Interview with Geeta Ramanujam

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Story telling is an art which has lost its importance in recent days. In ancient days, Inscriptions & paintings were engraved on caves, rocks to depict the cult, stories of kings & tales of people lived in that period of time. As the world progress in advance with the technology, story –telling has reached a stage of Granny’s Tales & Bed-time stories.

But today we have Ms. Geeta Ramanujam amidst us who has established story telling as an educational and communicative tool to effect a change in society. A group of passionate individuals has joined together with a mission to use story to inspire people to aspire their dreams before their thoughts expire. Geeta is the founder of Kathalaya-‘The House of Stories’. She has also established and founded the Academy of Storytelling; the only globally recognized Academy for Storytelling in the World. Besides being an internationally renowned storyteller, is an educator, academician and administrator. Geeta uses storytelling as an effective educational and cultural tool in many leading educational institutions in India and abroad. A whopping 52,000 plus people have undergone these training programs. She has conceptualized the Diploma program as she felt the need to further the confidence of story tellers to take up storytelling professionally. She is also International Storytelling Networks Indian coordinator.

Here’s an interview with Geeta Ramanujam who has shared her insights on various aspects of life and her struggles to attain this stage.

    1. What’s your own definition of happiness? 

Happiness is fleeting but what makes one stay in the pursuit of happiness is to be peaceful. Be aware of every moment and relish us and the world around. Peace is perhaps the best state – Beyond the state of happily ever after and more.

2.   What were your dreams as a child?

To be happy, to love and to be loved by all and share my happiness with everyone around me.  I would also love to play so I wish if life could be just playing and playing.

3.   What are the different programs at Kathalaya? What personality traits do you feel match best with each program? 

A.Academy of Storytelling-Training Institute with certificate and diploma courses in storytelling.

B.Weekly intervention sessions at school ad activity centers

C.Events- festivals and performances of storytelling

D. Setting up Story telling centers-Story spaces

E. Training and traveling to train for NGO’s tribals, around India and the world.

F.Workshops on storytelling for adults and children at the center and other spaces.

Personality traits- Training adults all types-corporate, teachers, NGOs and the challenges of training.

4.    What are the frustrations and challenges of working in this field? 

People still do not value this art form and they are unable to see the depths of the field and the relevance and significance in the learning fields.

Storytelling is a frivolous art form and not a serious subject as math or science but it is a value addition to learning.  The huge challenge is less recognition for this and lack of support from the Government in financial, moral or psychological ways.

You can reach out to Ms. Geeta Ramanujam in the below address:

Kathalaya
#88, BHBCS Layout
2nd cross, 3rd main
BTM II stage, Bannerghatta Road
Bangalore – 560076

Phone: (080) 2668 9856 Email: kathalaya@gmail.com

 www.kathalaya.org

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