Keynote Speakers 

Dr. Delia Pop

Born and educated in Romania, Delia is a medical doctor who has committed the last 17 years to working with children in the institutional care system and families at risk of separation.  She has transformed child protection and care systems at national and regional levels through developing a model of change and training materials to support global reform and providing technical assistance and training to government agencies, NGOs and other professionals in Europe and Africa.

Confirmed Speakers for 3rd BICON

Dr. Kiran Modi, Ph.D., Founder and Managing Trustee, Udayan Care, India

Dr. Kiran Modiis the Founder Managing Trustee of Udayan Care, which ensures Child Rights by providing nurturing family homes to orphaned and abandoned children; higher education to underprivileged girls; and the dignity of self reliance by livelihood trainings and employment opportunities to youth, and inculcates in them the desire to give back to society.

A doctorate in American Literature from IIT Delhi, Dr. Modi is a person of varied experience in several fields, including the media and has also been a founding member of several other trusts, working for the disadvantaged, including children’s theatre and health; as well the academic journal “Instituionalised Children: Explorations and Beyond”, a journal focused on alternative care of children out of home care. Advocating Child Rights, she has been responsible for organizing many trainings, consultations, national and international conferences on alternative care. She has also presented papers in international conferences.

Recipient of many prestigious awards, Dr. Kiran Modi continues to strive towards ensuring the rights of the underprivileged with the same zeal and passion as she started out decades back.

Dr. Tuhinul I. Khalil, Ph.D., Senior Research Fellow, Centre for Management & Development Research, Northern University, Bangladesh

Tuhinul Islam was awarded a Ph.D. for his thesis entitled ‘Residential Child Care: The Experiences of Young People in Bangladesh’ from the University of Edinburgh, UK. He also has an MA in International Child Welfare from the University of East Anglia, UK and an MBA in Human Resource Management. He has 20 years of teaching, research and practical experience in the fields of child care, protection, and welfare. He has published widely internationally and developed over 50 policy papers and guidelines on broader child protection and development issues.

Currently, he is a Senior Research Fellow at Northern University Bangladesh, leading its Children and Families Team, a Director of Education and Child Development Programmes for a national NGO in Bangladesh and a senior advisor for a children’s home catering for over 1200 indigenous children in Bangladesh. He is also a Member of the Board of Governors for the International Child and Youth Care Network

Dr. Monisha Nayar Akhtar, Ph.D., Psychotherapist & Psychoanalyst, USA

Monisha Nayar Akhtar obtained her Masters and Ph.D. in clinical psychology from Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan. Later, she trained at the Michigan Psychoanalytic Institute in adult and child/adolescent analysis. After practicing for over twenty years in Southfield, Michigan, she relocated to suburban Philadelphia and has a practice in psychoanalysis and psychoanalytic psychotherapy. Currently, she is affiliated with the Psychoanalytic Center of Philadelphia where she teaches courses on trauma, object relations and psychoanalytic process. In 2012, she established the Indian Institute of Psychotherapy, New Delhi to offer in-depth workshops on topics related to working therapeutically with children, adolescents and adults. Dr. Akhtar is on the faculty of the University of Pennsylvania, and supervises psychiatric residents and psychology interns. She is also an adjunct professor at Widener University in Chester, Pennsylvania and Immaculata University in Malvern, Pennsylvania.

passion as she started out decades back.

Dr. Deepak Gupta, M.D., Child & Adolescent Psychiatrist, India

Deepak Gupta is a Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist associated with Sir Ganga Ram Hospitals, New Delhi. He holds the privilege of being one of the few qualified Child and Adolescent psychiatrists in India. He is the founder of Centre for Child and Adolescent Wellbeing (CCAW), in New Delhi, which is an exclusive multi-specialty child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) centre for children, young people parents and families. Dr. Gupta is also associated with Udayan care since 2004 and heading the mental health programme, since 2008 he started ‘EHSAAS’, a group for psychologist and school counselors which has been creating mental health awareness among mental health professionals associated with schools in Delhi and NCR. He received ‘Distinguished Services Award’ on Doctors’ Day by Delhi Medical association in 2009, ‘President Appreciation Award’ by Delhi Medical association in 2010 and ‘Eminent Medical Person Award’ by Delhi Medical association in 2011. He is also one of the editors of the academic journal ‘Institutionalised Children : Explorations and Beyond’.

Dr. Alexandra M Harrison, M.D., Assistant Clinical Professor in Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School, USA

Alexandra Murray Harrison, M.D. is a Training and Supervising Analyst at the Boston Psychoanalytic Society and Institute in Adult and Child and Adolescent Psychoanalysis, an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry Part Time, Harvard Medical School, at the Cambridge Health Alliance, and on the Core Faculty of the Infant-Parent Mental Health Post Graduate Certificate Program at University of Massachusetts Boston. Dr. Harrison has maintained an active adult and child psychoanalytic and psychiatric private practice and is board certified in both adult and child psychiatry. She has a particular clinical interest in treating preschool children and consulting with their families, and treating children with autistic spectrum disorders. She has developed a parent consultation model and applied the model with numerous families. In the context of consultations with directors of orphanages in Central America and India and a nursing school in India, Dr. Harrison has developed a model for mental health care professionals to volunteer their services to child caregivers in developing countries that involves periodic visits and frequent skype consults in the context of a long-term relationship. She also offers consultation in her blog, supportingchildcaregivers.com. In addition to her clinical work, she has participated in research in various topics, primarily the process of change in psychotherapy and psychoanalysis. Dr. Harrison has collaborated with colleagues in infant research to develop a clinical model that integrates developmental theory and psychoanalytic theory and to apply the model to various clinical situations. She has co-authored a book on autism and published articles on numerous topics, including body image, play therapy, therapeutic change, and volunteer consultation in developing countries. Dr. Harrison has lectured extensively in the U.S., Europe, Asia, and South America.

Dr. Hiranthi Wijemanne, Fellow of the Sri Lanka College of Physicians, Advisor/Consultant on Children's Issues, Sri Lanka

Dr. Wijemanne, elected as a member of the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child. She Developed, planned and organized programmes for the UNICEF Office in Colombo, in collaboration with the Ministries of Health, Education, Child Development and Women’s Affairs, Justice, Labour, Provincial Administration, Planning and Finance. These included Maternal and Child Health, Primary Education, Early Childhood Development, Probation and Child Care, Child Labour, Children in Conflict with the law, and Children affected by the Armed Conflict. Undertook Consultancies for UNICEF in regional Offices in South Asia/Kathmandu, South East Asia/Bangkok, the middle East/Jordan and UNICEF New York. She has been a member of various national and international committees on child rights and protection. Recently she has functioned as Vice Chairperson of the CRC Committee from 2011 to 2015.

Dr. Sumedha Gupta Ariely, Ph.D., Psychologist, Duke Global Health Institute, USA

Sumedha Gupta Ariely serves as an Assistant Professor of the Practice in Global Health at Duke University. Dr Ariely holds a PhD in Psychology with a focus on cognitive development and culture. She has been active in applied and basic research and has international experience with global and public health issues in a variety of contexts. Ariely lived in West-Africa for two years during which she worked on maternal and child health care. As a developmental psychologist, Ariely is interested in the interrelations between cultural, social, and biological influences on health and in understanding protective and risk factors in children and families. Dr Ariely has a passion for teaching and mentoring, directs the DGHI student research training sites in India, Ghana and Uganda, and is involved in research examining the transition orphans and vulnerable children make from institutions to communities in Africa and Asia.

Ms. Helen Lenga, MAPS CCOUNP, Founder and Director of the Gong Shi Project

Helen Lenga is an Australian psychologist with over 30 years’ experience working in the field of trauma as a Psychotherapist, Trainer, Consultant and Supervisor. She is a clinical consultant with the Lighthouse Institute in Melbourne, Australia and spent 2013 and 2014 involved in trauma training of support services for the Royal Commission into Institutionalised Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. Helen is a lecturer and supervisor at Latrobe University Master of Counseling and Master of Art Therapy courses. She has a particular interest in the interaction of culture, trauma and attachment and regularly presents her work at Australian and International conferences. In September 2014 she presented in New Delhi, India at the Multi Stakeholders’ Consultation on Aftercare Services. She is the Founder and Director of the Gong Shi Project, an international training program for the mental health and wellbeing of adults, young people and children. She frequently travels to China and more recently India, to deliver training, conference presentations and consultations.

Janie Cravens, MSW LCSW

Janie Cravens, MSW LCSW, has over 30 years of experience working with children in the field of alternative care. Since the Miracle Foundation was founded in 2000, she has provided guidance to the organization in the areas of child development, attachment, caregiver training, mental health, and best practices in the care of the children.of adults, young people and children. She frequently travels to China and more recently India, to deliver training, conference presentations and consultations.

For more details, write to bicon@udayancare.org