The Chief Royal Patron of the festival is Her Majesty Ashi Dorji Wangmo Wangchuck. The Program directors are Namita Gokhale and Pramod Kumar KG; the festival is produced by Siyahi and presented by USHA.
USHA, an exciting and trusted brand in the small domestic appliances category, including electric fans and sewing machines, promotes literature, education, sports, art and culture as a basic thesis. Empowerment of women and youth across the subcontinent is well within its selected area of work; hence the Mountains Echoes Literary Festival initiative of the India – Bhutan Foundation is a perfect medium for cooperation to promote art and culture.
The Mountains Echoes Literary Festival captures the soul of Bhutan because of its forested and mountainous setting.
To listen to shared stories, memories, legends, truths from excellent writers and artists of the day is a great way to understand and celebrate Bhutanese and Indian culture. The empanelled persons will discuss many forms of storytelling (short stories, ghost stories, stand-up comedy and folktales), plays, popular fiction, travel writing, creative non-fiction and graphic art. Topics from fiction to sports, to democracy, to women’s issues and civil society, to digital rights, environment and wildlife will all be a part of the festival.
In this 4th year of the festival, are Amish Tripathi (author of the Shiva Trilogy), Dasho Kinley Dorji, (non-fiction writer), Dolma Roder (anthropologist, from the Regal Ogyen Choling family), Dr. Imeada Yoshiro (lecturer, Researcher, author), Dr Karma Phuntsho (teacher Buddhism and Bhutan Studies), Jerry Pinto (Author Journalist, Poet, Children’s stories), Kelly Dorji (actor, owns an Art Gallery in Bhutan), Lyonpo Om Pradhan (Bhutan’s Ambassador to Nepal, India, Author, Chairman Druk Holdings), Manju Wakhley (social entrepreneur), writing about her travels), Namita Bhandare (author, freelance journalist, editor), Namita Gokhale (author,publisher co-director of the Jaipur Lit Fest and Mountain Echoes), Rahul Bose (Actor -Hindi and alternate English Cinema, Rugby Player and founder of an anti-discrimination NGO ), Siok Sian Dorji (tells Bhutan’s stories through news and magazine articles, founder Bhutan Centre for Media and Democracy), Sudha Shah (biographer of Burma’s last King), Tarun Tejpal (journalist, publisher, novelist, Tehelka), and Tshering Tashi are the active and imaginative presenters and discussants. Please challenge them with your questions!
Expert Conservationist and knowledgeable wildlife enthusiasts writer Saad Bin Jung will be a star attraction ; playwright Mahesh Dattani, Indian graphic artist and creator of Kari, Amruta Patil, Andrea Caprez and Christopher Schuler the Swiss graphic artists whose works bring images to life, will all be making their offerings at this festival.
Malvika Singh (author, Associate Publisher Femina), Barkha Dutt (journalist, TV host, Editor NDTV), Bachi Karkaria (journalist, columnist, author), Mrinal Pande (author journalist, TV personality), Sathya Saran (journalist and biographer), Maria Rosa ‘Bing N. Carrion (author, publisher and book creator) – ladies with interesting but varied experiences, will speak about women in media. Lily Wangchhuk (politician, former diplomat, founder of Bhutan Cancer Society, author), Ani Choying Drolma (singer of hymns, author of Singing for Freedom), poets Kezang Uden Penjor, Sonam Choden Dorji and Aparna Sen (actor, filmmaker, script writer) come from completely different fields, yet they are global in their professions.
Princess Kesang Choden T. Wangchuk of Bhutan will bring her knowledge of art to the festival. Dr Lam Dorji (Royal Society for Protection of Nature, author), Jane De Suza (author), Kunzang Choden (Bhutanese Author), Kalyan Ray (theatre personality), Yongba (detective – fiction writer), Lyonpo Paljor Dorji (environmentalist, writer on Bhutan’s iconic species), and Sudha Shah will be panellists for this year’s festival.
The festival is honoured to host the photo exhibition by His Royal Highness Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuk.