a podcast by and about women
a podcast by and about women
Tes is a long-time blogger and foodie. For the past 10 years, she’s focused her blog and work around women’s issues. This is her long-form interview podcast. She’s lined up women activists and volunteers from around the world to tell their stories and the stories of the women they work with.
Today, Tes talks with Dr. Lalitha Dhareshwar. Dr. Dhareshwar retired as the Head, Laser & Neutron Physics Division of Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, in 2010 and continued there as a Raja Ramanna Fellow (RRF), Department of Atomic Energy, for five years (2010 – 2015). She has a Ph.D. in Physics, from the University of Mumbai. She joined the B.A.R.C. Scientific Officers’ Training School (13 th Batch), after completing B.Sc. (Hons.) from the University of Bangalore, in 1969.
Dr. Dhareshwar worked for forty-five years at B.A.R.C., in the field of High Power Lasers, Laser Plasmas & applications and was instrumental in carrying out several prestigious projects She has over seventy five publications in International Journals.
As a Ph.D. Guide for University of Mumbai, she has guided several students to obtain their Ph.D.
Dr. Dhareshwar has been the Chairperson and Convener, at various International and National Seminars, Conferences and Symposiums. She has been invited by International Laboratories and Universities, in USA, Japan, Germany, France, Russia, Spain, Italy, Poland, Lithuania, Czech Republic, for Scientific Collaboration & Training scientists and research scholars, in the latest field of Lasers & Plasma physics.
Dr. Lalitha Dhareshwar is a member of Heartfulness Institute (Shri Ram Chandra Mission), a Spiritual organization, for over 30 years. As a Preceptor and Certified Spiritual Trainer and Self Development Facilitator & Mentor, she imparts Spiritual Training through Heartfulness Meditation. She has conducted numerous Heartfulness and Self Development Training Programmes all over India.
Recognizing the fact that Value Based Education was not part of the school curriculum, Dr. Lalitha Dhareshwar had formulated and conducted Value Based Education programs for the first time at the four Atomic Energy Central schools, from 1992-1995. This syllabus of VBE was then taken up by 37 Atomic Energy Central Schools (AECS) all over India covering about 40,000 students. It was then conducted at several schools and colleges in Mumbai, as well as in Maharashtra and Gujarat.
Dr. Dhareshwar, has been recognized for her contributions in Value Based Spiritual Education, by N.C.E.R.T. and AECS and for her contributions to Community Development, she was honored by Rotary Club, Lions Group, Kanara Saraswat Association, Modern College, Amity University, Pillai group of Institutions, MGM group, Anjuman Islam College and many Universities and Associations.
Dr. Lalitha Dhareshwar is the current President of Indian Women Scientists’ Association (I.W.S.A.), an NGO, which has the main mandate of taking science to society, empowering women and nurturing talent amongst school and college students.
She organizes and conducts several Lecture Workshops, Refresher Courses and Training Programs for college students and faculty, on current topics of interest in science. She is actively involved with the Science Nurture Program of IWSA, wherein school students are taught Science through hands-on experiments in their laboratory. Through IWSA, she is engaged in sponsoring the education of students from weaker economic backgrounds. She is also engaged in several community welfare programs.
April is Parkinson’s Disease Awareness Month and my guest today is Deb Pollack – Founder of Drive Toward a Cure.
Deb, a publicist for boutique restoration house Singer Vehicle Design, is both a convertible car gal and a Porsche loyalist – equally loving both her 996 C4 Cab and her replica ’57 speedster. Over the past three decades she’s represented small car companies with big names including Mitsubishi Motors, GM, Ferrari and Maserati. A philanthropist at heart, since 2008 she’s teamed cars and camaraderie to support the challenges of Parkinson’s disease – most notably as founder of Drive Toward a Cure (www.drivetowardacure.org), a nationally-recognized non-profit charity dedicated to finding a cure.
To learn more about Deb Polack:
Facebook: Deb Stearn Pollack
To learn more about Drive Toward a Cure:
Conversations for a Cause
Today, Tes talks with Jennifer Burden. Jennifer hails from the USA and is the Founder and CEO of World Moms Network, an award-winning online media organization and website promoting a world of peace through the common bonds of motherhood. Jennifer has been nominated Global Influencer Fellow and Social Media Fellow by the UN Foundation, invited to the White House, spoken at the World Bank for the right of a universal education for all children, and her writing has been featured on Impatient Optimists, The Huffington Post, ONE.org and BabyCenter. She is currently at Columbia University in NYC, where she is working toward her Executive Masters in Public Administration with a concentration in global policy studies. She is the mother of two girls and practices Heartfulness meditation.
To learn more about Jennifer Burden:
To learn more about World Moms Network:
Born and raised in a family of medical professionals in Kolkata, India, Urmi Basu received her primary and secondary education in the city. On completion of her first Degree in Sociology, Urmi moved to take her Masters in Social Work at the prestigious Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai. During her training she had the opportunity to work in the first cell set up for women in distress by the Mumbai Police Department. She also worked as a relief worker during the Bhopal gas leak tragedy in December 1984 which left a lasting impression on her mind about the need to be prepared for disasters, both natural and manmade.
After fifteen years of professional work Urmi set up a small non-profit named New Light in Kolkata in 2000 with a seed money as little as Rs 10,000 along with two other young people from the Kalighat red light district. The mission of the organization is to promote gender equality and fight violence and abuse of women, girl children and young people. That tiny initiative today provides care and support to a couple of thousand people. The organization also works to fight against child prostitution and trafficking for the purpose of sex- trade, child labour and bonded labour. Urmi has been a part of targeted intervention programs for victims of HIV/AIDS, trans-sexual and trans-gender people.
She lives in Kolkata, India and fights for social justice for the marginalized community every day of her life. In her own words her greatest moment of joy was when she was chosen as a recipient of a blessing from His Holiness The Dalai Lama under the title Unsung heroes of Compassion 2009 on the 26th of April 2009 in San Francisco for her work that promotes compassion and peace. In 2019, it was a distinguished honour for all associated with her as Ms. Urmi Basu received the prestigious Nari Shakti Puraskar from His Excellency the President of India through the Ministry of Women and Child Development, GOI, in recognition of New Light Kolkata’s contribution to women’s empowerment on the occasion of International Women’s Day.
Awards & Accolades
▪ Selected as the NGO co-ordinator by the office of the Governor of West Bengal to make a presentation on micro credit, women’s participation in gender sensitivity and health issues during the visit of the former President of the United States Bill Clinton on 7th of April 2001
▪ Part of the core team that met the past Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on her visit to Kolkata in May 2012 and shared the experience of working against trafficking in persons
▪ Featured in the four hour documentary Half The Sky based on the novel by New York Times columnist, Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl Wu Dunn, which featured Urmi and her work with the victims of trafficking on PBS in October 2012 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SXcP7vMnMaM)
▪ Following the documentary she received the Global Citizen Award at the Global Music Festival in Central Park, New York in September 2012 which was organized to mark zero tolerance for hunger, poverty and abuse (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P1PW5JFeuPw)
▪ Recipient of Nari Shakti award from His Excellency The President of India on the occasion of International Women’s Day on the 8th of March 2019
▪ Recognized as Person of the Year 2020 By Weekend Leader Chennai at Vellore Institute of Technology for the contribution to the welfare of women and children
To learn more about Urmi Basu:
A life of dignity: dire straits faced by the sex workers in Kolkata – Urmi Basu – TEDxIIFT Kolkata
To learn more about New Light Kolkata:
New Light Kolkata
Christine Wehrli – Events Specialist at Rice University School of Architecture; Cultural Ambassador for Filipino Young Professionals (FYP)
Today, Tes talks with Christine Wehrli. Christine is a Filipina-American who was born and raised overseas; she considers herself a Third Culture Kid. She is currently an Events Specialist at the Rice University School of Architecture, in Houston, Texas. She graduated with a B.A. from the University of Richmond where she majored in International Studies, and minored in French and History. Prior to working at Rice University, she worked in sustainable tourism in Moshi, Tanzania, and as a library associate for the D.C. Public Library in Washington, D.C.
In her free time, she enjoys engaging in cultural activities and getting involved in the community. In Washington, D.C., she was an ambassador for InterNations, an expat networking group, and a volunteer Math teacher at the YWCA. In Houston, she is an ambassador for the Filipino Young Professionals and was involved with voter outreach for the 2018 midterm and 2020 U.S. elections.She is a licenced Zumba instructor and has led classes in various countries in her five years of teaching.
To learn more about Christine Wehrli:
Dr. Shruti Kapoor is an award-winning gender equality activist, economist, Tedx speaker and social entrepreneur. Shaken by the horrific gang rape in Delhi in 2012 that caught the attention of the global news media, she founded her organization, Sayfty. Its goal is to educate and empower women and girls in India against gender-based violence.
Dr. Kapoor was named by Apolitical as one of the most influential people in global policy in 2019. The BrahmaKumaris awarded Dr. Kapoor the “Achievement and Excellence in Human Rights” in 2019. The Indian Ministry of Women and Child Development in 2019 honored Dr. Kapoor as one of the “30 #WebWonderWomen“ who has been driving a positive agenda of social change via social media. In 2018 Richtopia named Dr. Kapoor as one of the top 100 leaders from multilateral global organizations. In 2016, The White House nominated Dr. Kapoor as a change maker for The United State of Women’s Summit 2016, and in India she was named the winner of Barclay’s 2016 “We are the City 50 Rising Stars Award”. In 2015 Femverstising awarded the “People’s Choice Award” to Sayfty for their campaign promoting gender equality, and was chosen to receive a State recognition award by the Uttar Pradesh government in India for the organization’s work advocating for the safety and education of girls. Also, in 2015, Dr. Kapoor was awarded the Rex Karamveer fellowship, whose aim is “to share impactful ideas for action and transform lives through projects and ideas of hope”. Additionally, Dr. Kapoor received the 2015 “Woman of the Year Award (third prize)” from the Regional Council of Aosta Valley, Italy.
Dr. Kapoor earned a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of California, Riverside, and has worked with International organizations such as The World Bank and UN Women. She has also served as an Adjunct Professor of Economics at Occidental College in Los Angeles, CA. Dr. Kapoor served on the core organizing committee of UN’s Youth Forum for the Commission on the Status of Women 2017.
Dr. Kapoor has addressed many public forums including Tedx Gateway, various sessions of the Youth Assembly at the United Nations, UN Women’s events, The World Forum On Urban Violence, IIT Delhi, Merit 360, and the World Woman Summit. She is a regular contributor on gender issues and a network member of Apolitical, a global policy platform and a network of policymakers and thought leaders. As a “World Pulse Impact Leader and Digital Change Maker”, Dr. Kapoor is dedicated to media, digital and traditional approaches to strive for gender equality and gender responsive implementation of the “Sustainable Development Goals”. She is an active user of social media and you can connect with her at:
To find out more about Sayfty and My Ambar app:
My Ambar app – myambar.org