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Indian Storytelling Network





Storytellers (and other Story Experts)

(in alphabetical order)

1) Dharithri Krishnamurthy.

2) Leena Kulkarni.

3) Neeraj.

4) Pooja Upganlawar.

5) Sharanya Shriram.

6) Shraddha Nigavekar.

7) Sony Lamba.




1) Dharithri Krishnamurthy.

Dharithri is a certified professional storyteller from Kathalaya and has introduced Story Space - A Kathalaya Learning Centre, to Pune.  Dharithri holds a MA in German and is proficient with multiple languages.  She is also a certified Jolly Phonics trainer.  She has around 8 years of corporate experience.  Dharithri started storytelling when her older daughter was born in 2007.  She would create various stories to teach/introduce various concepts.  Since day one she would narrate stories to her little one and has taught her children everything through stories and music.  As she is passionate about teaching and learning with children, she decided to use her skills for the benefit of many more children.  Dharithri does storytelling sessions at various schools, libraries and activity centres, and conducts regular classes as well.  She conducts regular workshops for teachers, parents and children.

Contact info:

98900 84699



2) Leena Kulkarni.

Leena simply loves storytelling and has been storytelling right from her childhood days.  She is a children's storyteller, having keen interest in using storytelling as a medium for educational and therapeutic purposes.  She regularly conducts weekend storytelling and read-along sessions for children.  Many of the stories narrated in these sessions are written by her.  Her children's stories have been also published in newspapers.  She narrates stories in English as well as Marathi. 

     An Engineer with over ten years of experience in the IT industry, Leena has groomed many newcomers and entrants in her role as a Manager.  She combines this experience with her love of storytelling, soft skills exposure, and interest in psychology to make a difference in children's lives.

Contact Info:

88066 60410



Facebook page.

Printed stories.




3) Neeraj.

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



4) Pooja Upganlawar.

Pooja Gadewar Upganlawar, founder and director of "The StoryTunes", is a Speech and Drama Trainer, a passionate Storyteller, and a Writer. 

     Pooja has provided various kinds of Communication Skills workshops for corporations such as Hewlett Packard, Vodafone, and Times of India. 

     Her experience with young people includes teaching Speech and Drama for more than three years in a reputed school in Pune.  She has conducted workshops on "Anger Management and Learning through Stories" in various schools.  Pooja has successfully trained many students to appear for Communication Skills, and Speech and Drama exams, conducted by the Trinity College of London. 

     Pooja has conducted numerous Storytelling workshops for young people in Pune bookstores such as Crossword and EnlitKids.  She has trained over a thousand children in stagecraft, skits, dramas and plays, extempore, debates, and elocution.  She has collaborated with for sessions with young people on ‘Raising Readers’ and Workshops in Dramatics. 

     Working closely with Times of India NIE (Newspaper in Education), Pooja has introduced countless children to the world of stories.  With her collaboration with KomTV, she is taking stories and dramatics to every house possible. This new venture is one of her key projects.

     Pooja's program for teachers, ‘Teacher Skill Enhancement Program’, has been very well received by teachers in schools across Pune and beyond.  In the short span of three years, she has trained over a hundred teachers in using Storytelling to make the classroom more lively.

     Pooja passionately believes in the art of Storytelling.  Her mantra is “Unleash the Power of Storytelling, Touch Souls, Entertain and Inspire".

     A photo of Pooja is here.



BEd (Education), Gadchiroli University, Gadchiroli, Maharashtra.

MBA (Sales and Marketing), Faculty of Management Studies, Institute of Rural Management (FMS-IRM), Jaipur.

BSc (Life Sciences), St Bede’s College, Shimla.

Higher Secondary, Laureate Public School, Shimla

Matriculation, Convent of Jesus and Mary, Shimla.






YouTube Channel


KomTV, Live Performance


Talk on "Raising Readers"


Information about "The StoryTunes" programs is here.



80070 01511



5) Sharanya Shriram.

An ex-banker turned enrichment coach, Sharanya conducts:

- Moral-based story-and-craft sessions for children.

- Puppet shows.

- Storytelling sessions for introducing sensitive topics to children and young teens.

- Teacher-training workshops.

- Corporate breakout events (for families).

- Phonics, and joy of reading, sessions.

     Sharanya has been part of the Chennai Storytelling Festival from 2016 onward.  Apart from conducting her own sessions, she has been associated with schools such as Shemrock, Vaels Vidyashram, LocoPoco (Hirandani), and Primrose.  She has also conducted customised events with corporates like Cotiviti and OneSource.  These events span a wide spectrum of activities, including storytelling for children, teacher-training workshops, and breakout sessions at company events.  Being fluent in multiple languages (Hindi, Marathi, French, Telugu, English, and Tamil), Sharanya is able to connect with diverse groups, and customises content accordingly.

     Member: Chennai Storytellers (even though she has re-located to Pune)


96866 22237



6) Shraddha Nigavekar.

A scientist by training and a spoken-word artist by choice, Dr. Shraddha Nigavekar is a lifelong-learner with a passion for experimentation.  A professional storyteller and educator, Shraddha strongly believes that storytelling is a powerful tool to enhance emotional quotient and empathy, improve communication skills, and build self-confidence.


Shraddha has lived and worked in three continents and brings her multitude of life experiences to the art of storytelling.  Certified in storytelling from Storyweavers (Singapore) and StoryCircle EduSaarthi, Shraddha is also a certified Online Drama for Learning Educator (Theatre Professionals Education).  She is a trained voice-over artist, and has acted in short films as well as theater.  A founder-member of ‘Kathashtakam Global’ (a Storytellers’ Collective by Enlit Kids), she also hosts a YouTube story channel called ‘Kathaa by Shraddha’ (KBSSS) to make multilingual stories accessible globally. Shraddha was awarded in 2022 as a ‘Story-Maker in Education’ by EduSaarthi, the Confederation of Indian Industry and Young Indians.


In-person live events are where Shraddha is truly in her element. She is well-appreciated for her strong connection with her audience, be they children or adults.  She has brought several popular story experiences to audiences ranging from 4 years to 84 years of age.  Shraddha has performed at a variety of places, including literature festivals such as Kala Ghoda (Mumbai), Katha Mehfil (Pune) and SSEMHS Lit Fest (Flash-O-Mania, Mumbai), educational spaces such as the non-profit Doorstep School (DSS), Vikhe Patil Memorial School, Sanskrit Bharati, the Early Child Development Forum (ECDF), the Kathya Sanskruti - Teachers Conference (Edusaarthi), rehabilitation/therapy environments such as Swaranaad (Cochlea Pune) and Tales with Tails (Animal Angels Foundation), and several corporates including Infosys, HSBC and Poonawalla Fincorp. Shraddha is a regular contributor to UK's leading radio program, London Radio's 'Talking Stories' and various other storytelling platforms.


Shraddha is fluent in English, Hindi, Marathi, and Konkani and loves to incorporate music and props in her telling.  She conducts storytelling sessions (in-person and online) for children (aged 6-12 years), and adults at libraries, schools, activity centers, literature festivals and corporate events.





7) Sony Lamba.

Sony is a Librarian by profession, with over 10 years of experience in School Libraries.  She has completed a BA in Economics, and a Masters in Library and Information Science, from Pune University.

     Sony is also a certified Storyteller, having completed an online Storytelling course from the Storyweavers, Singapore.

     Storytelling is an ancient art form.  Telling a story may involve gestures, visual images, sounds, chants, and sometimes exaggeration of expression.  Through Storytelling, Sony would like to connect with children, make concepts fun, and make learning more interesting.

     The lockdown and the pandemic situation inspired Sony to launch her own YouTube storytelling channel, called THE STORY KATTA.  Here she and her many Guest Storytellers tell stories in both English and Hindi.  The motive behind this channel was to reach out to all children by exposing them to a wide range of genres of stories that are easily accessible to them.  During these hard times many children do not have access to a variety of storybooks, so through this channel Sony has tried to bring stories of many different kinds to children of all age groups, in English and in Hindi. 

     Sony also works with children and teachers in schools.


95276 07355

Storytelling channel on YouTube, THE STORY KATTA






Storytelling Organisations based in Pune




The StoryTunes was founded and is directed by

Pooja Upganlawar.


The StoryTunes has designed well-researched programs in which stories form the core of the teaching process.


Our Programs for Children

Thinkers – To enhance curiosity, love for reading, ignite imagination.

Readers – To enhance reading , develop capacity for creativity and imaginative thinking.

Brain Ticklers -- Bring scientific facts to life through specially designed stories.

Old Stories Come Alive – Bring to life major events of history through stories, helping children retain better.

Speak Up – Teach the art of Public Speaking, drama and storytelling.

Let's Write – Creative writing, scripting, character setting, story-writing.


Our Programs for Educators and Parents

Talk – Helps parents to break barriers while conversing with children on sensitive topics such as sex education and child abuse.

Story Speak -- ‘Teacher Skills Enhancement Program’.  Helps teachers become great expressive storytellers -- using props, puppets, voice modulations, voice modulations, and body language. The program focuses on teaching the art of using stories to make sessions interesting and productive.


Our Programs for Institutions


For Colleges and Corporations --

Enhance personality attributes, social & interpersonal graces, communication &language skills, polish personal, professional and managerial traits. Programs such as – "Secret Sauce of Storytelling", and "Presentations with a Knack of Storytelling".


For Corporate Social Responsibility Programs --

We design programs for corporatations as a part of Corporate Social Responsibility Activities.


For Hospital and Rehabilitation Home Programs --

Developing the themes of Cooperation and Co-Existence, we design and implement programs to help treat body, mind, and soul -- and hence enhance the quality of life.