Laxmi Narayan Tripathi

Transgender Activist, Actress and Bharatanatyam Dancer; and the first transgender person to represent Asia Pacific in the UN..

Laxmi has been campaigning against section 377 of the Indian penal code that criminalises ‘carnal intercourse against the order of nature’. In 2007 she started her own organization, ‘Astitva’. This organization works to promote the welfare of sexual minorities,their support and development. Laxmi Narayan Tripathi of Kinnar Akhada has multiple feathers in her cap being a Kinnar/hijra social activist, dancer, actress, celebrity. Laxmi’s aim is to bring about the recognition of human rights of sexual minorities, especially transgender persons, andpeople living with HIV/AIDS. She was the first transgender person to represent Asia-Pacific in the UN President’s Office Civil Society Task Force on HIV/AIDS in 2008. She also the founder memberof Maharashtra Trithiya Panthi Sangatana – MTPS. She is also core founder member of APTN –Asia Pacific Transgender Network. She was impleader in the recent path breaking Supreme Court case of India and subsequent judgement on upholding rights of hijras and transgenders in India.She was also the core member on the UGC committee set for Right of Education of Transgenders. Her work and personality were an inspiration for numerous literary,cinematographic and photographic enterprises.

Laxmi Agarwal

Director of Chhanv Foundation.

Laxmi Agarwal is the director of Chhanv foundation, an NGO that helps people who are able to keep living or succeeding in spite of acid attacks in India. She was awarded International Woman of Courage Award by U.S. First Lady, Michelle Obama and has been chosen as the Indian of The Year by NDTV for her petition that led the Supreme Court to order the central and state governments to regulate the sale of acid, and the Parliament to make prosecutions of acid attacks easier to pursue. Laxmi has become the voice of acid survivors after her work towards amendment of rules regarding sale of acids throughout the country.

Parag Mankeekar

Helping India’s children master disaster preparation and response planning through ‘Neeti Solutions’.

IEmpathy is a powerful human fundamental value which can address challenges and bring about sustained positive changes globally by empowering communities with socio-emotional learning (SEL) skills. The promotion of empathy is becoming urgent to keep the world together. The current education system is driven by the STEM model, which takes us away from the education of basic fundamental human values and the importance of the social value system. Dr. Parag Mankeekar is currently driving global scaling up of RealLives platform that can and will build SEL foundations by disrupting the current learning methodologies in partnership with the key stakeholders of the education system. Through its integration and use of online games and social networking, it is the key to build and promote empathy and change-making abilities of millennials globally. This will successfully change the way the world reads and responds to global challenges

Shiraz Gidwani

Entrepreneur and Chief Executive

Gidwani is the Chief Executive of Iktara Holdings and Iktara / Firefly Motion Pictures. Having been educated at the Les Roches School of Hospitality Management,Switzerland; the Cornell School of Hotel Administration, New York; Harvard Business School and theJohn F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University; he straddled several spheres of experience before founding the Iktara Group in 2009. He was formerly the Ambassador-General and Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations Youth Development Programme.

RSN Singh

Eminent strategic affairs expert and author.

RSN Singh is one of the country's leading strategic affairs expert and has authored five books. He is a well-known figure in the intelligence community as a famous RAW officer. He was associated with RAW - India's Spy Agency. He has lived his life in the front line and often beyond the enemy lines. He was the Head of Operations of RAW and has also headed several committees on internal security and cross border terrorism.He has been quite vocal against the people breaking India's forces. He believes that it is the Youth of modern India that can free India form the hangover of its colonial past. He is optimistic about India's future. He can be seen on various platforms defending India's national interest and vouching for the unity and the integrity of our nation. He believes that nation building is a task to which every citizen is bound to. He has authored several books like "The military factor in Pakistan", Asian Strategic and Military Perspective. Col R S N Singh is one of those who will go to any extent to defend Mother India.

K Vaitheeswaran

Founder of India’s first E-Commerce Website -

After spending 14 years in the Murugappa Group and Wipro Infotech in various business development roles, K Vaitheeswaran was bitten by the internet bug and co-founded in 1999 - India's first pure-play online retail company. This was later re-branded as Indiaplaza and he ran this company till 2013. He co-founded India's first e-commerce company (later branded Indiaplaza). He has also co-founded India's first integrated retail company Fabmall - acquired by Aditya Birla Group in 2006 and re-branded as ‘More’ chain of stores. Currently, he mentors e-commerce and data analytics start-ups.

Mahesh Bhat

Photographer, Filmmaker and author of UNSUNG - a tribute to ordinary Indian citizens who have dedicated themselves to improving the lives of people around them.

A Bangalore based photographer and film maker, he has been in the photography arena for the last 30 years and has been commissioned by well known publications as varied as New York Times to Newsweek of Japan. He has authored the book UNSUNG, that narrates the lives of people who have made extraordinary contributions to society against personal odds. It helped raise over Rs.9 million for the causes of the heroes featured in the book. His work has spanned a variety genres, such as advertising, interior & architecture, corporate, portraiture, documentary and photo journalism.

Teju Nageswari

CEO and co-founder of An online portal for people who face mental depression and stress, and help them.

After suffering through depression herself, she took a formal training in coaching and counselling to be able to provide best psychology solutions to those people who have been caught up in the hands of depression. Her team at nSmiles developed the app – Happy Being App, a portal for helping people through various programs. Happy Being App has got more than 1.5 lakh downloads and was on global top charts. As winners of Start-up Weekend from Bengaluru, the app was declared as the runner-up in ‘Do the Kind Track’ (only start- up from India so far) at Global Start-up Battle 2014. She has helped a lot of individuals who are already managing their stress at different levels well through the tool that provides personal development and stress management through the wellness approach.

Vivek Patil

Neon Light Artist

Vivek Patil was pursuing his Engineering when he stepped on the stage of India’s Got Talent and since then has never looked back. Today, Vivek has been practicing his talent for more than 4 years. His talent also makes him India’s only Light Painter.Apart from being a Light Painter, Vivek also holds his expertise in Sand Art, Speed Painting and Speed art. His recent brush with success was when he appointed to launch the 'Got Talent' logo in his artistic way on the live stage and a chance to portray Mr Shah Rukh Khan, in front of the actor himself.

Dr. Manan Thakrar

Doctor of Medicine

Dr Manan Thakrar hailing from a small town in Gujarat called Jamnagar, has not only been practicing Medicine but also been well known for an initiative with the simple idea of making schools somewhere that children look forward to going. The small changes that he has created in a couple of Schools at Gujarat have opened up a completely new set of ideas regarding the much needed modernisation of the education system. Besides all these things, Dr Manan is also one of fastest growing names in the Indie stand up comedy scene with his latest video gaining more than 2 lakh views within 2 weeks of release. He is also the Co-founder of the stand up comedy group The Comedy Jams which has done the beautiful work of taking Stand Up comedy to Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities and making the art form more and more popular.

Rhythm Shaw

We welcome Mr Rhythm Shaw to our varsity on 19th February, 2017. A versatile musician having studied different genres, Rhythm is one of the emerging artists from India and has won many international and national guitar contests. Currently, he is experimenting with musical projects and touring internationally.

This independent TEDx event is operated under license from TED.