Vani Foundation Distinguished Translator Award Jury

Secretariat In-Charge: Aditi Maheshwari-Goyal

Namita Gokhale (2016-2019)

Namita Gokhale is a writer, publisher and founder and festival director. She has written twelve books, including several works of fiction. Her first novel, Paro: Dreams of Passion celebrated its thirtieth anniversary edition in 2014. Other novels include Gods, Graves and Grandmother, A Himalayan Love Story, The Book of Shadows, Shakuntala and Priya, a recent sequel to Paro. She is a co-director of the Zee Jaipur Literature Festival and of ‘Mountain Echoes’, the annual Bhutan Festival. She also curates Kitabnama: Books and Beyond, a multilingual book show on the public broadcaster Doordarshan. Her recent book is novel Things to Leave Behind published in 2016.

Neeta Gupta (2016-2019)

Neeta Gupta is the Co-director of Jaipur BookMark, a publishers’ B2B segment held parallel to the ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival, where the focus is on international translation rights. She is also the publisher at Yatra Books and an Editor and Joint Secretary with the Bhartiya Anuvad Parishad, a not-for-profit promoting translations between Indian languages. She has worked with Indian languages and translation since 1996, having handled diverse aspects of the trade including publishing books and e-books, and editing a literary magazine. She has recently edited and published an anthology of essays titled Translating Bharat, Reading India.

Sundeep Bhutoria (2016-2019)​

Sundeep Bhutoria, a Rajasthan-born-Kolkata-based social and cultural activist whose name is synonymous with social welfare activities and promotion of Indian folk art, literature and culture. He is an outspoken community conscience and a youth icon representing India in United Nations Associations and various other fora and non-governmental organisations.

Mr Bhutoria is also an author, speaker, columnist, blogger, art collector, and a wild life enthusiast.

Ashok Vajpeyi (2015-2016)

Ashok Vajpeyi is a Hindi poet-critic, translator, editor, culture-activist, and a former civil servant. He has served as the chairman of Lalit Kala Akademi; and authored thirteen books of poetry, seven of criticism in Hindi and three books on art in English. He has translated the works of four major poets of Poland, Czeslaw Milosz, W. Szymborska, Z. Herbert and T. T. Rozewicz into Hindi. He has been awarded ‘The Officer’s Cross of Merit of the Republic of Poland’ by the President of Republic of Poland, and the French Govt. has recognised his work with the award, ‘Officier De L’Ordre Des Arts Et Des Lettres’.

He will speak at ILF Samanvay on November 27, 2015 at 03:00 pm and 06:30 pm respectively.

Rita Chowdhury (2015-2016)

Rita Chowdhury is Director, National Book Trust, India. An Ahomiya novelist, poet and activist, Rita Chowdhury’s oeuvre includes Makam, Deo Lankhui, and Ei Xomoy Xei Xomoy. Her other works are Abirata Yatra, Tirtha Bhumi, Maha Jibanar Adharxila, Papiya Tarar Sadhu, Raag Malkosh, Jal Padma, and Mayabritta. Her 4 poetry collections are Pratyaxar Swapna, Sudoor Nakshatra, Alap Poharar Alap Aandharar, and Baga Matir Tulashi. She is the Chief Trustee of ADHARXILA, an organization dedicated to empowering young writers of Assam.

Rita Kothari (2015-2016)

Rita Kothari is Associate Professor, Humanities and Social Sciences, at the Indian Institute of Technology, Gandhinagar. Her publications include Translating India: The Cultural Politics of English and The Burden of Refuge: Sindh, Gujarat and Partition. Memories and Movements: Borders and Communities in Banni, Kutch (Gujarat), Chutnefying English: The Phenomenon of Hinglish co-edited with Rupert Snell and Decentering Translation Studies: India and Beyond co-edited with Judy Wakabayashi. Previously, she was Chair, Department of Culture and Communications at Mudra Institute of Communications, Ahmedabad.

Rizio Yohannan Raj (2015-2016)

Rizio Yohannan Raj is a writer, educationist, translator and governance thinker. Her professional experience spans two decades of work in journalism, book publishing, academics and institution-building. She is the Founder and Executive Director of LILA Foundation for Translocal Initiatives, a think-tank engaged in multidisciplinary and intercultural knowledge production, dissemination and conservation. Her works including collections of poetry, novels, critical volumes, edited works, research papers and socio-cultural studies, have been published by Harper Collins, Cambridge University Press, Indiana University Press, Kendra Sahitya Akademi, New Delhi, and journals and magazines across the world. She is the Creative Director of ILF Samanvay 2015.

Vidyun M Singh (2015-2016)

Vidyun M Singh is Director of Programmes at the India Habitat Centre, New Delhi. With a multi disciplinary background in the Arts, she has been heading the Programmes Department of IHC since its inception in 1997.

संस्थापक न्यासी / Founder Trustee

अशोक वाजपेयी / Ashok Vajpeyi

Ashok Vajpeyi is an Indian poet in Hindi, essayist, literary-cultural critic

Our Photo Gallery


  • Gulzar Saheb is an eminent figure of the Indian literature and film industry. He is well known as a lyricist, author, filmmaker, dialogue-writer, poet and translator.Gulzar

  • Yatindra Mishra is a celebrated poet, writer, who has poetry collections like Agyeya: Jitna Tumhara Sach Hai and Ayodhya Tatha Anya Kavitayein to his name. Yatindra Mishra

  • Anant Vijay is a known name in literature and journalism. He is currently serving as the executive producer at IBN7 News Network and has a vast and varied experience in the field of print and electronic media. Anant Vijay