphabetical order): Ahmedabad, Bhopal, Chandigarh, Dehradun, Jaipur, Kanpur, Kolkata, Lucknow, Meerut, Mumbai, New Delhi, Noida, Pune, and Surat.

Contact info 

98201 71766

DElotus on Youtube




Neha (née Nidhi Awasthi).

Neha is the spirit behind DElotus Advaya Holistic Health Solutions Pvt. Ltd.  She spearheads the management and operations functions of DElotus. Neha holds a Master’s degree in management and brings on board extensive corporate experience in Brand-Driven Storytelling.  She is a passionate and successful conceptualist, strategist, and implementer. 

     Neha is also a Trained & Experienced Voice over artist, Face Yoga, Face Pilates, Tai Chi & Voicing Practitioner.  She has facilitated, Lead and performed at Retreats, workshops, conferences, and courses all around India.  In addition, she is a well-received music curator, Tisane Master, specialist in the new dance movement for Physical Storytelling, Emotional Freedom Technique and Meditational Dance Technique. She is a healer and a thought-leader.  She is an exponent and expert in Tai Chi and sword Tai Chi, and conducts workshops in various forms of dance and music.  She has a beautiful singing voice and just completed Taittiriya Aranyaka, Parad Samhita, and its hymns so recitation of different mantras comes naturally to her for deepening yogic practices such as Tai Chi, Nada Yoga, and Yoga Mudra.  DElotus (Flowering of Innate Human Potential) is a cross-cultural platform for seekers.  DElotus offers avant-garde Expressive Art Workshops, Creative Courses, Mixed Martial Arts Training, Yogic Therapy Sessions, Spiritual and Experiential Road-trips and Expeditions, and more.

     DElotus provides participants with opportunities to share stories.  Story-gathering and sharing are therapeutic activities for all involved.  DElotus' mission includes inspiring young people to discover the power of their own voices and the Voices of the Voiceless.

Contact info

98200 38390

DElotus on Youtube




Nidhi Bagaria.

Nidhi is a Storyteller and and Early Childhood Educator.  She has founded The Creative World, a storytelling and drama program for children. 

     Nidhi has been in the field of education for over fifteen years.  She has observed first-hand the benefits of stories on children.  She believes stories are a universal way to connect and can be told anywhere.  They help cross barriers of culture and language.  In the day and age of technology, storytelling helps bring a personal touch to communication with one's audience members.

     Nidhi has been conducting workshops with leading bookstores in Mumbai for over a decade.  She works with various NGOs, using stories to enhance language development and better expression of ideas.  She has participated in community events like "Happy Streets", in which she narrated stories on the streets of Mumbai.  She has performed and conducted workshops in festivals such as the Kala Ghoda Arts Festival (Mumbai), and the Lulu Readers Fest (Kochi, Kerala).

     Nidhi is passionate about storytelling.  She enjoys working with children, but believes stories can have a positive impact with both children and adults.  Her style is interactive with props, songs, and movement.  She uses a combination of stories and art-and-craft in her workshops, in which she narrates all types of stories, including myths and folktales (such as animal fables and fairytales) -- and coaches workshop participants to do the same. 

     Nidhi conducts storytelling workshops for children and is also a teacher-trainer -- she has conducted workshops for teachers in various schools as well as balwadis.  She is based in Mumbai and works all over India.

Contact info

98922 19417



Nilum Jajodia.
Nilum is an Early Childhood Educator and a trained Storyteller (Storytelling Diploma holder from The Academy of Storytelling – Kathalaya, Bangalore).  She tells stories to child and adult groups, including special groups like mentally-challenged adults.  She performs in schools and book stores, and for NGOs and other organisations.  She also conducts Storytelling Workshops with these groups.  Nilum keeps her audiences enraptured through the use of voice modulation and body language.  Besides this, she connects well with her audiences through the use of games and interactive stories.  She views storytelling as a means of teaching life skills; and of helping people to improve their thinking and speaking-and-listening skills, and language and communication skills in general.  She enjoys telling inspirational stories, as well as folk tales, legends and mythological stories from India and around the world, and is always looking for new ways of telling so as to keep audience interest.

       Nilum leads a Kathalaya Story Space in Mumbai.
Contact info

80979 58410

Storyspace is a Kathalaya undertaking around the world.




Preeti Bapat.

Preeti earned a Masters in "Human Resources", and a Diploma in "Training and Development" from the Indian Society of Training and Development, New Delhi.  She worked for some years in the Corporate World.  However, she had little interest in routinely spending hours facilitating regular training programs and maintaining training records, neck-deep in excel spreadsheets almost every day.

     Even with this monotone schedule, the creative juices would automatically flow if she was challenged to develop activities around training workshops or writing small instant caselets. 

     Gradually, the quest for learning nuances of Storytelling grew multifold, as Preeti began to realise that for any successful training or learning experience, a storyboard and the keyword “CONNECT” is pivotal.

     She learned about Kathalaya, and enrolled for the beginner’s course in 2015.  The world of stories was a perfect environment for her, and this was the start of a new beginning in Preeti's professional life.

     Currently, Preeti is continuing her Storytelling training with Kathalaya, and leads a Kathalaya Storyspace in Kharghar, Navi Mumbai.  She cherishes creating new stories and tweaking existing ones.  Preeti's first published article, “The Gift of Storytelling” (6mb, pdf), appeared in the Nov 2017 issue of Life Positive magazine.  She feels immense pleasure in calling her profession as "Storyteller" and is evolving more with it each day!

     Storytelling-related Services:


A) Storytelling Workshops for Children (3-14 years).

1) Group 1 (3 - 6.5 years): Stories with Art and Craft.

2) Group 2 (6.5 - 8 years): Stories with Art and Craft; and Story prompts to invoke thoughts and help the children create their own stories (using story cards)

3) Group 3 (8.5 - 14 years): Stories with Art and Craft; and Writing prompts for creative writing (one liner and story cubes).  Also showing ways Mind Maps and memory techniques can be used for easy recall (for academic study).


B) Workshops for Pre-school Teachers:

Basics of Storytelling: 6 hour workshop.

- Selecting stories.

- Establishing connect with the pre-schoolers.


Contact info

98190 88071


Storyspace is a Kathalaya undertaking around the world.




Samvedna Amitabh.

Samvedna is the founder of Kahaanipur, which offers storytelling performances and training.  She is a storyteller; a writer of poetry, short stories, and drama; a journalist; and a trainer in all of these fields. She has worked as a journalist for some of India's leading Hindi and English newspapers, and for a Hindi television channel.  In 2007, she published a book of poems, Ladkiyaan jo pul hoti hain, which received the "Vaageeshwari Samman" award from the Madhya Pradesh government.  At present, she is writing a story for teenagers.  The story is designed to help the teenagers handle their years of adolescence.  She is also writing lyrics for a nomadic play in Hindi.  This play is scheduled to be staged soon in Ahmedabad and elsewhere.

     Samvedna has done storytelling for preschoolers, for children at activity centres, for families, and for seniors at old-age homes.  With an NGO in Mumbai, she tells stories to underprivileged children, and writes scripts for the children's performances.

     It was while swimming in the middle waters of her life that she discovered storytelling, as a serious professional activity.  A performer in her had always been an undercurrent of her personality.  Storytelling helped her to vent out all that had been lying latent for long.

     Samvedna does storytelling mainly in Hindi and Urdu, and also interacts with audience members in English.  In her storytelling work, she seeks to address some of the most sensitive issues in the contemporary urban world.  Her work is dedicated to promoting gender and social equality, to respecting the creative process in people, and finally to helping to facilitate communal harmony and world peace.

     Creativity, improvisation, and innovation are trademarks of Samvedna's storytelling style.  She does storytelling with music as well.  Her years of work as a journalist contribute to her analytical way of thinking and leading interactive discussions after stories are told.  She offers storytelling performances and training for all age-groups, from toddlers to seniors.  She is happy to customize workshops.

Contact info

98201 24082





Shital Ravi.

Shital Ravi, a Co-founder of Disha Counseling Center, holds a postgraduate degree in Counseling Psychology from Mumbai University.  In the last 24 years of her counseling practice, she has worked extensively with children, adolescents, and adults.

     Shital is a Storytelling Therapist, having been trained in Storytelling Therapy for Counselling and Life Coaching by the World Storytelling Institute.  She is also a Mindfulness Master Practitioner.

     A prolific writer, Shital has written widely on mental health, parenting, and related topics, and has been featured as a columnist in a few leading print media.  She is currently writing “Pashu Neeti”, a monthly newsletter of Disha showcasing wisdom from the animal kingdom. 

     Shital is also a poet.  She writes in three languages, and has published a tri-lingual anthology titled “Do Kavitayein”.  Her short stories have been published in newspaper dailies such as Hindustan Times, and Dombivli Kalyan Plus of Times of India. 

     Not just a story writer, Shital is also a storyteller.  In February 2021 she told a story in the Chennai Storytelling Festival. 

     A seasoned classical danseuse, Shital holds a “Nritya Alamkar” in Bharatanatyam from the Akhil Bharatiya Gandharva Mahavidyalaya.  She has won National titles such as “Singar Mani” and “Natyamayuri”, is a graded artiste of the Doordarshan, and is a recipient of the “Central Government Scholarship” awarded by the Dept. of Cultural Affairs, Govt. of India.

     Giving shape to her inclination towards “Seva Bhava”, Shital co-founded Saaraakassh Trust in 2015, working for the betterment of tribal people in Maharashtra.  The focus is on helping people to improve their Education, Health, Sanitation, and Environment.  A project close to her heart is “Pudchi Peedhi, Pudcha Paaul” (“the next step of the next generation”) which uses storytelling, dance, music, games, role play and a host of other activities to strengthen life skills in the tribal and underprivileged children for a better and “Atmanirbhar Bharata” (“Self-reliant India”).  She uses storytelling techniques in her counseling  and social work and offers these services especially in relation to children.

     A photo is here.


92235 04310




Shukrita Sankaran.  The Storyteller Mumbai.

Shukrita Sankaran – entrepreneur, pre-school teacher, writer, and podcaster – has been known as The Storyteller Mumbai since 2020.  The Storyteller Mumbai started off as a podcast on platforms such as Spotify, Google Podcasts, and Apple Podcasts.  It was an avenue by which to narrate true stories of various famous personalities, bringing out their essences.  Shukrita also took part in numerous poetry challenges online and now is an avid poet, inspired especially by William Wordsworth and Robert Frost.

     Shukrita started writing as a hobby, journaling about her experiences over the years.  Finally, after penning a few articles on Medium, she created her own website where she shares all her creative pursuits.  The website is a labour of love.

     Shukrita has a degree in psychology, and is a trained Montessori teacher.  She did an advanced course in creative writing from Symbiosis, Pune.  She is an entrepreneur who helps to manage the family business by running the store Mysore Creation.  She also is a Bibliotherapist who believes in the power of the written word to heal and transform individuals across all age groups.  She is interested in Therapeutic Storytelling and penned her first story for a group of homeopathic practioners in Romania in 2022.  This story can be read on her website here.

     Shukrita works alongside her husband who is a homeopathic practitioner.  Together they are aiming to create a world in which they can facilitate healing and growth.  Shukrita has worked with children who have health issues, engaging them to get to the depths of their own inner selves.

     News from Shukrita in May 2023 – about her new book, Poetic Resonance, and more – is here.

     A photo is here.

Contact info





Smita Rajan.

Smita is a Storyteller, Dance Artist and Educator, and Personal Counsellor utilising methods of Storytelling and Dance Movement Therapy.   

     An artist at heart, Smita's creative zeal is her strength.  With over 10 years of experience in practicing, teaching, and choreographing Bharathanatyam, and a Masters in Dance, Smita sees Dance as a way of enhanced living.  In 2018, she founded Parampara Creative Dance and Movement, a creative hub for Expressive Arts, Classical Dance, Creative Movement, and Storytelling, for learners across all age groups.

     Smita has also co-founded The Katha Club, a story club that facilitates open, safe, and neutral spaces to explore, engage, and express.  Smita conducts Storytelling sessions for: 1) Children 5 years and above, 2) Teenagers, and 3) Young Adults.

     Parampara Creative Dance and Movement has been awarded best narrative by the Global Cleanup Heroes in the Global Environment Summit.

     As a dancer Smita uses stories to create mini-dramas and plays on varied topics of relevance.

     Smita is a personal counsellor using Storytelling and Dance Movement Therapy methods in her work, especially with trauma survivors, and people experiencing neurosis and Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome.

     Smita enjoys working on:

• Body conditioning, flexibility, toning, balance, self-awareness, shaping, confidence building, and gait.

• Creating educational modules using Dance and Movement.

• Muscle memory and its applications.

• Performance based narration of stories.

• "Dance: A Language," a community program initiated by Smita that focuses on mindful dancing and healing processes through dance.


* Masters in Applied Psychology, Annamalai University (Expected to complete in 2022).

* Masters in Fine Arts, Bharathanatyam, 2015, Bharathidasan University, Trichy.

* Masters of Business Administration, 2010, Symbiosis SCDL, Pune, Masters in Communication

* Bachelors of Business Administration, 2008, Madras Christian College, Madras University, Chennai.


* Certified Personal Counsellor, 2020, Institute of Human Technology.

* Certified Professional Storyteller, 2020, World Story Institute.

* PG Certified Dance and Movement Therapist, 2019, Kinections, Rochester, NY and Sancheti Healthcare Academy

* PG Certified Special Educator (LD, ADHD, and Autism),

2018, Asian College of Teachers and Institute of Cambridge

* Certified in Indian Sign Language (ISL), 2018, Talking Hands.

Contact info

99580 95989

Usha Venkatraman.

Usha is a Mumbai-based storyteller who believes in the power of stories and keeps the ancient art of oral tradition alive with stories that transform and inspire.

A versatile teller with a wide repertoire of folk, traditional, literary and beguiling mythical tales, Usha adapts her craft to suit young and older audiences, sometimes using other arts, like puppetry, dance and music. Her songs and tales enchant little ones, while her family sagas of myths, legends and folktales captivate older children, teens and adults.


Usha has been storytelling at national and international festivals, events and conferences in India, Singapore,Thailand, Iran, Sydney, Malaysia and the United States.


She has taught storytelling courses and has presented a variety of workshops to adults, children and families. She has been a speaker on storytelling and is active in the international storytelling community.


Usha continues to be fascinated by the world of stories -- ancient lore both written and told. She loves to bring different voices together, weaving threads of untold stories of women heroes stitching together forgotten fairytales, fragments of myth, songs and music.


Usha has directed and performed in storytelling ensemble shows for the past several years and during the past two years took her shows virtually to San Francisco, Bangkok, Malaysia, Florida and Purdue, Indiana.


Award-winning storyteller, author, classical vocalist, puppeteer and radio show host, Usha Venkatraman is the founder and festival director of Mumbai Storytellers Society, an initiative born out of her zeal to keep the storytelling tradition alive. Usha curated the first Science Storytelling Festival SCIFARI in 2019 in Mumbai India.


Usha hosts Storytellers Café, a weekly radio show on Bharat FM, a Cincinnati based radio station. Usha has authored a children’s picture book on animal advocacy, which was written after her year long work with an animal activist organisation in the 90’s.


Usha has performed across India and around the globe.


A photo is here.


Contact info
Usha Venkatraman

Founder: Mumbai Storytellers Society

Founder: Scifari - Exploring Science Through Stories

Festival Director:   Gaatha - Mumbai International Storytelling Festival. 

Host: Storytellers Cafe on Bharat FM Radio

Mobile: 98201 79303







Ongoing Storytelling Activities in Mumbai --





Kathalaya (directed by Geeta Ramanujam) is developing three Story Spaces in Mumbai:


1) Mid-Mumbai.

Contact: Nilum Jajodia. 


2) Katha Kutir, Mulund, Mumbai.

Contact: Anupama Mohan, , 98207 90382.


3) Kathamrut, Mumbai.

Contact: Asmita Sarwade,


For info about the Story Space project in general, please click here and call 080 2668 9856.