Social Artist & Founder, VOYCE
Anika is a social artist at heart who believes in the power of art and creativity to make social change. She has over 15 years of experience, including 6 years with the World Health Organization both at the Regional Office for South-East Asia and the WHO Country Office for India; and 4+ years in Australia. During her work at WHO, she developed and implemented engaging health promotion campaigns that led to positive behaviour change. She has directed over 30 advocacy productions including animation videos, musicals and documentaries.
Prior to WHO, she worked in Australia mostly in the skills development and disability employment services network, assisting the disadvantaged community through employment, support services, community engagement and customized training programmes.
She has worked at the grassroots level in rural India and has held senior management positions both in India and Australia including as a Board of Director, Sydney Drug Education and Counselling Centre; and Member, Executive Committee, Vivekananda Sevakendra-O-Sishu Uddyan (VSSU), a grass-root level organization giving micro-finance services and skills development training to self-help groups in rural West Bengal, India. Her community service journey began at age 14, and at age-17 she was selected out of 150,000 applicants to be the youth voice of India at the World Youth Congress in Hawaii, to establish young people’s priorities for the new millennium. 8 of the 10 priorities listed by the young delegates were included by the UN among their Millennium Development Goals. She has been dedicatedly making a difference in communities around her ever since and has been recognized nationally and internationally for her leadership in the community engagement work, including by the former Prime Ministers
Honourable Mr I.K Gujral and Mr Deve Gowda, and former President of India Honourable Dr Abdul Kalam.
Anika has a deep passion for empowering communities, and over the years she has specialized in communication, advocacy, partnership-building, community strategy development, management of outreach programmes, event planning, training, creative facilitation, content writing, and filmmaking.
More specifically, through her work in the public health sector, she realized that we have a lot of knowledge today but packaging that to inspire people to change requires a radical and a fresh approach in health promotion and social change messaging. Having realized her calling to contribute to people’s physical and mental well-being, Anika decided that the tools she wants to use for her messaging are: creativity and the arts. From this vision, her organization, VOYCE, was born, committed to empowering through various forms of arts. She wants to create a new language for happier and healthier lives through the voice of VOYCE.
Currently, Anika and the team are supporting efforts during the times of COVID-19. They have directed, illustrated and animated videos on COVID-19 and mental health. Anika is also part of the Parliamentarians and Innovators network India (PII) Action group to fight Covid-19, that connects Innovators with parliamentarians, public policy experts, subject matter specialists, and business leaders, to support ideas that can make a difference during this crisis. Anika is also an active part of the Australia India Youth Dialogue (AIYD). She loves to travel, photograph, bake, write human stories and poetry.