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Actor and Founder, Ranga Shankara
Educationist & Researcher
Former Foreign Secretary
Chairperson, Accenture, India

Date & Time

Wednesday Wed, 12 Aug 2020


Location (for BIC Venue, BIC Hybrid and BIC Cafe)

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

The past six months has been a period where time seems frozen, yet the societal permafrost is melting, and strange, disturbing elements have suddenly surfaced.

One instance of that is how society and the state have categorised senior citizens. People over 60 years of age, are vulnerable to the virus, and therefore must be kept away from public spaces. They are not even allowed into open public parks! They are meant to stay mostly in their homes, no matter whether they are healthy or infirm.

In this program, we invite 4 iconic Bengaluru women, now in their 60’s or more, to address this issue of ageism.

Ironically, these women have also been required to step up as leaders in their fields. What have been the pressures from that demand? What have been the creative opportunities? Do women leaders bring more of what humanity so desperately needs just now – or is it just another form of sexism to say that?

The future just ain’t what it used to be in December.

We will ask our panellists to gaze into this uncharted future, especially in their own fields of work.

We hope to have a thought provoking yet light hearted look at personal journeys in these tough times.


Arundhati Nag

Actor and Founder, Ranga Shankara

Arundhati Nag is a film and theatre personality. She has been involved with multilingual theatre in India for over 25 years. She has been involved with Indian People’s Theatre Association (IPTA) and has done various productions in Gujarati, Marathi, Hindi, Kannada, Tamil, Malayalam and English.

She has performed several plays in Kannada: Girish Karnad’s ”Anju Mallige”, ”27 Mavalli Circle”, ”Sandhya Chayya” (Jayant Dalvi), Girish Karnad’s ”Nagamandala” and Bertolt Brecht’s ”Hulaguru Huliyavva”. She has also worked in several Kannada movies like ”Accident” (1984), ”Parameshi Prema Prasanga” (1984) and ”Nodiswamy, Navirodu Heege” (1987).

Arundhati is the force behind the conception of the theatre space dedicated to quality theatre in Bangalore: Ranga Shankara. She is a recipient of the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award (2008), the Padma Shri (2010) and the National Film Awards (2010).

Geetha Narayanan

Educationist & Researcher

Geetha Narayanan is Founder-Director of the Srishti School of Art Design and Technology and the Mallya Aditi International School. She has dedicated her life to finding and establishing new models of educational institutions that are creative, synergistic, and original in their approach to learning.

An administrator, researcher, teacher, and facilitator, she has pioneered many courses and projects that examine a wide variety of needs, both social and educational. Narayanan is the author and principal investigator of Project Vision, an international research initiative that is looking at the development of appropriate instructional strategies and technology-related tools that foster creative cognitive architectures in young children from urban poor communities.

Nirupama Menon Rao

Former Foreign Secretary

Nirupama Rao is a former Indian Foreign Service officer. She retired as Foreign Secretary to the Government of India, the senior most position in the Foreign Service, being the second woman to occupy the post (2009-2011). She was the first woman spokesperson (2001-02) of the Indian foreign office. She served as India’s first woman High Commissioner (Ambassador) to Sri Lanka (2004-2006) and to the People’s Republic of China (2006-2009). She was Ambassador of India to the United States from 2011 to 2013. In retirement she has been a Senior Visiting Fellow in International and Public Affairs at the Watson Institute at Brown University where she has taught an undergraduate seniors course on “India in the World” and George Ball Adjunct Professor at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs. She is currently working on a book entitled “Tell it on the Mountain: India and China, 1949 to 1962”. Ambassador Rao was a Fellow at the India-China Institute of The New School, New York in 2016 and a Public Policy Fellow at The Wilson Center, Washington D.C. in 2017. She was a Jawaharlal Nehru Fellow from 2015-2016 and a Practitioner-in-Residence at the Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio Center in Italy in 2017. She is a member of the Board of Governors of the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore and a Councillor on the World Refugee Council. She has an honorary degree of Doctor of Letters (2012) from Pondicherry University, India. She is a staunch believer in the power of social media as an advocacy platform for policy and currently has over 1.4 million followers on Twitter. In 2016, she received the Vanitha Ratna Award from the Government of Kerala. She also received the Fellowship of Peace Award of the Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Center in Washington D.C in 2018.

Ambassador Rao is a Founder-Trustee of The South Asian Symphony Foundation a not-for-profit Trust which is dedicated to promoting mutual understanding in South Asia through the creation of a South Asian Symphony Orchestra.

Rekha Menon

Chairperson, Accenture, India

Rekha M. Menon is the Chairperson and Senior Managing Director at Accenture in India.

She is a leading industry voice on advanced technology led innovation and socio-economic progress. Rekha is the vice-chairman of NASSCOM, and a member of the National Council of CII, the National Executive Board of AMCHAM, and USIBC’s India Advisory Council. She is also on the Board of Governors of her alma-mater, the XLRI School of Business, and two not-for-profits—Pratham Books and Akshara Foundation.

Rekha regularly features on lists of the most powerful women in business in India, and is recognized among the top 10 LGBT Ally Executives globally.

Rohini Nilekani


Rohini Nilekani is Founder-Chairperson, Arghyam, a foundation she endowed to fund initiatives for sustainable water and sanitation across India. From 2004 to 2014, she was Founder-Chairperson of Pratham Books, a non-profit children’s publisher. She is Co-founder-Director of EkStep, a non-profit education platform.

A former journalist writing for leading publications, she is also the author of “Stillborn” and “Uncommon Ground”, both published by Penguin Books India. In 2017, she was inducted as Foreign Honorary Member of the AmericanAcademy of Arts and Sciences.

As signatories of the Giving Pledge, Rohini and Nandan Nilekani have committed half their wealth to philanthropy.