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Preeti Das

Stand up comedian. Story teller. Performer. Academician.



Work Experience (about 20 years of work experience)


Current onwards


At present, I am part of Karnavati University and setting up a centre that is working on the experiential learning and immersion.


-       Was an adjunct faculty at Ahmedabad University for 2 years and taught two courses- titled  “The Art of Storytelling and Performance” and “ Performing Humour”


- Was the Additional Director at the School of Liberal Arts and Mass

Communication at Karnavati University, Gandhinagar. (2018- 2021)


I joined the department in 2018 when the department was just a year old. From working on the courses, syllabus, branding, and positioning of the department to teaching papers in journalism, gender, theatre, and culture studies – my key responsibility was to make sure that the department was up and about and consistently growing with no compromise on the academic rigor of students. 


I have also worked on partnerships and collaborations with various Universities/ Institutes/ Organizations to offer a host of certificate programs and intense workshops for the students of my department.


Some of my other key contributions to the department were to get stellar speakers from the field of journalism, advertising and public relations, and digital culture and organize classes, talks, and festivals for the students. The list of speakers/ faculty includes Ravish Kumar, Pan Nalin, Prahlad Kakar, Sudhir Kakkar, Shahana Goswami, Sagarika Ghosh, Varun Gandhi, Paranjoy Guha Thakurta, Mahesh Dattani – to name a few. (The list is exhaustive and it includes actors, theatre personalities, artists, and politicians) 


I manage the entire day-to-day functioning of the department and have also introduced new courses as per the changing market demands. These include courses on podcasts, understanding social media influencers, storytelling and the lesser-known oral narratives of India, rural immersion programs, the art of interviewing, artificial intelligence, and the media. 


I teach papers in Journalism, Gender and Society, Theatre, Principals of Communication and Media and Culture studies at my department and also take papers on storytelling and brands and use of humor for social issues in the other department of Karnavati University. 


I continue to work relentlessly at the department to ensure that the department and my team grow together in our pursuit of academic rigor, innovative techniques, and a grounded approach to the subjects we teach. 


I have worked on all the communication, concept notes, cultural event curation, and branding for Karnavati University’s proprietary festivals, Youth Parliament, and Ahmedabad Design Week.



?     I was the principal correspondent of Indian Express (from 2017 to 2018)  and covered health, politics, and human interest-related stories and issues.

?     I was with DNA Ahmedabad from 2015 -2017 as a journalist and during my two years besides covering various health, crime, and human interest stories I won the Ladlee Media award at the local and then the South Asia( for India)  level for best investigative journalism.

?     I chronicled the life of a gang rape survivor and delved into aspects of taboo, politics of compensation for rape, and a failed state machinery to handle such victims.




?     As visiting faculty at:


-       PDPU-SLS University (Pandit Deendayal Petroleum University (School of Liberal Studies), Ahmedabad. I taught Mass Communication- theories, film and gender studies, introduction to research methodology, development communication, and print, television, radio, and social media. Was teaching there from 2012-2015. 


-       St. Xavier’s College Ahmedabad. I taught Journalism Ethics for 2 years (4 semesters). This was a part of the course on Journalism. (2012-2014)  - CEPT University, Ahmedabad. Taught Radio and writing content for a year (2 semesters) (2013)




?     Was a producer at MYFM- Ahmedabad, a radio station. This was a 10month assignment and was intended to help launch a new radio jockey in the market (2011) 

?     Have worked with Radio Mirchi, Ahmedabad for a year as a radio jockey. ( From (2009- 2011) 


Qualitative Research and Ethnography 


? I was working with a qualitative research house (two and a half years approximately), Quantum Market  Research, based in Bangalore as an Associate  Manager. Was working from April 2007-2009.   The job involved understanding consumer insights and translating them into strategies for various brands employing different qualitative research tools. I have worked on various brands across categories in India and some brands in Sri Lanka. I have conducted many focus group discussions, in-depth interviews, and ethnographic studies in India.

(Rural and urban)





Development sector/ Social Research and Administrative


? I worked with an international NGO, ActionAid International, for two years under the national tsunami project as the Head of Communication and Information, Tsunami Project, India and Sri Lanka. Was with ActionAid from June 2005- February 2007.


The job involved designing internal and external communication, working on fundraising strategies, liaison with the media, and looking at area-specific communication- livelihoods, accountability, psychosocial activities, gender, etc.

? My work also involved identifying engaging stories and assigning them to directors, photographers, and filmmakers. 

? I was heading a team of around 20 people and also worked on various reports for the Tamil Nadu government on housing and livelihood programs of ActionAid. 

? Have worked on developing communication tools for various divisions under the tsunami program.

? Also helped with other parallel programs in ActionAid – helped with working on media strategies and planning various publicity events.



Television and Documentary making


?     I was a television journalist for about two years - Aaj Tak/ Headlines Today, Chennai. Have worked from December 2003- April 2005. 

Covered various beats assigned to me. A few of the stories I worked on included covering the Shankaracharya case, the tsunami, and Veerappan's death. 

Aaj Tak and Headlines today was my first job after completing my Masters's.




?     Directed a documentary film for SEWA (Self Employed Women’s Association), Ahmedabad. The documentary aims at introducing the concept of what the entire SEWA movement is all about and how the organization has grown and diversified over the years. 

o In the year 2001 I carried out a study on the feasibility of micro insurance in the urban slums. This study was done with SEWA Insurance- a unit of SEWA, Ahmedabad.



Significant Internships


?     Did my internship with Sun News (English) a Chennai-based local news channel. Was involved in producing stories, editing, and anchoring shoots. 

?     Worked for two months as a trainee with The Times of India, Ahmedabad. (Was part of the reporting desk, page designing section, and marketing division.)

?     Was part of the special task force for Zee T.V., Ahmedabad, during the January 2001 earthquake in Gujarat.



Educational Qualifications


Masters in Mass Communication (Two years full-time Master’s degree), Manipal Institute of Communication, Manipal Academy of Higher Education (MIC-MAHE), 2003. Specialized in Television Studies.


-       B.A. (Economics), St. Xavier’s College, Ahmedabad, 2000 (Main subjects: Micro/Macro Economics and Econometrics, Subsidiary subjects: Statistics and Computers).


-       Did my entire schooling up to the level of Higher Secondary from Mount Carmel High School, Ahmedabad.


Master’s Thesis


My master’s thesis is titled ‘Representation of the Christians in Hindi Movies.’ (The thesis deals with methods and modalities of constant stereotyping in the portrayals of Christians. Through the study of two films (Amar Akbar Anthony and Josh)) , I have tried to find out how particularistic and often ‘fixed’ representations of the Christians in popular Hindi films have resulted in associating the entire community with certain rigid and to an extent ‘reduced’ characteristics.





?     Winner of South Asia Laadli Media Awards for Gender Sensitivity 2015-16 (India) - I got this award under the investigative journalism category for my series of stories documenting the aftermath of rape. 

?     Star TV award (2021) for contribution to theatre and culture in Ahmedabad




  English, Hindi, Gujarati (Speak, Read and Write)

  Bengali, Tamil (Speak)


Other Passions 


Stand-up comedy 


I am Gujarat’s first woman stand-up comedian and have performed at the Mathrubhumi International Literature Festival (MBIFL), Gujarat Literature Festival(GLF), Natarani Amphitheatre, Round Table India charity event, Vir Das's Pyjama Festival, United Nations celebration of the International Day of the Girl Child, CRY's event on Child Rights and One Million Rising- to name a few festivals. 




Mahila Manch Co-founder


I am the co-founder of Mahila Manch, an all-women stand-up comedy collective which works on a host of issues that are still called `` taboos" to talk about. I have worked with various organizations and trained women to use stand-up comedy to talk about domestic violence, reproduction rights, menstrual issues, and child marriages. 



Storyteller, actor, writer. 


As a storyteller, I specialize in bringing lesser-known stories and narratives to the audience. I have curated and performed at Kathaastu – the storytelling festival at Darpana Academy in Ahmedabad, BBC’s storytelling festival, and Folklog’s online story festival (during the pandemic) – to name a few. 


I have acted in a host of plays in Ahmedabad – The Conference of the Birds directed by Yadavan Chandran and Mallika Sarabhai, Voh Ladkiyon Wala Natak which was also performed at Prithvi House, A Mid Summer Night’s Dream in Gujarat- written and directed by Kabir Thakore- to name a few. 

 Using academics and theatre

I conduct a series of summer workshops for children to teach concepts of empathy, diversity and basics of theatre that helps the child concentrate, coordinate and communicate better.

As part of my job at Karnavati University, I have conducted workshops in various schools in Ahmedabad and Vadodara for teachers and students to enable bringing together of academics and various methodology of performing arts.