Geeta Dharmarajan
Geeta Krishnaswamy

(1948-09-19)19 September 1948
Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
Other namesK. Geeta
AwardsPadma Shri: 2012

Millinnium Alliance Innovator. Instituted by USAID, Government of India and FICCI, 2013[1]

Stockholm Challenge:[2] 2001

Geeta Dharmarajan is a writer, editor, educator and the Executive Director of Katha, a nonprofit organisation that she founded in 1988. Her work focuses on education, especially of children from poor families.

Katha[3][4] is a registered non-profit and non-governmental organisation based in Delhi in 1989. Katha works in teacher training, children's education and literature. Katha works in underprivileged areas across India. A teaching/learning tool that she devised, "story pedagogy", has been in use in Katha's learning centres since 2001.

Dharmarajan's professional editorial experience that began with Target, a children's magazine, and continued with The Pennsylvania Gazette, the award-winning alumni magazine of the University of Pennsylvania. Geeta's published works include more than 30 children's books and over 450 individual pieces in magazines and newspapers in India and abroad. The Government of India awarded her the civilian honour of Padma Shri in 2012.[5]

Personal life

Geeta Dharmarajan was born in Chennai in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu in 1948. She was introduced early to the diversity of India through the work of her father, N. Krishnaswamy[6] a doctor and allergist. Her mother was Kalyani Krishnaswamy,[7] a poet and composer of classical Carnatic padams.[8] She started learning classical Bharatanatyam and Carnatic music when she was seven years old. She was educated in Holy Angels' High School where she represented the school in dance and netball. She was elected Head Girl of the school and led the south Indian contingent to the Bharat Girl Guides Jamboree in her final year. She graduated from Stella Maris College in English Literature, standing fourth.

Katha Books

Geeta is the editor in chief of Katha's list which includes the Katha Prize Stories.[9] She has edited stories from more than 300 of India's best literary talents, writing in 21 Indian languages. Katha Books are a showcase of contemporary Indian fiction for adults and children.[10] Katha introduced an array of writings from India's many oral and written traditions to children, ages 0 – 17. Classy productions, child friendly layouts and illustrations go in tandem with excellent writing.[11][10] Her major activities include the institution of the Katha Awards for Literary Excellence,[12] and curating the Katha Festivals and utsavs that bring literature to the public. These create meeting places for writers, translators, scholars, critics, storytellers and contemporary artists and community activists.[13] Geeta led the writers workshop initiative for the central Board of Secondary Education,[14] with partnerships established in 500 schools in India [15]

Katha Schools

The Katha Lab School started in 1990 with five children.[16] Today it is a centre of creativity for the slum cluster it is situated in, producing professionals every year who become entrepreneurs who support their families, or go on to higher studies. More than 80% of Katha's children go to college. It was recently visited by The Prince of Wales.[17][18]


  1. ^ "U.S. and India Announce Innovation, Science, and Technology Awards". Retrieved 15 August 2015.
  2. ^ Stockholm Challenge Stockholm Challenge Archived 3 March 2014 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ "Katha, Official website". Katha. Retrieved 29 January 2014.
  4. ^ Sharma, Aditya (4 January 2007). "A Katha of success". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 5 November 2012. Retrieved 29 January 2014.
  5. ^ "Padma Awards" (PDF). Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India. 2015. Archived from the original (PDF) on 15 October 2015. Retrieved July 21, 2015.
  6. ^ "Dr KS Sanjivi Awards 2011 Presented". Archived from the original on 23 September 2015. Retrieved 15 August 2015.
  7. ^ 11 VIRUTAM composition of Smt. Kalyani Krishnaswamy. YouTube. 19 March 2012. Retrieved 15 August 2015.
  8. ^ "Naad Anunaad - RadioWeb Carnatic". Retrieved 15 August 2015.
  9. ^ Katha. "Katha Prize Stories". Retrieved 15 August 2015.
  10. ^ a b Katha Books For Children
  11. ^ " Geeta Dharmarajan: Books". Retrieved 15 August 2015.
  12. ^ Archived from the original on 19 April 2014. Retrieved 20 April 2014. ((cite web)): Missing or empty |title= (help)
  13. ^ Barooah Pisharoty, Sangeeta (13 September 2013). "A Beautiful Story". The Hindu. Retrieved 29 January 2014.
  14. ^ (PDF) Archived from the original (PDF) on 10 December 2013. Retrieved 20 April 2014. ((cite web)): Missing or empty |title= (help)
  15. ^ Hansika Chopra (26 August 2013). "Budding writers". The Hindu. Retrieved 15 August 2015.
  16. ^ "Teaching in the Asian century". Retrieved 15 August 2015.
  17. ^ British Asian Trust President, HRH The Prince of Wales, visits ...
  18. ^ "Prince Charles at the Katha Lab school in New Delhi - Prince Charles & Camilla Parker during nine-day visit to India - The Economic Times". The Economic Times. Retrieved 15 August 2015.