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Citizen Matters Co-Founder
IAS (Retd); Former BBMP Commissioner

Date & Time

Thursday 27 Jun 2019



Bangalore International Centre
7, 4th Main Road, Domlur II Stage
Bengaluru, Karnataka 560 071 India
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+91 98865 99675 bic@bangaloreinternationalcentre.org

India’s cities are growing at a rapid speed outgrowing most countries. How should these settlements be governed and managed? In the Urban Debate, we will start with a One point seven film made by Director Andreas van de Laar where eminent Indian experts opine on the subject. Topics like the directly elected mayor, governance and administration reform, use of apps as citizen enablers and future of policy based journalism are discussed in the film.

→ Watch Trailer Here

Film by Andreas van de Laar

The film will be followed by a panel discussion with Soumya Reddy, Naresh Narasimhan, M.R Sreenivasamurthy, Ravichandar and Meera K.


Sowmya Reddy


A social worker with over 14 years of experience in grassroots activism, research, training, community mobilization, women’s rights, human rights, humane education, animal welfare, environmental protection and policy advocacy. She is committed to transform Bengaluru by public policy, progressive laws and public participation. She organized a Karnataka government supported job fair in Jayanagar which attracted over 11150 job aspirants. She has also worked as an educator in government and private schools to bring about awareness regarding humane education, compassion towards animals, sustainability and environmental education through NIE (Newspaper in Education).

She was instrumental in ensuring that plastic bags were banned in Bengaluru city corporation by working closely with citizens, Resident Welfare Associations, BBMP officials and elected representatives; and was involved in various programs such as tree planting across Bengaluru and awareness programs about water conservation, segregation, composting and sustainable menstruation. She is involved in the enforcement of animal protective legislation, supported progressive laws like Animal Welfare Act and worked closely with the animal husbandry department to set up a functional state board in Karnataka.

She is the founder Paradigm Shift, an activist center and vegetarian-vegan restaurant which created a space that empowered various groups by hosting various talks, panel discussions, screenings, workshops on various social justice issues. She has been associated with BPAC (Bangalore Political Action Committee) and conducted programs to ensure the government schemes such as government loan programs reached people. Actively involved in Indian National Congress party since childhood and currently Vice President of Indian Youth Congress for Bengaluru district since May 2017. Led youth congress workers in various programs like party membership drives, civic leader training programs, election campaigns and spearheaded central government protests and rallies.

Naresh Narasimhan


Naresh V Narasimhan is a practitioner and leader with three decades of experience in architecture and urban design. He is best known for his association with Venkataramanan Associates – an award winning architecture firm.

As co‐founder of MOD (an international collective of urban designers, researchers and curators), founder & trustee of Imagine Bangalore and founder of Cobalt (a new concept of a work and meeting space that facilitates serendipitous encounters) Naresh has fuelled a variety of progressive causes in the city.

V Ravichandar


Ravichandar was a member of the Expert Committee on BBMP Restructuring exercise. He set up a City Connect platform for Corporates, Civil Society and Government to work together. Tender SURE was a City Connect initiative. Ravichandar has been active on urban issues in India on a pro bono basis since 2000 when he was a member of BATF and instrumental in designing SAS property tax system.

Ravichandar has a Mechanical Engineering degree from the Birla Institute of Technology and Science, Pilani and an MBA from the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad.

Meera K

Citizen Matters Co-Founder
Meera K co-founded Citizen Matters, an award winning digital news media with insightful reporting on critical urban issues, ideas and solutions for cities. She also helped initiate Open City, an urban data platform and Co Media Lab, a community newsroom and resource centre. Meera is the managing trustee at the Oorvani Foundation, a non-profit trust for a free and independent media.
Meera is also an Ashoka Fellow, recognised for her work building open knowledge platforms that allow citizens to collaborate and improve their cities.

Andreas van de Laar


Andreas van de Laar (30) is a filmmaker from Amsterdam, the Netherlands, graduated from The European Film College. Having worked in film and commercials in the Netherlands, he decided to go on a journey make his own documentary series One Point Seven, about India’s growth challenges and innovative solutions in the sectors of Education, Healthcare, Urban Development & Governance and Agriculture. He has travelled through India and interviewed more than 40 Indian influential individuals about innovation and sustainable development in India and is now presenting their ideas and topics throughout the country.

M.R. Sreenivasamurthy

IAS (Retd); Former BBMP Commissioner