Romancing the Black Panther
Rohini Nilekani with Usha KR
Rohini Nilekani is the Founder-Chairperson of Arghyam, a foundation she set up for sustainable water and sanitation, which funds initiatives all across India. From 2004 to 2014, she was Founder-Chairperson and chief funder of Pratham Books, a non-profit children’s publisher that reached millions of children during her tenure. She is Co-founder and Director of EkStep, a non-profit education platform. She sits on the Board of Trustees of ATREE, an environmental think tank, and serves on the Eminent Persons Advisory Group of the Competition Commission of India.
A former journalist, she has written for many leading publications such as Times of India, India Today, Mint, etc. Penguin Books India published her first book, a medical thriller called Stillborn, and her second non- fiction book, ‘Uncommon Ground’, based on her eponymous TV show. She has written several books for young children, published by Pratham Books including the popular “Annual Haircut Day”. In 2017, she was inducted as Foreign Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She is also a member of the Advisory Board of the Well Being Project from 2019.
Rohini Nilekani is a committed philanthropist and in 2017, she, together with her husband Nandan Nilekani, signed the Giving Pledge, which commits half their wealth to philanthropic causes.
Usha K R is the author of the novels Boys from Good Families (2019), Monkey-man (2010), A Girl and a River (2007), The Chosen (2003), and Sojourn (1998). Her novels have been critically acclaimed and listed for several awards including the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize, the Man Asia, and the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature. A Girl and a River won the Vodafone Crossword Award, 2007. Monkey-man was shortlisted for the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature, 2012.
Usha K R attended the International Writing Program at the University of Iowa in 2011. She lives in Bangalore.
* Some speakers in this session are participating virtually via Zoom.