As Archive Director, Avehi Menon leads the team at Sarmaya, oversees the archive and guides the museum's strategy and vision of developing immersive and accessible programming and outreach. She has led successful collaborations with diverse partners such as Pratham Education Foundation, Saturday Art Class, Museum Rietberg and TARQ art gallery among others, with the objective of building dialogue and engagement with Sarmaya's diverse collection. She is a Chevening scholar with a Masters in Museum Studies. Avehi has worked at the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, UK. She was also Curator and Oral Historian at the Centre for Public History, Srishti Manipal School of Art, Design and Technology, Bengaluru where she built public history projects such as oral history archives and walking tours. Additionally, she has spent ten years as a television producer. Avehi is interested in the future of museums and building collaborative community projects.
Sarmaya’s Head of Collections, Komal Chitnis leads and manages all aspects related to the systematisation, care and access to the collection. She works closely with colleagues across areas to ensure that varied facets of the Sarmaya collection are used well in research, curation, content development and creation of learning opportunities. She has a Masters in Archaeology and Museum Studies. In the past, she has worked on projects with Pune’s INTACH chapter, the New Walk Museum in Leicester, the Oriental Museum of Durham University, and Dr Bhau Daji Lad Mumbai City Museum. She is interested in developing new models of access to collections and interpretive strategies in museums.
As a Research and Curatorial Assistant, Pooja Ashokkumar works closely with the team and contributes to the research of all Sarmaya projects. She also assists in the archiving and documentation of the collection and manages the Sarmaya library. She has a keen interest in researching shadow puppets, photography and rare books that are part of the Sarmaya collection. She has previously worked as a Professor of History at Patkar-Varde College and HVPS College of Law in Mumbai. Her interests lie in exploring and learning more about indigenous folk forms, ancient art, architecture and philosophy, mythology and oral histories.
As the Collections Associate, Diksha supports the care, access, and organization of the Sarmaya Collection. She facilitates
object storage, cataloging, and documentation and coordinates new acquisitions at the archive. Working closely with the curatorial team, Diksha contributes to the research and development of various curatorial projects and exhibitions. Her interest lies in making museum collections accessible and creating representations for marginalized histories. Before joining Sarmaya, Diksha worked at the Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Museum and Cipla Archives, engaging with digitization processes, educational workshops, and oral histories. She holds a Master's degree in Archaeology from Deccan College Post Graduate and Research Institute and is keenly interested in studying iconologies in Visual Art.
As a designer in the content team at Sarmaya, Jahanjeet Banerjee ideates and creates visual content weaving together stories around the collection for Sarmaya's curatorial and outreach projects. He also designs and animates educational modules and learning packs for Sarmaya's educational outreach. An animation graduate from Srishti Manipal School of Art, Design and Technology, Jahnjeet is excited and led by his interest in people, community histories and translating it into stories. He has previously worked at Levensloop, a brand marketing organisation and worked as Communications Officer at C3, a not for profit organisation.