About Us

Friday, 25th July, 1986 saw the birth of The Intercultural Women's Association now officially known as IWA. Founded by Nirmal Seshadri and Nancy Stempel (Wife of the American Consul General), IWA has grown from 7 founding members to a vibrant organization of almost 300 members from all over the world.


IWA is a multi-cultural organization whose objectives are to promote friendship and a greater understanding among women of different, faiths, cultures and countries. IWA provides a platform for the exchange of ideas and the celebration of diversity. IWA is a non-profit organization not actively engaged in fund raising.


The structure of IWA – with a ratio of 3 Indians to 1 non-Indian – gives a genuinely international flavour – a mixture of cultures and customs – a lively melting point!


The meetings are conducted under 8 different disciplines:




Meetings are addressed by well known artists and craftspeople, and by personalities who have made a mark locally – a look into their world of intricate artistry and amazing talent.


Some of the prominent artists who have addressed us are Pupul Jayakar, Thotta Tharani, S.H.Raza, Sharon Apparao, A.V. Ilango, Jayashree Kumar, Sabyasachi Mukherjee, Thejo Menon, Visalakshi Ramaswamy Seema Kohli, Rajshree Pathy.




Avid readers get together to discuss the book of the month. IWA has had the privilege of meeting many a famous author and poet over the years. Poetry and play readings are also presented.


Some of the prominent who have addressed us are William Darlymple, Vikram Seth, Amitav Ghosh, Dhritiman Chatterji, Tishani Doshi, Steve Borgia, Jeeva Raghunath, Alka Pande, Ranvir Shah, Kaveri Lalchand.




A popular activity amongst IWA members – the meetings have wafted in flavours from many lands. The spices of the various regions of India have mingled with the cuisine of the West and the mysteries of the Far East. All these and more have come together in IWA Cookbook, with recipes from our members.


Some of the prominent persons who have addressed us are Sanjeev Kapoor, Rashmi Udaysingh, Chandri Bhat, Revathy Shanmugam.




Topics of immediate interest and those that are of constant concern are analyzed by eminent speakers. From wars to water problems, from business ethics to better investment practices – experts in their fields enlighten members with their acumen and insight.


Some of the prominent artists who have addressed us are N. Ram, Vijay Amritraj, Kiran Bedi, Dr. Karan Singh, M.S. Swaminathan, P.Chidambaram, Ranjani Manian, Gopal Krishna Gandhi IAS , Sashi Kumar Menon, Devdutt Pattanaik, Shekar Dattatri.




Good health has become a prime concern with the present generation. Fitness tips and home remedies are made available. Talks on the arrest of environmental degradation and on health foods and diets and regular draws.


Some of the prominent persons who have addressed us are Dr. S. S. Badrinath, T V K Desikachari, M.V. Nirmal, Dr. Girinath & Dr. Mathew Kalrickal, Dr. B. Krishnarao, Dr. E.S. Krishnamoorthy, Sheela Rani Chunkath.




From Mohenjodaro to Mars – our members are treated to information on any place under the sun! Films and slide shows of locations and civilizations rarely seen are brought to IWA by historians and archaeologists. Annual tours to far flung and neighbouring places of historical and cultural interest are a popular activity. The annual Endowment lecture at the museum attracts a large, erudite audience.


Some of the prominent persons who have addressed us includes Professor Romila Thapar, A R Venkatachalapathy.




Artistes of international repute, several of whom are IWA members themselves, have over the years, been invited to perform or speak at our meetings. International Music Day on 1st October celebrates the memory of Founder President, Nirmal Sheshadri. A corpus fund has been set up and an upcoming young artiste in music or the performing arts is honoured each year.


Some of the prominent artists who have addressed us are Vaijayanthi Mala, Alarmelu Valli, Astad Deboo, Sonal Mansingh, Usha Uthup, Bharadwaj Rangan, Meenakshi Chittranjan, T.M.Krishna, Tara Kumaravelu, Sriram Parasuram, Aruna Sairam, Shobana, Priyadarshini Govind, Parvathy Baul, Kalaimamani Dr Padma Subrahmanyam, Kalaimamani Dr Sudha Ragunathan.




Members of many religious faiths meet and discover the differences and the essential sameness of their beliefs. Discussions on philosophical issues which contribute to the well being of the individual are very well attended programmes. The joy of Diwali, Christmas and Id are celebrated and shared.


Some of the prominent persons who have addressed us are the Dalai Lama, Prema Pandurang, Ms. Sunandaji, Dr. Subramaniam, Revathy Sankaran, Geetha Iyer.


The website was conceived, developed and launched by Nina Kothari (Indian President), Cherry Venkatesan (Non Indian President) and the Managing Committee of 2011-12.