MISSION & VISION
To give a voice of hope, love, strife and strength to the writers of the Himalayan terrain, especially Kumaon. Himalayan Echoes also aims to inculcate reading, writing and oratory skills in the hill folk as well as people in other parts of India, through various initiatives in the fields of art, culture and literature.
A unique confluence of words and powerful ideas in a most scenic setting, Himalayan Echoes: Kumaon Festival of Literature & Arts, brings together award-winning writers from India and across the world, as well as a distinct local flavour with established and fresh voices from Uttarakhand.
Unlike other such events, the festival is defined as much by the strength of its voices as with the intimate size of its gathering and the magical charm of its setting. It offers an opportunity to learn and enjoy one-to-one interactions with authors and experts in the fields of ecology, socio-cultural studies, art, music, cinema, sport and wildlife.
Namita Gokhale, Festival AdvisorFourteen books under her belt & more to come, she is the literary genius of Kumaon and the world. Her acclaimed debut novel, Paro: Dreams of Passion, was published in 1984. The recent Things to Leave Behind has been described as her most ambitious novel yet. Gokhale is a founder and co-director of the ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival and Mountain Echoes, the Bhutan Literature Festival, and also The Noir Literature Festival. She is the director of Yatra Books, a publishing house for translations.
Janhavi Prasada, Director, ProducerDirected three literature festivals so far at Abbotsford, she is hooked to doing many more in the region of Kumaon. She is the author for her first graphic novel for young adults on Mahatma Gandhi - Tales of Young Gandhi.
Anish Dayal, Festival AdvisorAn advocate at the Supreme Court of India & Delhi High Court, Anish has extensively lectured law students. He also contributed a regular column “Inside Law” for the Wall Street Journal and prior to that for livemint and now writes occasional op-ed pieces for national dailies. He is a keen photographer & writer. Besides his own educational initiative Navchetna a village near Bhimtal,he is involved in various policy initiatives in art, culture, architecture and conservation.
Kapil Dhawan, Brand AdvisorKapil hails from the world of advertising and represents his award winning company - Tree Design as a co-founder in New Delhi. But his heart is also set in the mountains of Kumaon where he spends his out of office days in peace and serenity. His understanding of brands and giving them shape and life is borne from that serenity. He is also committed to the cause of working for social change in the remote regions and making a value driven impact in peoples lives.
Saif Mahmood, Festival AdvisorSaif Mahmood, an advocate at the Supreme Court of India, has his heart in the patronage of Urdu poetry from Ghalib to Daagh. He is associated with Himalayan Echoes since its inception and brings with him a balanced vision for propagation of new talent in the field of literature, music and arts.
Ankita Singhal, Festival CoordinatorAnkita Singhal currently practices as lawyer at Allahabad, appearing in the High Court as well as before various other forums. She is the member of Free Legal Aid Committee of Allahabad High Court. Travelling and exploring new places and meeting people are her hobbies. She is an active member of NGO Sahyog which works towards protection of child rights and women empowerment.
Sukhmoy, Tech HeadSukhmoy Majumdar currently works as System Administrator in Advocate General Office, High Court of Uttarakhand. He is
the Technical Director for TAAL channel, docu-film making is a passion and photography a habit. He seeks adventure with rock climbing and conducting treks to Sunderdhunga Glacier, Pindari Glacier Base Camp, Milam Glacier and Tungnath. All in all a Bengali with hill genes!
Kiwa Singh, Outreach CoordinatorKiwa is the Founder of Mountain Village Foundation, an NGO working towards sustainable rural development in Uttarakhand. She teaches design thinking to children and trains teachers and in her spare time she makes handicrats.
Amitabh Baghel, Outreach HeadIn pursuit of his interest in academics and social research, he writes on varied subjects of social concern like ecological conservation, tourism, gender issues and cinema. His love for the hills of Kumaon inspired him to take up photography with birds, landscapes and monuments as his favourite subjects. He is in love with Urdu poetry - and dabbles with writing it as well. He is an active member of the Nainital Book Club.
Arnab Chatterjee & Kapil DhawanThe award-winning advertising professional duo. They co-founded Tree Design, a full-service creative agency, Tree Frogs, a communication and marketing company. Together they like to break boundaries of work with projects such as StreetAnchor.com, India’s very first citizen-journalism portal that proved to be an idea before its time, and contributing to the social fabric of our society in rural spaces.
Arun K Shah, Festival ShooterArun K Shah served 40 years in the Intelligence Bureau Ministry of Home Affairs Government of India.
He retired as Assistant Director of the Bureau in 2011.His formative years of schooling were in his hometown of Nainital. As a senior citizen of the town he is active in conservation of the habitat.