The Executive Board, Biographies

Bertram Da Silva, President

Mr. Bertram Da Silva is Professor of English, and Vice-Principal, Departments of Arts and Science at St. Xavier’s College. Aside from his academic and administrative commitments, Da Silva is an accomplished singer- songwriter. Returning to the stage in 2007 after a decade long hiatus, he has performed prolifically at concerts and festivals across the country. Da Silva has also directed plays and served as Director of the St. Xavier’s College Choir.

Vanessa Maria Mirza, Secretary

Vanessa Maria Mirza is a choreographer, visual artist, researcher and curator based in Kolkata, India. Her recent choreographic works include Dream Realms, Under Face, I Do Care About You and Her Song. She is the Founder and Artistic Director of Dance Bridges Festival. She has represented Dance Bridges Festival at international forums such as the British Dance Edition 2016 and TPAM 2017-Performing Arts Meeting in Yokohama. She has trained at Taipei National University of the Arts in the Master of Fine Arts (Choreography) program. She has worked with Rhythmosaic Dance Company as Faculty for Choreography Studies since 2013. Vanessa also holds a Bachelor’s in Business Administration from St. Xavier’s College, Kolkata. As a visual artist she has had solo/group exhibitions at Taj Bengal Hotel & Mirage Art Gallery and has worked as Visual Arts Director with Chaitown Creatives (USA/India) between2015-2016.

Suman Sarawgi, Treasurer

Suman Sarawgi is a professional Manipuri dancer trained in under Priti Patel and Shruti Banerjee in Kolkata. She further pursued her dance education in Imphal under Ojha Th. BabuSingh, W. Lokendrajit Singh and A. LaxmiDevi. She has performed in various prestigious festivals in India such as the Uday Shanker Festival, Kajuraho Dance Festival, Soorya Festival, Murshidabad Festival. She has also performed internationally in Germany, Hong Kong, Cambodia, Vietnam and Australia. She has choreographed and taught dance at The Oral School for Deaf, Kolkata, Kolkata Sanved and Modern High School. Currently she is the Secretary of Dance Alliance Kolkata, Co-Director for the Short +Sweet Theatre Festival, Director of Sparsh Studio for Performing Arts & the Creator of the Manipur dance production Leisem. Se is also the Co-Fonder/Director of The Doodle Room, an art centre for children promoting the performing and visual arts in Kolkata.

Imran Zaki, Board Member

Mr. Imran Zaki is an established educationalist, businessman and patron for arts and culture in the city of Kolkata. He currently serves as the Honorary Secretary for St Stephen School (Bowbazar), an NGO for underprevileged children. He is also the President of FACES a non-profit organization that promotes education, social welfare and performing arts events in the city. FACES is an association of long-established Alumni of multi-disciplinary schools and colleges of Kolkata.

Shalini Burman, Board Member

Shalini Burman is the Co-Founder/Director of The Doodle Room and was inspired by her children to set up an arts centre to promote visual & performing arts in Kolkata. Shalini has a Post Graduate Diploma as Management Trainee from The Oberoi Centre of Learning and Development, Delhi and a Bachelors of Arts in  English from Annamalai University. She has been a Guest Faculty, Food & Beverages at the International Institute of Hotel Management & the Institute of Advanced Management, Kolkata since 2005. Shalini was the Assistant Manager, Food & Beverages and later Banquet Manager at The Oberoi Grand, Kolkata from 2000-2003. At the Doodle Room she ideates and facilitates events & promotions, teaches the art & craft class and oversees the script-writing, props & stage design for the children’s theatre productions.

Annirudh Jhajaria, Board Member

Mr. Jhajaria is an ardent music and dance lover and has been associated with classical music since his childhood. Along with his private business practices, he has established Zenius Edutech in 2014 because of his great passion for travel and for young people to experience learning through educational tours. He is an advocate for school students to explore their creative abilities and expand their knowledge of arts, culture, history and science through different kinds of events and activities building their international exposure and developing their holistic skills.