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Our Staff

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Executive Head

CJ Sir
Dr. Chinnaraj Joseph Jaikumar
CEO
Dr. Chinnaraj has been with CEDAR ever since its inception in 1994. A Development Sociologist by training, his theory of change is anchored in developing alternative pedagogical methods and in creating ‘agency’ in the children of the marginalized communities. Behind him is long years of experience as an academician, administrator and policy maker. He was formerly the Principal of the American College, Madurai. He had served several committees of the University Grants Commission of India (UGC). He also served the Governing Council of the National Assessment and Accreditation Commission (NAAC) for three years. He is also an avid promoter of media training and education and founded Madurai Media and Film Studies Academy (MMFSA). He is also a documentary filmmaker.

Programme Management

rajadurai
Rajadurai
Manager, General Administration and Partner Relations
In his two decade-long career, Rajadurai has exposure to teaching and training, managing health care information system and managing CSR projects. He joined CEDAR in 2018 primarily taking care of partnership relations. He also takes care of monitoring and evaluation and the general administration. He has the responsibility of drawing up new proposals and mobilizing funds. He is ultimately responsible for managing the information system and social media communication. Rajadurai holds a Master’s degree in Computer Application.
michael
Michael Raj
Senior Field Coordinator (Kovilpatti)
Michael has been working with CEDAR ever since 2010. He started as a Field Assistant and has risen up to hold the position of Field Manager. Michael is a tireless community worker and has been responsible for setting up many of the CRCs in Ettayapuram Block. He also teaches parai the traditional drum, to children. He is primarily responsible for field-level monitoring of the CRCs. He holds a Bachelor Degree in Tamil Language and Literature.
ponkundram
Ponkundram
Coordinator, Children’s Programme
Ponkundram won the acclaim as the Excellent Student Photographer 2013-14 from the famous Vikatan Publications which media house, he joined as Press Photographer. Leaving Vikatan Ponkundram joined MMFSA/CEDAR team. He trained himself as a cinematographer and taught cinematography to media students. He is also a painter in his own right and his works have been well received in Chennai exhibitions. He is very keen to develop innovative alternative art pedagogy for children. Apart from being a creative lead, he takes care of the overall Coordination of the Children’s Resource Centres.
jayakumar
Jayakumar
Field Coordinator
Jeyakumar is basically a folk artiste with activist commitment. Behind him is more than 15 years of grassroots experience. Apart from being a Creative Lead in Folk Arts, Jeyakumar has responsibilities as Field Coordinator in CEDAR. He works in close coordination with the facilitators and parents of the children’s hubs. As a Master Trainer in Folk Arts, he has trained 70 volunteers in 3 districts and 500 children in schools before coming to CEDAR. He has been honored with Kalai Valarmani Award by Tamilnadu Government for the promotion of folk arts. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Rural Development Science.
marikannu
Marikannan
Field Coordinator (Kovilpatti)
Marikkannan’s association with CEDAR spans over a period of 20 years and goes back to his childhood days. He was an active member of CEDAR’s Children’s Collective as a child. Though he is assigned the job of field level assistance, he teaches children computer basics and dance. He is a member of ‘Forum for Child Rights Monitoring’ a state level platform for child protection since 2016. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Mathematics.

Creative Leads

ponkundram
Ponkundram
Creative Photography
Ponkundram won the acclaim as the Excellent Student Photographer 2013-14 from the famous Vikatan Publications which media house, he joined as Press Photographer. Leaving Vikatan Ponkundram joined MMFSA/CEDAR team. He trained himself as a cinematographer and taught cinematography to media students. He is also a painter in his own right and his works have been well received in Chennai exhibitions. He is very keen to develop innovative alternative art pedagogy for children. Apart from being a creative lead, he takes care of the overall Coordination of the Children’s Resource Centres.
basheerkhan
Basheer Khan
Children Making Children’s Film
Basheer along with Gunasekar, Haarish and Ponkudram was responsible for shaping CEDAR’s Alternative Art and Media Centre. Basheer specializes in ‘Children Making Children’s Film’ as an alternative media strategy and for as a capacity building for children for making personal and community video narratives and documentaries. He takes the lead role in the Social Documentary Making Project of CEDAR. Basheer shaped himself as a filmmaker very early that he received an award from the hands of K. Balachandar the legendary film director. He is also an experienced event manager. Basheer coordinates CEDAR’s Youth Training programme. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Visual Communication.
selvam
Selvam
Theatre
Selvam is a well known Theatre Artiste and trainer. He is one of the rare brand of theatre artiste who believes that theatre is for spearheading change. He is well received in many of the leading Tamilnadu schools as a teacher-trainer of theatre art. His contribution to the development of CRCs has been significant. He is also a registered artiste of the Department of Arts and Culture of the Government of Tamil Nadu. He holds a Diploma in Folk Arts.
nagaraj
Nagaraj
Theatre
Nagaraj joined CEDAR’s three-month training programme for youth coming from inner city deprived areas in the art and craft trade. Innately talented, Nagaraj quickly honed up his drawing and painting skills. Nagaraj had to fight many odds before he successfully completed his Bachelor’s Degree in Tamil Language and Literature. Recognising his passion to work with children and youth CEDAR appointed him as a Creative Lead.

Administration

muthupriya
Ms. Muthu Priya
Accounts Officer
Before joining CEDAR Muthu Priya had acquired more than 10 years work experience. Starting her career in an NGO, she later shifted to the corporate sector. Working for Aparajitha Corporation she worked in the areas of Labour Law and Financial Law Compliances. She joined CEDAR in 2019. She takes care of Accounts, Statutory Compliances and Office Administration.
thaveedhu
Thaveethu Raja
Office Assistant
One of the long serving employees of CEDAR, Thaveethu joined CEDAR in 2005. With multifaceted abilities and the right attitude for work Thaveethu runs that much required extra mile to run the office on a day to day basis. Coming from very trying circumstances Thaveethu had to fight many odds before he entered CEDAR, his second home. He is a matriculate.

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