Meet Our Teachers

Our teachers serving Bhavan

Abha Puri
Subject: Hindi Language

I have been teaching Hindi with Bhavan for fourteen years and successfully prepared students for GCSE Hindi. Teaching Hindi is one of my passions, having done it for eight years in a primary school in India. In the UK I have experience of teaching various accredited and non-accredited courses to ESOL learners including IELTS.

I have also worked as a Primary Supply Teacher in the UK for six years. In terms of my educational qualifications, I have QTLS and a Post-Graduate Diploma in Education from The University of Bolton. I initially graduated with Masters Degrees in English Literature and Economics as well as a B.Ed. in Primary Education from India. For two years I was an official assessor and mentor for students on a PGCE program at The University of Bolton. My teaching style is variable and adapted according to the learning needs of the students to maximise their potential.

I have been working with Bhavan for fourteen years. I enjoy teaching children from different language backgrounds. It is rewarding to see students progressing.

Hindi is a very easy language to learn. Words are written as they are pronounced. Hindi is written from left to right. Hindi is the most common language spoken in India and hence the national tongue. Hindi is an evolution and successor to the language of Sanskrit which carries a long and interesting history, better understood with an underlying background in Hindi.

bhavan manchester - ashwin m dalvi

Dr Ashwin M Dalvi
Subject: Sitar

Dr. Ashwin Mahesh Dalvi, Ex-Chairman, Rajasthan Lalit Kala Academy, hense “State Minister” of Government of Rajasthan, is an Established Sur-Bahar – Sitar player and an installation artist of International repute. Ashwin inherited the love for music and arts from his family and started his training in music under the guidance of his illustrious father Sri Mahesh D. Dalvi.

In the year 2003, Ashwin started his advanced training, exclusively in Sur-Bahar under the pupilage of renowned musicologist and Sitar Maestro Pt. Arvind Parikh from Itawah Gharana, friend and the senior most disciple of Ustad Vilayat Khan. Since then, he has been getting extensive talim from Pt. Arvind Parikh and learning intricacies of the Sur-Bahar, such as developing Dhrupad and Khyal ang on Sur-Bahar, silsilewar badhat (Systematic development), traditional bandishes (compositions) etc.

Ashwin has performed at many prestigious events all across the world, including Tansen Sangeet Samaroh , Chhandayan USA, India International Center-New Delhi, ITC SRA-Kolkata, NCPA Mumbai, Sankat Mochan Mahotsav, Banaras and so forth. Ashwin has been awarded Doctorate on his research work on legendary Sitar Maestro Pt. Nikhil Bannerjee. He has been a faculty member at renowned universities in India, namely Banasthali University, Banasthali and Maharaja Sayajirao University, Baroda.

Ashwin is a panelist in scholarship programs sponsored by Ministry of Tourism and Culture, The Government of India. He has also been a Board Member of Jawahar Kala Kendra, Jaipur (Govt. of Rajasthan) (Ex), West Zone Culture Centre (Govt. of India) (Ex), North Zone Culture Centre (Govt. of India) (Ex) and North-Central Zone Culture Centre (Govt. of India) (Ex).

Association with Bhavans: I have been associated with Bhavans in the past few years.

Dr Kamal N Rauniar
Subject: Vedic Maths

Born in Kathmandu, Nepal. 1974 Gold medallist, first class first Post Graduate (MSc) Physics from Tribhuvan University (TU), Kathmandu. Went to Germany and studied Electrical & Electronic Engineering Post Graduate course acquiring German ‘Dipl.-Ing’ degree. Thereafter, worked at the German Technical University in Aachen and lived there for 12 years altogether. Married to Alka in 1983. Have two sons, Shiromani (31) and Shaunak (26).

Came to UK in 1986. Conducted research in LCDs (Liquid Crystal Displays) at the Physics Department of the University of Manchester and as a result, received a ‘PhD’ in1991. Thereafter, a career change to become Financial Consultant. Became Independent Financial Advisor (IFA) in 2005. Entered Renewable Energy sector in 2010 as a Renewable Energy Consultant which is continuing to date.

Association with Bhavans: Advocate of and affiliated to Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan since its inception in Manchester in1994. Taught Hindi and Vedic Maths at BVB for past several years as per requirement; presently, Hinduism as well. Speak Bhojpuri, Nepali, Hindi, Urdu & German. Good grasp of Punjabi & Gujrati.

 

Kanchan Maradan
Subject: Kathak Dance

Kanchan was born in Mumbai & has been passionate about dance since childhood. She started her training in Kathak in London and then decided to return to India after seeing Madhavi Mudgals’ performance, which inspired a wish to study the intricacies of Kathak and Indian Culture in more depth. She joined the Gandharva Mahavidyalay in New Delhi under the tutelage of Ms. Prerana Shrimali, doyen of Jaipur Gharana and has completed her Alankaar MA in Kathak and Vishaarad (BA) in Hindustani vocals from this prestigious institute.

She has extensive experience (22 years) as a performer (stage, film and TV), teacher (20 years), choreographer, director and judge. She has to date, performed, taught dance and lived across 3 continents (Asia, Europe, South America-India, Japan, Russia, Reunion Island, France, Italy, Sweden, Brazil). Kanchan is an Empanelled artist of ICCR since 2004 and has received the Junior Fellowship Award (2005-07) from Ministry of Culture, Government of India.

Association with Bhavans: Kanchan joined the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Manchester in 2014 and her students have presented dances at the end of year shows and the 25th year celebrations and at the 14th Dashehra Diwali Mela Manchester 2019.

 

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Margaret McNeill
Subject: Sanskrit

I came to Sanskrit through an interest in Vedanta and have been a student in the Sanskrit faculty of the School of Philosophy and Economic Science for many years. I have studied some Panini grammar, via Laghusiddhantakaumudi, and have taken the Cambridge International exams at IGCSE, AS and A levels. I have taught both strands to adults. For twelve years I taught Sanskrit up to IGCSE basic level at St James Independent Primary School, and for about fourteen years I have been teaching Sanskrit at all levels, up to and including A level, at the Manchester BVB.

I have been teaching Sanskrit classes to all ages at the Bhavan for about fourteen years, from beginner to A level. We follow the St James Sanskrit course books, published by Motilal Banarsidass.

Sanskrit is invaluable for those who wish to study Vedanta. Prakrit languages, like English or Hindi, change and shift all the time. After only 500 years Shakespeare is sometimes hard to understand. Yet great knowledge has been carefully preserved for thousands of years, thanks to Sanskrit. ‘Samskrita’ means ‘perfectly formed’. Panini crystallised its grammar around the C4th BCE, and the extraordinary intelligence of his system has maintained the purity of the language for well over two thousand years, so that the literature the classical era may still be clearly understood today. “It has one of the richest and most extensive literatures of all known languages. It introduces [us] to vast epics, profound scripture, subtle philosophy, voluminous mythology, exquisite poetry and much else.” (St James School: ‘Why Sanskrit?’)

The Sanskrit language is there, pure and clean, unhampered or distorted by anyone; and it can mirror the laws of the universe to anyone. This is the good companion, the good guide and the great friend. Journey with it and then the Veda is simple and sure.
Mahārāja Śrī Śāntānanda Sarasvatī

pamila sharma - bhavan manchester teacher

Pamila Sharma
Subject: Sanskrit

Pamila believes that Sanskrit is a magical language! What water is your body, sounds of Sanskrit is to Soul. Pamila’s introduction to Sanskrit was in form of Shlokas and a brief curriculum at school in India.

Pamila was fortunate to avail Sanskrit harati Residential Courses for 2 consecutive years in Loughborough, UK. She is currently disseminating her knowledge for spoken Sanskrit based on Sanskrit Bharati curriculum. She is very proud of her students.

Pringle Gulzar
Subject: Tabla

Being born in Pakistan and having a very Pakistani upbringing, I have always been surrounded by South Asian music. When I was young before even understanding what this music is about, we would go to church and the hymns and songs would be played with a Pakistani/Asian twist. This twist being with tabla and harmonium. So subconsciously I was taking in this music without even knowing. Then my mother wanted myself and my brothers to be involved with our culture and musical heritage, so put me and my youngest brother into learning Tabla and vocal music from our local gurdwaras.

After around 2-3 years I had become good enough to play with artists around the country. That’s when I met one of my friends that was learning Tabla from Ustad Shahbaz Hussain. This friend had uploaded a video of Ustad Shahbaz Hussain playing Tabla and I had never had the play being played like this. So much sweetness and sur in his playing. That night I couldn’t sleep just because I was thinking about Ustadj playing. So at that point I decided I need to meet this person, not to learn Tabla but to meet him and get to know his personality. My friend then put me into contact with him and for the last 4 years I have been learning Tabla of Ustad Shahbaz Hussain.

Association with Bhavans: Bhavan originally approached Ustad Shahbaz Hussain (my teacher) but because Khansaab is so busy he did not have the time to commit to the hours of teaching. Khansaab then recommended myself and at first I was very hesitant because being so young I do not consider myself good enough or knowledgeable enough to teach. However, Khansaab and the committee at Bhavan reassured me that teaching is a learning at the same time and is a duty to the art form we practice.

Rajeswari Khandasamy
Subject: Karnatic Violin

Rajeswary is proficient in Carnatic Violin having successfully passed all the various Grades. She is also an accomplished vocalist. In the past she used to teach young children to play the violin in her home country Sri Lanka, where she has given many solo and group performances.

Rajeswary also is trained at Vani Mahal Carnatic Centre in Chennai by Rangnad Sharma. Her respected Guru is Sri Sarwasvarrasarma, a well-known violin maestro who can regularly be heard on Radio Ceylon. Rajeswary is associated with Bhavan since 2006.

rakesh joshi - bhavan manchester

Rakesh Joshi
Subject: Hindustani Vocal

Rakesh Joshi is musically trained in India from Gurushri Dinesh Majmudar, Shri Brij Joshi and Shri Shashank Fadnis. Rakesh has taken special voice culture and vocal training from Padma-Vibhushan Pandit Ajoy Chakrabarty. Achieved Diploma in Indian music with distinction from Sardar Patel University, Gujarat, India and PGCE (Indian music) from the University of Huddersfield, UK.

Since Sept 2018, doing research study (Ph.D.) at the University of Salford, subject: The Indian choir-ensemble and Vedic traditions. Artistic Director: Bharatiya Vrund Gaan (BVG-the Indian Choir of England) for adults and SHIVA – the youth choir of Indian music. Artistic Director & Composer of ‘Raga Jyoti’ – The Indian Classical Music Ensemble of England. Group thirty musicians perform the traditional Indian classical, contemporary and theme music in the orchestra style.

Raga Jyoti musicians have also performed one of the special compositions for Sitar maestro Bharat Ratna Pandit Ravi Shankar. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P5I_osdLFmI / http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iqguyxLSbJY) ‘Shakti Vrund UK’- Rakesh Joshi is the main Singer and group leader. Shakti Vrund performs traditional folk songs of Gujarat (Raas-Garba-Lagna Geet) In the past, Rakesh has accompanied Harmonium, Keyboards and vocal to many world class International musicians, and worked as an arts manager with well-known Indian arts organisations of the UK. Rakesh has given background music for the Indian television channels, dances and many audio albums. He also worked as a Radio Broadcaster at Asian Sound Radio, Manchester.

Association with Bhavans: Since 1999, Music Teacher at the B V Bhavan, Manchester. Also provided support to the management committee and organise music concerts and workshops.

Robin Christian
Subject: Bansuri

Robin derived passion from India at the early age of 15 years where he began to play the North Indian bamboo flute with a strong influence and practice with the flute maestro Pt. Ronu Majumdar.

Today he continues to share, enjoy and humbly contribute to the music world and plays in the North Indian tradition. He plays and directs almost every form of music, which ranges from folk, devotional, soul, classical in both eastern and western fields.

With his recognised talent he has been asked to perform with various well known artists which includes leading playback singers. He has performed at various prestigious locations including The Royal Albert Hall in the U.K.  Performances have involved the media which includes many shows on MA TV, Chanel S (Bengali Channel), N TV Bangla, ATN Bangla, Channel i and numerous radio appearances including the BBC and various others in the U.K. In addition, he has featured in many Gujarati movies and albums.

Robin Christian supports Divine Charity (Divine charity.org), a registered charity in the U.K whose purpose is to support women and children in hardship. He is devoted to using his talent with music and time to help raise funds to support. Robin started teaching with Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan and since the class size grow in just a few weeks.

He says “God gave to us for the purpose of serving him and serving other people.”

Sonia Sharma
Subject: Bollywood

“I believe that dance is a form of artistic medium to showcase the spirit of emotions, expressions and creativity.” Since my childhood I have been interested in dance, music, drama. I am a professional Bollywood dance instructor/choreographer/Zumba Instructor & Yoga trainer. I always try to express my creativity in an artistic way in my passion which is Dance & paintings. I am working with Manchester Adult Education Centre as an IT tutor and working as a Bollywood dance teacher in Manchester Malayali Association.

I am a committee member of Indian association & Manchester Mega Mela. It has been a wonderful experience in getting involved in many projects: Diwali Dashera Mela, Manchester Mega Mela, Cow parade, Manchester Day parade, Manchester poetry festival & other communities eg Indian association, Irish Community, Malyalee association, ASAR charity, Tamil Association & other local communities to promote our culture.

Recently I participated in South Asian Heritage month-long celebration in Ontario, Canada and United Kingdom to celebrate the heritage of people with roots in the South Asian countries. I am so glad to be part of this event. Where I could show case my Paintings & represent India’s diverse culture though Kathak semi classical dance, Garba, Rajasthani and Bhangra dance.

Association with Bhavan: I teach Bollywood dance/folk dance and semi classical dance at Bhavan. Bhavan’s Student have participated in many big events like Manchester Mega Mela, Manchester Festival, Diwali Dashera Mela, Manchester Day parade and many more. UK based dance contest held at the Balaji Temple in Birmingham, Bhavan’s students won the 1st prize for “Best Cinematic Dance” award. It was a competition which was organised by the National Council of Kerala Hindu Heritage UK. Kids between 11–14 years represented the Greater Manchester Malayali Hindu Samajam. It was published online Global Indians stories and Asian lite newspaper.

sukanyia subramanian - bhavan manchester teacher

Sukanya Subramanian
Subject: Bharatnatyam

Sukanya Subramanian is an accomplished Bharatanatyam dancer and teacher. Sukanya is a disciple of Guru (late) Rajee Narayan of Nritya Geetanjali, Mumbai, who was a rare combination of Bharatanatyam dancer, Carnatic musician, composer and choreographer. Under Guru Rajee, Sukanya trained in Bharatanatyam, Natyashastra and Nattuvangam.
 
Sukanya has performed extensively in prestigious auditoriums, temple organisations and cultural festivals across India.  Some of her solo and group performances include the National Centre for the Performing Arts (NCPA, Mumbai), Nehru Centre, The Shanmukhanaanda Fine Arts and Sangeetha Sabha, Narda Gana Sabha (Chennai), Music Academy (Chennai) Sri Tyaga Brahma Gana Sabha (Vani Mahal, Chennai),  Nadaanjali music & dance festival,   Mulund Fine Arts Society, Shivali festival at Mysore Association, Delhi Doordarshan and London Sath Sangam. She has also participated in several of Nritya Geetanjali’s dance ballets and group presentations.
 
Sukanya is a HR professional and teaches Bharatanatyam at Bhartiya Vidya Bhavan, Manchester. She trains students in Bharatanatyam dance and prepares them for UK based grade examinations.

Sunitha Yadavalli
Subject: Carnatic Vocal

I am an ardent lover of carnatic music and a passionate teacher, I strive to adopt the best ways of teaching and its techniques according to each student’s requirement. I have learnt under Dr Pantula Rama and I hold diploma in Carnatic music. I teach many students of different age groups from different parts of the world, both online and face to face. Telugu language is my mother tongue and I can proudly say I am highly proficient in Telugu. I strongly believe that everyone should have atleast the minimum level of competency in their mother language.

Association with Bhavans: I have started working with Bhavans this year and am looking forward to continuing this association for the longest possible.

Tim Mottershead
Subject: Carnatic Vocal

Tim Mottershead M.Phil, G.Mus, Cert.Ed. studied music at Liverpool Community College, followed by post-graduate research at Aberdeen University. However, he has learned most from the Scottish composer-pianist, Ronald Stevenson (1928-2015), one of the original architects of world music. Stevenson was commissioned to write a Violin Concerto by Yehudi Menuhin, which ‘dawns’ in India with raga Todi & journeys to a western sunset taking in music of many other regions en route.

Tim performed for many years with Rakesh Joshi in Raga Jyoti, & has performed in numerous other styles. He has written for numerous publications including Tempo, Musical Opinion, Piano Professional, as well as national and regional papers, and published a biography on the composer Alan Rawsthorne. He is also a composer.

Association with Bhavans: Having previously acted as relief music teacher Tim was formerly asked to join Bhavan in September 2018, teaching beginner and intermediate keyboard classes. In January 2020 he inaugurated/instigated a brand new class ‘Western Notation’. It is hoped to incorporate this into the PRSSV syllabus in the future.