Brief profile of Speakers

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Keynote Speaker: Dr. B. J. Prashantham

Dr. B. J. Prashantham to many is a counselling Guru.He is a pioneer and innovative Counselling Psychologist with about 50 years of experience as a therapist, trainer and supervisor of counsellors, researcher and author of international repute.He has contributed much for Well Being and Mental Health in India and abroad for over 200 organisations consisting of Universities, NGO's, Govt. agencies, Corporations including CEO level leaders.Cross cultural Psychology and Coaching Psychology also fascinates him.


Dr. Chandrashekhar Tekal

Dr. Chandrashekhar Tekal hails from a family of philosophers, academicians, and musicians. He has been practicing traditional Ayurveda for the past 17 years at his clinic/ hospital - named 'GarhapatyaChikitsalayaha'. He has patients coming from all over the world. He has been successful in uniquely connecting Ayurveda, modern science and Vedantha logically and succinctly for a holistic healing.


Dr. Rahul Shidhaye

Dr. Rahul Shidhaye is a Public Health Psychiatrist. His research work is mainly in the areas of integration of mental health in primary care, mental health systems strengthening and implementation science. He is Principal Investigator for NIMH funded ESSENCE (Enabling translation of Science to Service to Enhance Depression Care) project and country Principal Investigator for various Research Program Consortiums such as PRIME (Program for Improving Mental Health Care), EMERALD (Emerging Mental Health Systems in Low and Middle Income Countries) and SHARE (South Asian Hub for Advocacy, Research and Education on Mental Health) and VISHRAM (VIdarbha Stress and Health ProgRAM).

Prof. L. Sam. S. Manickam

Prof. L. Sam. S. Manickam, is the Director of Training and Research, Mhat Institute of Community Mental Health, Calicut. and Hon. Director Centre for Applied Psychological Studies Thiruvananthapuram. He is an international Gestalt Therapy Trainer and conducted workshops inNigeria, Iran and Bangladesh.

He obtained his Masters in Psychology from University of Kerala, did his clinical psychology training from the NIMHANS Bangalore and PhD in 1992. He had taught at the Department of Psychiatry, Christian Medical College Vellore, CSI Medical College Karakkonam and served as the Professor and Head of the Department of Clinical Psychology at Sri Ramachandra University, Chennai before moving to Mysore. At Mysore, he was the Professor of Clinical Psychology at the JSS Medical College, JSS University.

He served as a Visiting Fellow at the University of Birmingham, UK. He underwent training in different forms of therapyand psychological approaches held at France, UK and Singapore apartfrom the training for teachers of health professionals.

Dr. Ajanta Goswami MD

Dr. Ajanta Goswami MD, has been living in Muncie, Indiana for the past 20 or so years. She, and her husband Gautam and son Sujoy consider themselves to be "Hoosiers with an Assamese heart". A Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist by profession and a Community Activist by heart Ajanta is actively involved in many community projects pertaining to Prevention of Child Abuse, Mental Health Training and Awareness programs and in Promotion and Acceptance of "Diverse Ethnic groups" living in the Heartlands. Of late she founded two organization named Pies for Peace and Community Conversation to engage with the local community for Peace Promoting Activities. She has received numerous community and citizenship awards in the past several years for her work in these fields

Dr. Anna Madill

Dr. Anna Madill specializes in qualitative methods and has a particular interest in visual approaches. Her research is broadly in the field of 'well-being.' She is Deputy Head and Professor in the School of Psychology, University of Leeds, UK. Anna Madill is a Fellow of the British Psychological Society and Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences . She Co-Founded and Chaired (2008-11) the British Psychological Society Qualitative Methods in Psychology Section.

Dr. JitendraNagpalMD

Dr. Jitendra Nagpal (MD DNB) is Program Director of Expressions India - The National Life Skills, Values, Community & School Wellness Program. The Expressions India programme has over 5000 Child and Adolescent centred sensitization workshops, training programmes and community seminars to its credit. A large number of schooling systems & government institutions in the country regularly seek technical expertise from Expressions India for their advocacy, research, training and enrichment. He has been conducted a large number of corporate workshops on Work Life Balance. Also, He is Sr. Consultant Psychiatrist and Head of the Instt. of Mental Health and Life Skills Promotion & Institute of Child Development and Adolescent Health at MoolchandMedcity, New Delhi.

Ms. Krishna Sarma

Ms. Krishna Sarma is a lawyer with 25 years of experience. She is Founder and Managing Partner of Corporate Law Group (CLG), a New Delhi based Law Firm that she setup in 1998. She was the Additional Advocate General for the State of Assam in the Supreme Court of India from 2011 till 2016 and CLG was Standing Counsel for the State of Assam during 2001-2016. She represented the State of Assam in foreigner’s issues, border disputes and matters relating to unlawful activities. A self- proclaimed policy aficionado, she works primarily in law and regulations regarding bio- pharmaceuticals, medical devices, diagnostics, food, and other regulated sectors as also mining, oil and gas, liner shipping, and heavy engineering.

Dr Sanghamitra Bora

Dr Sanghamitra Bora is a Palliative Oncology Specialist working with North East Cancer Hospital & Research Institute, Jorabat, Guwahati. She is a Master of Science in Palliative Medicine, Cardiff University, Wales, United Kingdom and also did her MPC Palliative Care from St. Christopher's Hospice, London, United Kingdom. She has been awarded with Special Bursary Award for MPC Palliative Care from St. Christopher's Hospice, London( 2012) and Commonwealth Scholarship for MSc Palliative Medicine from the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission, (2015)

Dr. Madhurjya Prasad Bezbaruah

Dr. Madhurjya Prasad Bezbaruah, is Professor and HOD, Department of Economics, Gauhati University, Assam. He did his education in Economics from the Delhi School of Economics and PhD from Gauhati University. He has published 5 books, 48 papers in journals, 28 articles in edited volumes . He held several positions like Professor and Head, Department of Economics, GU; Director, Gauhati University Institute of North-East India Studies; Dean, Faculty of Fine Arts, GU: Former Dean, Faculty of Arts, GU

Dr Neelakshi Mahanta

Dr Neelakshi Mahanta is Associate Professor of Medicine, in charge of Dept. of Medical Oncology, State Cancer Institute, Assam. She is a WHO Fellow in Geriatrics from Khon Kaen University, Thailand in 2007. She has authored many books and manuals and has several paper publications in her name.

Leon Tan

Leon Tan (PhD) is art historian, critic, artist, educator and registered psychotherapist, whose research focuses on social expression and the public sphere. Dr. Tan is an Associate Professor and Director of Research and Postgraduate Studies in Creative Industries at Unitec Institute of Technology in Auckland, New Zealand. He is also a member of Auckland Council’s Advisory Panel on Art in Public Places and the International Association of Art Critics.


Mr. Subimal Bhattacharjee works as an independent consultant on defence, cyber security and high end technology policy issues based out of New Delhi and a film maker, producer and director. He was the Country Head India for General Dynamics (, one of the top 5 defence corporation in the world. He was one of the 25 experts invited by the United Nations through UNPAN in June 2015 to deliberate on the impact of ICT on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that was adopted by the UN General Assembly. As an independent film maker, producer and director, Mr Subimal Bhatt'charjee's first production was a documentary "Memories of a Forgotten War" a feature length documentary made on the recollections of the veteran fighters of India, Japan and UK around the World War-II theatre in north east India.