Shachi Irde

Welcome to Clearing The Haze – Making the invisible visible, a podcast show that discusses topics that are usually invisible or just hazy. Hosted by Shachi Irde.

Shachi wears many hats and is passionate about inclusion. She is an industry recognized speaker on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and women in the workplace related topics. She has been recognized by numerous industry forums and has been recipient of “Iconic woman in leadership” award by All Women Economic Forum.


Our topic for this episode is – Changing perceptions – moving towards inclusivity.

To discuss this topic we have with us two eminent personalities Vaijayanti Bose and Ritika Sahni.

Vaijayanti is a life coach, blogger, podcaster, author and always a teacher. She also works with individuals and makes them discover their limiting beliefs and identify their strengths. This in turn will help them to set measurable goals for themselves to achieve planned outcomes, that will make them happy in their relationships, at home and excel in their workplace. Graduating with History (Honours) and then B.ed from Loreto College, Calcutta University, she topped it up later with M.A in History from Jadavpur University. Her book, PIVOT IN CONFIDENCE Live Carefree on Kindle and Amazon.com emphasizes that accepting the need to change is vital, to acquire a growth mindset, for enhancing your self-image and relationships at home and in the workplace.

Ritika is a trainer and consultant in Disability Inclusion. She has been a special educator, communication therapist and for the last 30 years has been Teaching, giving Lectures and conducting sensitization workshops for numerous academic institutions in the country. A Gold Medalist with a Masters in Music and equipped with a Bachelor’s Degree in Deaf Education, Ritika Sahni feels fortunate to pursue both her passions, that of a Singer-Performer and a Disability Campaigner.

Our topic for this episode is Humor! Hearing something funny or being amused can reduce stress, improve social relations, generate a positive mood, and increase motivation.

Humour seems to produce positive consequences for both the source and the audience.

Today, we will discuss with our guests, Nelly Quemener and Punya Arora, if the benefits of humour extend to everyone in the same way.

Nelly is a lecturer in information and communication sciences at Sorbonne Nouvelle University. Her research in the field of cultural studies focuses on the articulation of class, race and gender relations in audiovisual representations – especially humorous ones – and media controversies. She is the author of several books.

Punya is a stand-up comedian, photographer and writer based in Bangalore. Her style of comedy is observational, light-hearted and may involve more than one accent. Punya has been featured on every major stand-up stage across India such as Canvas Laugh Club, That Comedy Club, The Habitat, NCPA etc. She was a co-writer on the show Masaba Masaba which premiered on Netflix in 2020.

This episode will focus on Language and Sexism. Joining Shachi in this episode are Samanvita Shetty and Abhigyan Dua, who are having a conversation with Preethi Nagaraj.

Preethi is an independent journalist, political analyst deeply interested in theatre and psychology. She has a strong gender perspective and would like to see all genders hold up the skies, and claim their share too.

Samanvita, a double degree holder with a Bachelor of Arts in French and an LL.B. is currently a French teacher at Vidya Niketan School, Bangalore. She is also a lawyer by profession having practised in civil and corporate litigation. Apart from her passion for French, Samanvita is also passionate about the art of acting and has theatre performances, ad films, feature films and voiceover work to her credit.

Based in Bangalore, Abhigyan works at the French Trade Commission and facilitates the India market entry of French companies.

Historically, diplomacy has been the preserve of men. Each time women manage to break one barrier another one awaits them. Prejudices against women in decision-making positions, and stereotypes based on gender roles and men’s and women’s leadership abilities remain universal.

We have two eminent diplomats Dana Purcarescuthe Deputy Head of Mission at the French Embassy in India and Dr. Heba Salaheldin Elmarassaithe Ambassador of Arab Republic of Egypt to India.

Dana Purcarescu is Deputy Head of Mission at the French Embassy in India since August 2019. Previously she headed the Situation Center of the French Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs. In Paris, she served in the Office of the Prime minister and the Directorate for Strategic Affairs, Security and disarmament. A career diplomat, she served in Brussels, Berlin and Washington.

Dr. Heba Salaheldin Elmarassai is the Ambassador of the Arab Republic of Egypt to India. She has served as the Ambassador of the Arab Republic of Egypt to Cyprus, and to Bulgaria. She has also served in the Embassy of Egypt in Brussels. While at Egypt’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, she has held various positions including that of Assistant Foreign Minister for Cultural Relations, and Director of Institute for Diplomatic Studies.

Being “too ambitious”, not focusing on family “as much as they should” or being dismissed by their colleagues, being a woman in the academic field is often a path full of pitfalls. It might be discouraging but sometimes the results are worth the efforts put into it.

What does the path towards academia look like for women? Can we notice strong differences between France and India? How does gender impact the academic career? And to what extent? What could be made to temper those inequalities?

To answer some of these questions, Shachi Irde and Ségolène Bulot examine the articulations between academia, gender and other factors that impact the academic career. In the company of two guests, Emmanouela Mandalaki, a woman scholar at Neoma Business School in France, and Manisha Chachra, PhD student at the Centre for Political Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University from New Delhi, India, we will explore their personal experience and get a qualitative approach of their academic experience up to now.

In this episode, we explore the arena of paid and unpaid work and joining me in this discussion are our two esteemed guests Rushil Palavjjhala and Renu Pokharna.

Rushil is the Co-founder and CEO of Bandhu. Bandhu is an impact-tech start-up that enables low-income workers to make data-driven migration decisions and enriches their livelihoods. Rushil holds a Master’s degree in Urban/City Planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, wherein he focused on Finance and Tech for Urban Development in the Global South. He received a Fulbright Scholarship for the same. Rushil also holds a Bachelors in Architecture and has worked extensively on affordable housing and large urban projects in India and abroad.”

Renu runs The Ahmedabad Project – a think tank that works on civic engagement and labour reforms. She has a decade long experience working in public policy and development across India, Africa and the USA. Her stints including serving as a Chief Minister’s Fellow with the Government of Gujarat and working in Uganda, Africa, with an educational startup. With a degree in public policy from Columbia University, she has also been published in Wall Street Journal and other national newspapers. Her interests include yoga and travel; she has made solo trips across 5 out of 7 continents so far.

Cities across the world have been designed unilaterally by men and consequently, they have been designed for men i.e. from their own perspectives and social experiences.

Chris Blache, urban anthropologist and social ethnographer, is the founder of Genre et Ville, an urban innovation agency, co-founded by Pascale Lapalud, a Geographer and Urban Planner. Genre et Ville is a research and action lab, supported by a team of experts, architects, artists, urban planners, philosophers, sociologists, which goal is to make territories more inclusive and equal.

Swati Janu is a cross-disciplinary professional in art, architecture, design and writing – primarily works on themes of social justice, housing rights and urban informality. Swati is the founder of Social Design Collaborative, a community-driven design, art and research practice to provide access to design for all.

In this episode Inclusive Public Space, Chris and Swati talk about gender biases to design thinking and architecture and offer solutions to create more inclusive cities. They openly question gender inequality and power imbalances in conventional approaches to city-making, in order to create a gender-equal discourse in the fields of design, architecture, urban development and
planning, and consequently in the larger public.

This episode is presented by the French Institute in Jaipur in collaboration with Genre et Ville and Social Design Collab.

If you google “Transgender”, most of the entries you will get will refer to Male to Female. You will have to dig in order to find references from Female to Male. Among the Invisible transgenders, transmen are the less visible. Many reasons make them less approachable.

To get you into the perspective of transmen, this podcast brings together Kirithik Shiva, a Chennai based transman whose journey is remarkable, and Nandini Krishnan, author of an essay called Invisible Men (Penguin Random House, 2018), which presents her research work inside India’s Transmasculine Networks and collection of interviews of several trans men.

Kirithik shares with us his unique journey towards his identity as a man and some of the obstacles he had to overcome to assert himself in his genre.
Nandini presents to us parts of her long discussions with trans men, on their journeys, their lives, and their hopes.

Integrating all members of the society and allowing everyone to flourish is essential for living better together. Recognizing those who are invisible contributes greatly to this and allows us to strive for a better humanity.

Our podcast in this episode will focus on the role of an Educator in inspiring Young Minds with our guest Dr. Neeta Bali.

Dr Neeta Bali is a seasoned educator with over 38 years of experience in the field of education. Currently, she is the director-Principal, G.D. Goenka World School, Gurgaon- Sohna Road, Haryana, India. She is an eloquent speaker, Trainer and has been frequently invited to speak at various prominent educational conferences all over the country. She has spearheaded partnerships with some leading schools in Scotland – Oban High School and Wasatch Academy- Utah – USA. She has worked intensively with the British Council as a BCSA- British Council School Ambassador in promoting the spirit of international mindedness. She is the recipient of ‘Jean Lawrie International Grant ‘and award conferred on her by IASL in the year 2015 and ‘Inspiring Educator’s Award’ conferred by Rocksport and received from Dr Kiran Bedi as well as ‘Exemplary Educator’s Award ‘by Productivity Council of India in addition to the ‘Uttarakhand Rattan Award ‘conferred on her in 2015 by PPSA- Dehradun and ‘Future 50 leader shaping success’ conferred by University and Fortune India Magazine.

Our topic for today – Child Rights and Protection.

Our guests for this discussion are – Anson P D Alexander and Shoba Koshy.

Anson is the director and co-founder of Kanal Innovations, an NGO in Kerala, India that works exclusively for the empowerment of children. Their mission is to help children to inspire hope; ignite imagination and aspire dreams.

Shoba was the Chief Postmaster general, Kerala Postal Circle from 2009, till retirement in 2013. Post retirement, she was appointed Chairperson, the Kerala State Commission for Protection of Child Rights from March 2015 to March 2018. She was awarded the first Rani Laxmibai Award for excellence in Public Administration instituted by the Kerala Government in 2014.

Our topic for today – The Bitter Pill. In this episode we will discuss on the primary healthcare challenges for women in vulnerable sections of society.

Good health is first essential for survival and then for quality of life. Improvement in health status of the people has often been regarded as an index of social development. Reports also state that the health of a country’s female population has profound implications on the health and education of children. The economic well-being of households, as well as good health for the women themselves. 

Our guests for this discussion are – Monalisa Padhee and Shruthi Iyer.

Our topic for today – Acknowledging Ability. More specifically, we will be talking to our guests from The Xavier’s Resource Center for the visually challenged.

Vision is one of our five senses. Being able to see gives us tremendous access to learning about the world around us—people’s faces their expression, play of colours, how different things look like in the physical environments where we live and move, including approaching hazards or dangers in our path.

Blind people or people with visual impairment can be as effective as sighted people as they learn to use other senses and methods to learn, the learning that takes place via vision for others.

Despite being as effective as sighted people, they experience social exclusion. The people who cannot see beyond blindness are the biggest obstacle. 

Our guests today are Dr. Sam Taraporevala and Mr. Krishna Warrier, here to clear the haze by busting some myths and help us embrace new understanding of how to include blind people in our lives.

Our focus in this episode is Trials & Tribulations of Women in Media. Our two guests today are Harvinder Khetal an award-winning journalist working with The Tribune as Assistant Editor and Amarjot Kaur a Chandigarh-based journalist with nine years of experience in covering culture, sub-cultures, LGBTQ and gender issues, politics, protests, education, music and art.
Harvinder Khetal is an award-winning journalist working with The Tribune, Chandigarh, for over 29 years in progressively senior positions. At present, she is an Assistant Editor and part of the editorial team of the paper that looks after the edit and oped pages. Her main duties include writing editorials on the burning issues of the day. The topics range from health, environment, politics, gender and education, especially those concerning the regions of Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh. In the course of her nearly three decades of career, Harvinder has helmed and produced various editions of The Tribune. She has also reported news stories and written insightful articles and columns for The Tribune. One of her best moments was when she received the Prem Bhatia Fellowship for Young Journalist for her work concerning the Punjab farmers in the year 1998. Harvinder holds masters degrees in the subjects of English as well as Mass Communication from Panjab University, Chandigarh. Having qualified the UGC-NET test, she has also been a guest lecturer with the Mass Communication Department of the University.
Amarjot Kaur is a Chandigarh-based journalist with nine years of experience in covering culture, sub-cultures, LGBTQ and gender issues, politics, protests, education, music and art. A part-time singer and full-time feminist, Amarjot has, during the course of her work as a journalist, come across several instances where women have faced discrimination in a patriarchal setup. She dreams of a gender-fluid world where a person’s sex does not dictate their choices in life.

Our focus in this episode is Transgender and Family Reconstruction.

The term ‘transgender’ describes a person’s gender identity that does not necessarily match their assigned sex at birth. This word is also sometimes used as an umbrella term to describe groups of people who transcend conventional expectations of gender identity or expression.

Transgender people may or may not decide to alter their bodies hormonally and/ or surgically to match their gender identity.

Today, we have with us two eminent personalities Nila Ma and Jesulyn Divya with whom we will discuss their experiences and learn from them challenges and aha moments.

With Nila being a transwoman and with Jesulyn inequalities faced by the Trans people. Jesulyn is student of Alliance Française Madras, finalist of Eloquentia competition 2019 on “Inequalities in Transgender” speech.