Some Eminent Alumnae of Loreto College, Kolkata
Amita Dutt is Professor of Dance in the Uday Shankar Chair at the Rabindra Bharati University and has also been the Head of the Department of Dance, and the Dean of the Faculty Council of Undergraduate and Post Graduate Studies in Fine Arts at Rabindra Bharati University, Kolkata. She has performed in dance and music festivals, such as the Khajuraho Dance Festival and the India Festival in USSR. In order to popularize authentic training of Kathak, Amita has embarked on a program of teaching through the television and the web. She is also a student of English Literature and a Gold Medalist of the Calcutta University. She is an alumnus of both Loreto House School and Loreto College.
She has popularised her dance form through her publications in major books and journals of many Universities. Many awards have been conferred on her such as The Governor's Commendation of the State of Oklahoma, USA and the Uday Shankar Lifetime Achievement Award for Dance, Government of West Bengal. She has given performances for social service causes. Her main aim is to establish the Kolkata Gharana of Kathak which will feature Bengal's contribution to this art form.
Mrs. Uma Ahamed
Hon'ble Member, West Bengal Human Rights Commission (1995-2000)
Chairperson - Indian Institute of Cerebral Palsy (Spastic Society of Eastern India)
President - Teachers' Centre, Loreto House
Teacher in Loreto House School - (1965-1987).
Hon. Faculty of the Teachers' Training Department, Loreto House.
Member of the Governing Body of Ballygunge Shiksha Sadan High School (1985-2002)
Member of Managing Committee, Lakshmipat Singhania Academy.
Member of Kamala Girls' School Samiti Advisory Board.
Vice President W.C.C. (Women's Co-ordinating Council)
Member W.V.S. (Women's Voluntary Service)
Member, Executive Committee of West Bengal Craft Council
Member, Advisory Committee (Education) of All Bengal Women's Union.
Executive Committee member of Socio-Legal Aid Research & Training Centre (Slartc)
Member, Kolkata Resource Group of "Shikhalaya Prakalpa".
Executive Committee Bustee Welfare Centre,
Executive Committee, Craft Council of West Bengal
Executive Committee of Calcutta Foundation
Author of 2 Maths books and 5 Craft books (Orient Longman)
Author of 2 books - Evs. And Craft book (Teachers' Centre)
Dr. Krishna Sen
Dr. Krishna Sen was educated at Loreto House (receiving a National Merit Scholarship), Loreto College, Calcutta University and University of Kent (on a British Council scholarship). She is a former Professor and Head of the Department of English, University of Calcutta, and currently Visiting Professor at the University's Women's Studies Research Centre. She was Leverhulme Professor at the University of Leeds (2008), Visiting Professor at the University of Vermont and Nippon Fellow at the Salzburg Seminar (both 2002), and Fulbright Fellow at UCLA (1993). She has lectured at many universities including Stanford, Berkeley and SOAS; is affiliated to international projects at Oslo and Leiden; and has over seventy national and international publications. She is on the Editorial Board of Feminist Studies in English Literature (University of Korea) and Journal of Transnational American Studies (Stanford and UC Santa Barbara); and is a Series Editor for Orient Blackswan. She has been Chairman and Director of the Rotary Club of Calcutta and is a Paul Harris Fellow of Rotary International.
Professor of Geography, University of Calcutta.
Other assignments at present:
• Chairperson, Undergraduate Board of Studies in Geography
• President, Regional Science Association of India
• Member, Editorial Board of Regional Science Policy and Practice (Wiley Online Journal)
• Member, Editorial Board of Geographical Review of India
• Consultant, World Bank (Project on Targeted Environmental Studies in Sunderbans)
My school days spent in Loreto Day School (1976-1986) and Loreto House (1986-1989) respectively, made me choose Loreto College for my Undergraduate studies. I chose to study Geography Honours (1989-1992) and found myself amongst some of the best teachers Ive ever found in my life. The three years spent at college gave me confidence, a passion for learning and a kind of synergy that made me enjoy everything about those three years - I cherish my days spent preparing to face every challenge of life and finding lasting friendships. The training at Loreto college, to be an independent student, saw me through my Masters at JNU, and subsequently my MPhil and PhD at IIT Bombay, Mumbai.
Anjum Katyal is a writer, editor and translator. She has been Chief Editor, Seagull Books, as well as Editor, Seagull Theatre Quarterly Calcutta, and Web Editor, Saregama-HMV. She is the author of several books on theatre and performance, and has translated works by Habib Tanvir, Mahasweta Devi and Meera Mukherjee. She is Consultant Director, Apeejay Kolkata Literary Festival, and Curator, Nabanna Earth Weekend (NEW) festival of arts and ideas. She also writes poetry and sings the blues.
Neelum Saigal is an entrepreneur, fuelled not by formal training in design or business, but a deep rooted appreciation and love for the local arts and crafts of India. Her small venture, Bric-A-Brac has since evolved into a well-loved and respected brand that captures the essence of Indian style with its unique mix of vibrant colours, subtle serenity, and diverse craft forms. Neelum has spent decades working with craftsmen and studying diverse materials that they work with, such as bamboo, ceramic, rope, wood, and metal. She believes that her products are not only for special moments, but that each moment can be made special with attractive and adaptable products.
Today, Bric-A-Brac runs a Studio Workshop in Manesar, Gurgaon, where it skills and employs a small team of crafts men and women. The team annually exhibits at forums such as the Kala Ghoda Exhibition in Mumbai, India Story in Kolkata, and the Dastkar Design Mela in New Delhi. In recognition of her creativity, Neelum was awarded the UNESCO Seal of Excellence in 2006 for her line of tableware that combined glazed terracotta with cane and wood. In the same year, her products were exhibited at the UNESCO stall at Maison et Objet trade fair in Paris.
Neelum is an active member of the Delhi Crafts Council and a volunteer at Kamala, the Delhi outlet of the Crafts Council of India at Connaught Place, New Delhi.
Darjeeling Express Restaurant, London
Asma Khan is the chef and owner of Darjeeling Express. She moved to Cambridge from Calcutta in 1991 and now resides in London with her husband and two boys. After studying law, Asma went on to do a Ph.D in British Constitutional Law at King's College London.
Cooking was always her passion and she began her food career in 2012 as a supper club in her home. In 2015, she opened a pop-up in a Soho pub to much acclaim, and Darjeeling Express the restaurant opened its doors in June 2017. A year later, her debut cookbook “Asma’s Indian Kitchen” was published by Pavilion on 4th October 2018. The book was the winner in the U.K. category for food publishing in Indian cuisine in the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards.
Asma is the first British chef to feature in Netflix's Emmy nominated Chef's Table. Her episode also received a 2020 James Beard Award nomination. Business Insider named her number 1 on their list of "100 Coolest People in Food and Drink". The Evening Standard listed her in The Progress 1000 as one of London’s most influential people 2019. She has been included in the eighth edition of the GG2 Power List –profiling Britain’s 101 most influential Asians and she is now the first chef to be featured on Vogue's list of 25 most influential women of year for 2020
Oindrilla Dutt is an arts and events curator, having presented events at heritage venues such as Prinsep Memorial, Lascar Monument, Town Hall etc. She has worked with artistes such as Pt Hari Prasad Chaurasia, Amitabh Bachchan, Usha Uthup, Mallika Sarabhai, Bikram Ghosh, Pt Balmurli Krishna, the late Guru Kelucharan Mahapatra, Shubha Mudgal, Lilette Dubey and many more. She has also directed son-et-lumieres at leading heritage sites such as Victoria Memorial. She has been a broadcaster and is also a moderator who has interacted with the late Yash Chopra, Mahesh Bhupati, Jaya Bachchan, Malika Sarabhai, Shobhaa De, former Vice President the Hon'ble Hamid Ansari, Kiran Bedi, Sunil and Priya Dutt, Smriti Irani etc. Oindrilla is also a freelance writer, having written a book on the Kolkata Police, columns for leading dailies (such as The Telegraph and Times of India) and articles for a variety of publications.
She is associated with a number of NGOs, such as the Indian Institute of Cerebral Palsy (IICP), The Calcutta Samaritans and Crafts Council of West Bengal. She has served on the editorial board of Upper Crust magazine and was the first delegate to the Cannes Ad Film Festival from Kolkata.
She has served on the Complaints Committee, which was set up (by The Calcutta Stock Exchange and SEBI) in relation to POSH, on the POSH related Complaints Committee of the Calcutta Cricket and Football and on another such Corporate Committee.
Books @ Jacaranda
Jayapriya Vasudevan has over twenty years of experience of working in publishing. Born in Calcutta, into a family of writers, she studied literature at college and went on to work for several publishers, where she learned the business first hand – from editing to sales and distribution. Spotting a gap in the market, she and a partner set up India’s first bookstore-cafe in Bangalore. It was here that she began to organise literary salons, inviting up to fifteen authors at a time to speak. Bookseller magazine hailed her as “one of India’s most dynamic booksellers".
In 1997 Jayapriya founded Books@Jacaranda, a literary agency which last year celebrated its Twentieth Anniversary. Under her leadership Jacaranda has continued to grow its diverse and exciting list of authors. In the past two decades Jayapriya has lived in Beijing, Singapore and Nairobi, besides Mumbai and Bangalore. Each new destination has given her the opportunity to meet new authors and make new connections.
Jayapriya has spoken at literary festivals all over Asia, from Istanbul and India to Manila and Singapore and further afield in London and Frankfurt. She was appointed the Festival Director of the Times of India Literary Festival 2017 and subsequently 2018 and is one of the most respected names in the publishing community.
PIALI RAY, OBE
Piali Ray is Director of Sampad, a leading national agency for the development of South Asian Arts and Heritage, based in Birmingham.
Piali has been a performer, teacher and choreographer in the UK since 1982, excelling in these fields and touring extensively in India, UK and internationally. Piali also has high achievements in both academic and artistic disciplines having attained first class in both B.Ed & M.A. History degrees.
In the UK she collaborated with organisations such as Birmingham REP, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra (CBSO), The National Gallery, the National Theatre, Southbank Centre, Birmingham Royal Ballet, Shakespeare Birthplace Trust and the British Council among others.
Her formidable energy and vision led to the setting up of Sampad in 1990. The dynamic, forward-thinking arts and heritage organisation continues to flourish under her leadership, playing an influential role in creating and promoting opportunities for South Asian arts and artists in Birmingham, across the UK and beyond.
She initiated and promoted the exploration of cross- cultural and Indian diasporic influences via cultural projects such as DanceIntense and Leadership programmes entitled Aarohan and hugely successful international writing competitions to include - Inspired by Tagore; Inspired by Gandhi (to mark the 70th anniversary of India’s independence).
Piali was conferred The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire or OBE in 2002; an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Central England in 2006; Outstanding Business Person of the Year by Birmingham Chamber of Commerce in 2009; and the British Indian Award for raising arts and culture awareness in 2015. Piali featured among the 100 most influential in the UK India relationship in 2019.
Rajeswari is the founder of VR DanceSport, one of the largest Latin Ballroom dance schools in India with a footprint in Dubai. She gave up her 12 years of banking career and last role as Senior Vice President at Yes Bank to pursue her passion for Latin Ballroom and DanceSport. In a short span of 6 years, she established one of India’s premier Latin Ballroom dance schools in Mumbai, where she pioneered a positive change in the industry and established standards of “International Latin” in the country.
The Indian Ambassador for Freedom to Dance, UK, Rajeswari is also the organizer of one of the most prestigious national level DanceSport competitions in India under the “Indian DanceSport Council” banner. The annual marquee event sees over 250 competitors from dance schools across the country with participants ranging from age groups of 6 to 60 years competing in variety of dance styles including club dances like the Salsa and Bachata and Latin Ballroom forms like the Jive, Rumba,Waltz, Cha-cha and Tango.
Rajeswari has represented India in various international competitions and won Gold & Silver Medals for the country. She was Lead Choreographer for acclaimed director Mira Nair's BBC One / Netflix mini-series on the adaption of Vikram Seth's novel "The Suitable Boy" released in 2020. She has also been TEDx speaker on her inspirational journey from “Corporate Career to Artistic Discipline” in 2017.