Gitanjali

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Curriculum Vitae


Gitanjali Prasad


Education/Training


  • Chevening Press Fellow, (Easter Term 1999), Wolfson College, University of Cambridge, (UK).
  • P .G. Diploma in Journalism, Indian Institute of Mass Communication, New Delhi. (1975)
  • MA 1 yr. Russian, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi. (1974)
  • BA Honours English, Lady Shri Ram College, Delhi University.(1973) 

  • Journalism

  • Experience

Currently, I am a Consultant to the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII)
(September 2007–Present-6 years 9 months)

I work in the area of   Corporate Communications. I write speeches for Members of Parliament, senior bureaucrats, and industry leaders for major events, write articles and edit material for the CII magazine, Communique. I   also write Press Releases and content for advertorials. I have specialised knowledge of areas related to Corporate Social Responsibility, Women's Empowerment, and Skills etc.



Author, “The Great Indian Family: New Roles, Old Responsibilities”


For five years preceding this, I researched, wrote and promoted the pioneering book, “The Great Indian Family: New Roles, Old Responsibilities”, which explored how work had changed values, relationships and lifestyles in middle class urban India. The book reached one best seller list in the first month of publication, got very good   media attention both nationally and internationally, and is still quoted in articles on the family. It is in libraries worldwide. 


Bureau Chief, Eastern Region, Magna Publishing Company Ltd


From September 1993 to April 2001, I was the Bureau Chief, Eastern Region, Magna Publishing Company. Our bureau contributed stories for Savvy, Society, Health and Nutrition, as also Savvy Cook Book and Society Interiors.


In print in the national media since the age of 14, I have been published in all the major national newspapers and magazines, including The Times of India, The Economic Times, The Hindustan Times, The Indian Express, The Independent, The Reader’s Digest, Cosmopolitan, Femina etc.


I have written feature articles, many of which were cover stories, done book     reviews and travelogues, and many humour pieces. I had a food column in Society magazine for over a year. I also had a column on parenting in the erstwhile Young Mother, and looked after a four page fun section for children and a quiz on family life in the magazine Family Life. I was a retainer with Business India for a year and contributed stories on offbeat business ventures and travel. I did articles on package tours, compiled Tips for travellers, and also did travelogues.


Short Stories


My story, The Deflowering of a Virgin won a World Wide Writers, short story prize and was published in the July/August 2002 issue of Writer's Forum, Britain's leading short story magazine. I have also written fiction for Savvy magazine.


Advertising (1989-1990)


I was Creative Consultant to Hindustan Thompson Associates, Mumbai for over a year. I assisted the creative team on major accounts, and was wrote a book on hair and beauty. I also wrote the script for a 20-minute documentary script and formulated an advisory service for consumers who wrote in with problems on hair care.


Children's Books (1984-1990)


My Story, "The Sun is like a Football," was published by Children's Book Trust in the 80s. It was translated into Hindi and other regional languages. Another story, "Nutty", is  a chapter in a Pearson Text book. My children's stories have also been published  children's magazines and in the children's sections of women's magazines. I have also  reviewed children's books and magazines.


Social Communication (1998-2000)


I have written and edited a newspaper for young people, "The Big Ask" for an NGO, on how to cope with the pressure on academics, and another on dealing with cultural dissonance.


I have also written the script for two comics for children for a Delhi-based NGO to raise awareness on socially relevant issues such as child marriage and child sex abuse.


Radio (1999-2000, 1973-1976)


I have been interviewed by the BBC World Service for programmes on the family, and have also participated in a live BBC talk show.


I have compered music programmes, participated in discussions and produced and presented programmes for All India Radio, Delhi


Research Experience (1999-2000, 1974-75)


I researched the relationship between the media and the family in the UK (published in the FPSC journal in the UK).


At the Indian Institute of Mass Communication, I did a research based project on English language women's magazines in India. This was used as reference at the IIMC.


Journalism


The Family


I have written on many aspects connected with family life. I wrote a piece on coping with fatherhood for The Hindustan Times in 1985, long before fathers, 'and the complete man' became fashionable. I also detailed the problems faced by stay at home mothers in a 9-page article in The Eve's Weekly published in 1998. I explored many of the problems facing the woman in a contemporary Indian family in a column that appeared in the magazine Young Mother for over a year. This received very good reader response and also got advertising support.


At this point of time I am very interested in exploring issues connected with work and family life, the subject I studied in some depth while doing my Press Fellowship at Cambridge University. I have a column, Family Matters in the Dateline India page of The Economic Times, Kolkata.


Travel


I am very interested in travel writing and have written on destinations as varied as Salamanca, Edinburgh and Nice and also on Chalsa, Ranikhet, and Pondicherry. My travel pieces have been published in The Times of India, The Hindustan Times, Business India and Savvy and Connoisseurs' Asia. For Business India I have written a piece on package tours and also an article that contained tips for travellers.


Food


I had a food column called the Good Food Guide in Society magazine for over a year. This began with an article that laid down the ground rules for entertaining and went on to deal with a different topic in every issue. These ranged from Diwali sweets to drinks made from flowers! The column also carried a couple of original recipes at the end. This was extremely popular not just with readers but also from many of the editors of sister magazines from whom I received instant feedback if the recipes were more time consuming than they would have liked!


I have also done features on "Healthy Party Snacks" for both Savvy Cook Book and Health and Nutrition magazines. Many of these features were done in association with well-known restaurants and 5 star hotels. I coordinated the photo shoots using the city's top photographers and often styled the food myself.


Lifestyle


As Bureau Chief, I have inter-acted with achievers in every discipline in the eastern region. I have interviewed mountaineer Bachendri Pal, sportsmen Leander Paes, and Saurav Ganguly, artists such as Bikash Bhattacharjee, Ramananda Bandopadhaya. Suvaprasanna, dancers like Mamata and Tanusree Shankar, filmmakers, Mrinal Sen and Sandip Ray, industrialists, BK Birla, Sanjeev Goenka, Karan, Priya and Priti Paul, amongst others. I interviewed the former Chief Minister, Jyoti Basu for Society magazine and did a fashion shoot with his daughter for Savvy! I have featured the Raj Bhawan, BK Birla's residence, Kumaramangalam Birla's office in Society Interiors and had personalities as diverse as the former Maharani of Burdwan, and fashion designer Kiran Uttam Ghosh cook for Savvy Cook Book.


Humour


Middles in the "Times of India", some first person humour sketches in the Hindustan Times, fiction in Savvy Annuals, and a column, called Tongue in Cheek in Society magazine, I enjoy doing the occasional humour piece.


Health


I have a good basic knowledge of nutrition, and health related issues. I worked as a consultant to Fitnesse magazine for over a year, and also did stories for Health and Nutrition magazine. A story on actress Waheeda Rehman's healthy breakfast cereal, a case study of three people with hypertension with advice from qualified professionals from the BM Birla Heart Research Centre, menus for healthy party snacks in co-ordination with the Taj Bengal and the BM Birla Heart Research Centre were also used in both Health magazine and Cook Book. I always coordinated the photo-shoot and often styled the food for the shoots.


Quizzing


I did a regular quiz on family life in the magazine Family Life and also a quiz for children in the four page fun section of the same magazine.


I've compiled quizzes on gold and on appliances for Savvy, and also a light hearted quiz on relationships for one Savvy Annual.


In 2000 I hosted the Savvy Cook Book quiz in association with the Taj Bengal for their Ladies' Club. I composed the questions, and was the quizmaster for this multi-sensory quiz on food, which received very good media feedback in India Today, The Statesman, The Telegraph, The Hindustan Times, and

The Times of India.


From the Blog

1st
Sept 2013

TICKING BIO CLOCK

In many ways, the issues of work family balance are well known. The real challenge is to understand how to use this information in making ones own life choices. Should one marry early or late, or not at all, should.

13th
Aug 2013

THE MORE THINGS CHANGE

When I was researching issues related to family life for my book, The Great Indian Family in the early 2000s, I did find that no matter how husbands and wives, mothers in law and daughters in law renegotiated roles and...

10th
Aug 2013

STRESSED INDIAN WOMEN

Indian women the most stressed in the world, a 2011 Nielsen survey, Women of Tomorrow, of 6,500 women across 21 different nations, found, with 87% stating that they felt stressed most of the time. 82% had no free time at.

2nd
Aug 2013

THOUGHTS ON WORK LIFE

Staring at a bare space, the first page of a blank word document and wondering what my very first blog should be about, is fairly terrifying! I have so many thoughts about this whole issue of work-family balance, and the...

2nd
Sept 2013

BACK TO THE FUTURE

The other day a met a young journalist at an art exhibition, as I see myself as a journalist who is doing a huge amount of corporate communication, and much too little journalism these days, I was immediately drawn to her, and we got talking.