Birthdays & Anniversaries
Dr. V.R. Devika, Founder and Managing trustee of The Aseema Trust, a nonprofit organization for linking traditional performing arts and education and Mahatma Gandhi and education, is a well-known cultural activist who has a passion for performing arts and education.
Devika’s Ph.D thesis is on “Gandhian communication for transformation: Philosophical issues and dimensions” from the Department of Philosophy, University of Madras. She conducts regular workshops on Charkha-spinning, peace education and communication skills for students and teachers.
Among the awards she has received are a women’s day honour from Brew Magazine, a certificate of honorary citizenship from the Governor of Maryland during her participation in the US state department’s International Visitor Leadership programme, British Council’s Charles Wallace Award for Arts in Education in the UK, Goethe Institute’s cultural multiplicator fellowship to Germany, Alliance Francaise and ICCR fellowship to Montpellier (South France) dance festival as a speaker, Kalaseva Bharathi award from Bharath Kalachar for contributions to arts and education, the Gnanasamudhra award from Samudhra magazine, Satya Vimarshaka Sundaram from Natyanjali, a lifetime achievement award from the Amir Khusro music academy, a woman’s day honour from Jaycees, a best lecture demonstration award from the Sri Krishna Gana Sabha and vocational excellence awards from Rotary clubs, Karnataka Rajyothsava award from Kannada Sanghas of Chennai, Manitaneya Panpaalar from the Lioness’ club.
She has extensively travelled for conferences and lectures in Cambodia, Canada, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Sri Lanka, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan, Thailand, UK and USA.
She is a visiting faculty at Pathashaala, KFI, Vallipuram and has also taught at SS Jain college and VIT, Chennai on culture. She has served as cultural coordinator for Prakriti Foundation (1998 – 2008), as Director for Education and Culture of the Madras Craft Foundation and its project Dakshinachitra. (1985 – 96) and a school teacher (P.S. Senior Secondary School, Chennai 1976 - 85), she is known for her use of elements of traditional performing arts as a teaching tool. She is on the board of International Partnership Network, Sarvodaya International (TN), Citizens Run Trust and Avvai Home.
She has learnt Bharatanatyam from The Dhananjayans and has researched folk forms. She gives lectures on the theory and practice of the dance and culture of India. She is a well-known storyteller, has authored the coffee table book “Ward 10 – Remembering Rangabashyam”, and has contributed to several national and international journals on art and philosophy.