Video Volunteers’ Staff
Stalin K., Managing Trustee, Video Volunteers India
Stalin K. is a documentary filmmaker, media trainer and human rights activist from Gujarat, India. Stalin has directed 15 documentaries and has won several international awards for his films. He has produced six community radio programs, designed more than 20 rights-based campaigns and conducted over 300 trainings in film making and participatory video, street theatre, radio production, and development communications. As an activist, he has been deeply involved in the relief efforts of the 2002 Gujarat riots, and of the Kutch earthquake of 2001, during which time he helped to create a community radio program that was instrumental in delivering information to the victims.
Stalin was the Convener of the Community Radio Forum-India until 2009 and was one of the core group that drafted the legislation that made community radio legal in India. His film work on the issue of untouchability has helped bring international attention to Dalit issues, most notably his 1996 film Lesser Humans on manual scavenging, and his feature-length 2007 film IndiaUntouched, winner of the Mumbai International Film Festival. This film surveys the existence of untouchability across 8 states, four religions and all social classes in India. He teaches communications, film and grassroots activism at a number of the most senior institutes in India and has lectured at Berkeley, Stanford and NYU, among other institutions, and also advises foundations and NGOs on their communications and participatory media strategies. One of his greatest passions is training rural men and women in leadership and in expressing themselves powerfully, and he spends as much time as possible in the field, working directly with communities. Until 2008 he ran Drishti Media in Ahmedabad, an organization he co-founded at the age of 23. You can read his personal blog here.
Jessica Mayberry, Founding Director
Jessica Mayberry founded Video Volunteers after spending a year training rural Indian women in filmmaking as a W.J. Clinton Fellow of the American India Foundation. Jessica is a TED Fellow and a Fellow of Echoing Green, an organization that invests in social entrepreneurs with high-impact solutions. In 2009 she was recognized as an Architect of the Future by the Waldzell Institute of Austria, and in 2010, as an Outstanding Young Person by the Junior Chamber International Osaka. In 2011, she was one of the top fifty people shortlisted for the Grinnell College Young Innovator for Social Justice Prize, out of over 1000 applicants from 66 countries. Under her leadership VV has won numerous awards, including the Knight News Challenge, the most competitive award for innovations in news and information, the NYU-Stern Business School Business Plan competition, a Tech Award, a Development Gateway Awards shortlist, and a shortlist for the King Baudouin (of Belgium) Foundation International Development Prize.
Prior to starting Video Volunteers, Jessica worked in television in New York at Court TV, the Fox News Channel, and CNN. She has served on the board of Free the Children, the world’s largest organization of “Children Helping Children” and on the Advisory Council of Counterpart International. She holds a degree in Modern History and Modern Languages from Oxford University, from which she graduated in 1999.
Shobha R., Program Director
Shobha is a development professional with around ten years of work experience. She has a masters in social work from the Tata Institute of Social Sciences. She started off her career working with primitive tribal groups in Srikakulam district of Andhra Pradesh.She then worked with Oxfam in the tsunami disaster response and rehabilitation programmes for four years and subsequently in the gender justice programme in west India for two years. Among her varied interests, she would also like to build on her understanding of issues related to marginalized groups- especially vulnerability of forest dependent tribal groups leading to forced displacement and its gendered dimensions. She is also passionate about working towards community owned and community led processes for their own empowerment.
Manish Kumar, Program Manager & Principal Trainer
Manish’s expertise is in documentary film-making and community video training. In his four years with Video Volunteers he has trained more than 200 community people to make films and use media to create awareness in their communities. Prior to coming to Video Volunteers, Manish served as a Program Associate at Community Enterprise Forum International.
Manish interned at Doordarshan News, where he gained experience with mainstream media. He has directed the film, “Bahin Tonye Kahah Jathis,” which focuses on the exploitation and trafficking of Tribal girls to Delhi for domestic work. Manish has a Post Graduate Diploma in Development Communication from the Mass Communication Research Center at Jamia Millia Islamia University in Delhi and a degree in mass communication from Bharti Vidya Bhava, in New Delhi.
Tania Devaiah, Impact & Advocacy Manager
Nature lover and adventure junkie by nature and a social worker by profession, Tania has always had a keen interest in issues relating to social justice. Originally from Coorg and brought up in Bangalore, she completed her MA in Social Work from TISS, Mumbai in 2008 with a focus on Criminology and Correctional Justice. She has worked with Prerana in Mumbai and Biocon Foundation in Bangalore.
Tania has hands on experience with issues primarily related to human trafficking and gender, primary health care and education. She loves to travel and enjoys pushing her own boundaries in whatever she does.
Areeb Hashmi, Senior Producer
A trained filmmaker with over six years of experience in producing and directing documentaries, short films and television commercials.
Prior to joining Video Volunteers, Areeb led the video unit at Greenpeace India for around 3 years where he generated visual content for environmental campaigning by producing various documentaries, campaign films, promos, video news releases and non-news productions.
In 2008, he was awarded £8000 scholarship by London Film Academy for his documentary on Poliomyelitis in India as a part of the application process for Post Graduate Diploma in Filmmaking.
He worked in the mainstream motion picture industry for a while before going independent as a corporate filmmaker and soon he switched to making more meaningful use of his craft as he always had a firm belief that visual media has immense power to influence and educate the masses around the world. His work has been screened and awarded at national film festivals.
He loves swimming in the sea and you would find him off on a bike ride on his day off from work!
Arundathi Vishwanath, Impact & Advocacy Manager
She grew up in Bangalore and studied for a bit in Mumbai. The fun began when she started working at the grassroots with tribals communities in Madhya Pradesh (Hoshangabad and Betul) and Chattisgarh (Bastar) with PRADAN. That was her first job, she was with PRADAN for around 4 years. Her main area of work was to support the formation and nurturing of self help group, enhancing livelihoods, gender and women’s rights and access to rights and entitlements.
Arundathi’s ultimate dream is to run away to the jungles one day (like elope with the lifestyle in the forests) and live there, with the tribals. She aspires to be a participant anthropologist.
Other areas of interests are theatre and painting. Her passions are travelling and food! Experimenting and experiences various places, people (hehehe ) and cuisines.
Anand Hembrom, Editor- Co-ordinator, IndiaUnheard, Ranchi
Anand is from Kasiadih village, Hazaribag district of Jharkhand. He belongs to Santhal Adivasi community. He completed M A in broadcast journalism from Delhi (NISCORT) and has worked with the group of the people named AKHRA which produce documentary films on various issues and work for the culture and communication for Adivasi community in Jharkhand. Anand has been involved with the people’s movement to protect land, forest and water which is being taken away by corporates like TATA, CCI, Jindal etc.
Shobha Ajay, Editor- Co-ordinator, IndiaUnheard, Bhilai
Shobha is a filmmaker with over ten years of experience. Her films are from a social anthropological point of view and on diverse issues such as gender relations, the relationship between traditions and politics and health. Her documentary, “Living Memory”,was screened at the Kings College and the Cambridge South Asia Forum. She worked as a research assistant with the Social Anthropology Department at the LSE on a project that worked with women and children in Chhattisgarh.
For the last two years Shobha has been working as a Senior Trainer with the Mayaram Surjan Foundation on project that works with children.
Sarita Biswal, Co-ordinator, IndiaUnheard, Odisha
Sarita was a Community Correspondent from Cuttack District before she became the Odisha co-ordinator for IndiaUnheard. Born in a village where there are no schools that teach past the seventh grade, she had to struggle and persevere to get educated. As a correspondent, she made many powerful videos on the issues of gender discrimination, mining, land grabs, smuggling etc.
She is a local leader and the face of the popular anti-mining campaign in her village. She organized her people in a campaign and successfully ended timber smuggling in her area. After her marriage, she has shifted to Jamshedpur but continues to lead and participate in the grassroots movements in her native village.
Joel D’Souza, Video Trainer & Editor
Joel graduated in commerce from Pune University with a major in Marketing and Advertising. He started his career in media working as copy designer for Wordsmith Communication and later his love and interest in audio took him to Radio Mirchi, Pune where he worked as a Sound Engineer and Promo Designer. Later as a Assistant Producer with CBN multimedia Pvt. Ltd. he worked on shows telecasted on Sony Television Network, India.
Joel also worked with the outreach team of the company in facilitating access to water to deprived communities across India. It was an experience that marked him and later, he joined Video Volunteers as a Video Trainer.
Radhika Gupta, Program Coordinator
Radhika did her Masters in Gender, Culture and Development and wrote her dissertation on changing cultures with a special focus on hippies in India. In University she had the opportunity to work on various audio visual projects which gave her the chance to learn about various cultures and lifestyles. Prior to her degree she worked extensively in animal welfare and taught English to underprivileged children.
She enjoys exploring new places, meeting people, learning about different cultures, reading or writing about dogs and random people for her blog. She hopes to build an animal shelter in the future.
Amrita Anand, Program Coordinator
Soon after graduating from College, Amrita joined Swechha, a youth based NGO in Delhi. Here she worked on implementing an alternative education program for children from marginalized communities. Amrita is also a sports fanatic; she is an avid runner and a national level kickboxing gold-medalist. She is passionate about her work, traveling and reading among other things. She is experienced in project design, implementation, management, monitoring and evaluation, as well as fieldwork, social campaigning, volunteer management, community mobilization fundraising and networking. In her free time Amrita likes to blog on her ponderings and observations about the world around her.
Kayonaaz Kalyanwala, Communications Coordinator
Kayonaaz has a Masters in Media and International Development from the University of East Anglia. Her final dissertation examined the efficacy of AIDS awareness posters as tools of development communication. Before returning to India she worked at the Commonwealth Broadcasting Association where she did research on Public Service Broadcasting and the News Media in India as well as helped manage an online film initiative, YourWorldView. Kayonaaz has now lived in four cities in the world and hopes to add many more to the list.
Poornima Damade, Editor and Media Trainer
Poornima graduated from Symbiosis Institute of Media and Communication with specialization in Audio Visual production. She has worked with DISHA (hiv/aids services), a project under Deep Girha Society, a Pune based ngo. She has also worked with Smile foundation working for education of small girl child and interned with Lighting Fish games as a motion editor. She likes reading fictional novels, watching movies, listening to music, travelling, exploring mostly hilly areas and meeting new people. She is kind of an introvert but gets comfortable with time. She loves editing.
Prakash Phondekar, Accounts & Finance
Prakash Phondekar was born in Morjim, Goa. He has spent all his life in and around this idyllic town and he wishes that it would so for the rest of his life. He completed his graduation in Saraswat Vidyalaya, Mapusa and wishes to rejoin his studies in the near future to pursue the much coveted ICWAI. He enjoys a game of football with friends and finds his work with Video Volunteers to be a new and learning experience.
Kanhaiya Maurya, Assistant Video Trainer
Kanhaiya Maurya graduated from Kashi Vidyapeeth completing his Bachelors of Arts in 2010. During college, he underwent training in computers and graphic designing and has been actively teaching courses at a computer institute for the past three years. He also worked part-time, video-editing at Globe Studios, Varanasi.
He volunteers and works with handicapped children at Kiran Shelter, an Ngo and organizes cultural programs. Currently, he is employed as the assistant video trainer in the Saksham Project of Video Volunteers.