SKV Governing Council

Somaiya Kala Vidya's Governing Body includes Samir S Somaiya (Chairman), Amrita S Somaiya, Anjana Somany, Lokesh Ghai, Miten Sachde, Irfan Anwar Khatri, Lt. Gen. Jagbir Singh and Judy Frater.

Master Artisan Advisors

  • Alimahamad Isha Khatri - Bandhani artist, Bhuj
  • Gulam Hussain Umar Khatri - Bandhani artist, Bhuj
  • Dr. Ismail Mohmed Khatri - Block printer, Ajrakhpur
  • Shamji Vishramji Siju - Weaver, Bhujodi
  • Umar Faruk Khatri - Bandhani artist, Bhadli

Somaiya Kala Vidya has mindfully selected experienced, creative team members who insure that artisans enjoy excellent quality, effective education.


SKV courses are taught by visiting faculty. This allows students to enjoy the highest quality education, from a range of sources and perspectives. Faculty develop syllabi based on the curriculum. The creative engagement insures a mutually fulfilling experience.

In 2014, our BMA Founding visiting faculty included:

Rakesh Sah - Design Consultant and Educator

Shweta Dhariwal - Founder and Creative Head
Whitewater Designs, Ahmedabad

Hitesh Bhatt - Professor, Institute of Rural Management
Anand, Gujarat

Carmina Fernandez - Textile designer, Founder
Artesania, Ahmedabad

Alay Vasavada - Freelance tutor in Finance

Jhankhana Vyas - Freelance tutor in Finance

Shwetha Shettar - Design consultant
Studio Satori Consultancy, Bangalore

Mohit Charnalia - Co-founder and Managing Partner
MandiBridge Microventure Partners, Mumbai

Lokesh Ghai - Artist, Designer, Researcher and Educator

Sandeep Issrani - English and Computer Faculty
Adipur, Kutch

In 2015, our Design Founding visiting faculty included:

Bishakha Shome - Design Educator, Researcher, Social Entrepreneur

Usha Prajapati - Designer, Social Entrepreneur

Jaspal Kalra - Research Fellow, Educator, Design Consultant: Fashion & Crafts

Anuja Goel - Designer, Educator

Lokesh Ghai - Artist, Designer, Researcher and Educator

Shwetha Shettar - Design consultant at Studio Satori Consultancy

Deepti Thomas - English and Computer Faculty
Adipur, Kutch

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Judy Frater, Co-founder

Judy Frater co-founded Kala Raksha in 1993, and acted as the Founder Director till 2013. She then co-founded Somaiya Kala Vidya in 2014 and was the Founder Director till April 2020. She was awarded an Ashoka Fellowship for social entrepreneurship in 2003 for her work on Kala Raksha that later became Kala Raksha Vidhyalaya. In 2009, Judy received the Sir Misha Black Medal for Distinguished Services to Design Education in 2009, the Crafts Council of India Kamla award in 2010 and the George B. Walter’36 Service to Society Award from Lawrence University in 2014. Judy is the author of Threads of Identity: Embroidery and Adornment of the Nomadic Rabaris. She holds a BA in Anthropology/Education from Lawrence University, an MA in South Asia, Marathi Language from University of Minnesota and another MA in Anthropology, Museology from University of Washington. After graduating, she worked as Associate Curator for The Textile Museum, Washington D.C.

Judy holds 45 years of experience and research in Indian cultures, arts, textiles and museum curating and development.

Lakha Rabari, Office Manager

Lakhabhai Rabari has been with SKV since its inception in 2014 as the Office Manager. He worked as the Office Manager with Kala Raksha Vidhyalaya from 2006 to 2013 and Karani Papers, Mumbai from 1991 to 2006 and godown-in-charge for Shah Mulji Lakamsi and Co between 1988 to 1991.

Nishit Sangomla, Director

Nishit Sangomla did his bachelor’s in chemical engineering from NIT Trichy, post which he worked in Reliance Industries Limited as a Manager (GET) in HSE department. Curiosity and the news around the current situation at the grassroots made him shift to the development sector. At first as an SBI Youth for India Fellow and then as a Program Manager he worked with Hatheli Sansthan (Tilonia Bazaar) – Barefoot College. Post which he was part of a course on politics of public policy as part of another fellowship program. He took up an active role as a consultant in Himalayan Blooms – an NGO working with the craft communities in Uttarakhand in 2017 and is still a part of the NGO. For the next year, he worked on multiple projects in Ladakh the first one on carpet weaving and another on access to water (Currently running) as part of the Naropa Fellowship. He co-founded Navikarana a Trust to work for environment and water conversation in 2019. Since December 2019 he has joined as the Director – Somaiya Kala Vidya.

Avantika Gandhi, Program Coordinator

An alumnus of Indian Institute of Crafts and Design, Avantika Gandhi has gained experience in the field of Craft Design and worked passionately towards artisan upliftment. Avantika has been a part of SBI Youth For India Fellowship 2019-20 and was working closely with the community in Vandiperiyar, Kerala. She worked on a skill development project for the intellectually differentiated people in Vandiperiyar and closely worked with the special school’s management during the tenure of her project. Her belief has always lied in uplifting the craft community and bringing back the value and respect that craftsmen used to receive before and with the same belief she joined SKV in November 2020.

Khatri Muskan M. Arif, Resident faculty

Muskan comes from a family of established Bandhani artisans and businesspeople. She completed her Senior Secondary schooling from Bhuj English school. She then went on to take the Design Education course at SKV as a part of our 2018 class. She won the Faculty award for best student. The owner of her own brand now, Muskan joined SKV as a resident faculty for the women’s class in 2020.

Mukhtar Jakriya Khatri, Permanent Resident Faculty

Mukhtar belongs to a family of national award-winning Bandhani artisans. Formally educated up to 9th grade, Mukhtar took up family traditions and learnt Bandhani making and it’s business aspects. He then took the Design Education course at SKV in 2017.

He joined SKV as a permanent resident faculty for the men’s class in the year 2018.

Rama Rabari, Driver

Ramabhai joined us in 2019 as a driver and helps the office with operations.

Shantaben Charan and Hiraben Charan, Cooking staff

Shantaben and Hiraben have been with us for the past 6 years, since the beginning of the school as permanent cooking staff. Lovingly known as ‘Masi’ by our students and staff.


Somaiya Kala Vidya has enjoyed support in many forms from around the world as it builds the institution. Meet some of our partners:

Academic Exchanges
Institute of Rural Management Anand
Kansas State University, USA
The Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda
Pearl Academy, Delhi
Somaiya Vidyavihar, Mumbai
Swinburne University, Australia
Queensland University of Technology, Australia

Financial and Marketing Support
Good Earth
Rajendra Salt Works
Sohanlal Charitable Trust
Story of Travel

Other Support
Artisans' Gallery
Ashoka Innovators for the Public
Catalytic Think Tank Forum 
Chamundeshwari Handloom Cooperative Society
Craft Council of India
Mango Tree
Sir Misha Black Awards
The Sangam Project