Updated: Nov 19
Rathi Raja is the Executive Director of Young Indian Culture Group, in Long Island, for the past 28 years. She is also the resident teacher for high school youth and adults in exploring the traditional texts of Itihasas, Bhagavad Gita, Upanishads and Yoga Sutras. She brings her professional Wall street background in Systems Design to all aspects of her work, exploring contemporary tools to engage her students in self reflective insightful work.
She started Games for Seva nine years ago as a result of developed expertise in building innovative tools for teaching Vedic Heritage. Her classroom is known for dynamism, student engagement and collaborative communication. She launched ‘VediCon’ in 2015, an annual festival of games to showcase the learning tools developed for exploring Vedic Heritage. Over ten teachers in the YICG Vedic Heritage program are part of the Games for Seva Collective. In addition, the students are involved in all aspect of design, prototyping, marketing and branding. The ‘Wisdom Without Borders~Values Series’, a toolkit of games, was launched in 2017. The published games can be viewed at our Shop Portal. The flagship Eco-Dharma game 'Ganga~River Rescue' was successfully launched on Kickstarter in 2021, bringing a 5 year journey of design to a thrilling culmination.
She is a pioneer in developing these amazing tools to educate, entertain, and enlighten. The ability to retain a complex web of values, symbology, stories, and contemporary issues while furthering one’s role and purpose in society has been the broad vision at play. She is deeply engaged in designing games at the confluence of heritage wisdom, ecology, values, inspired to make an impact on the crisis of our era - Biodiversity loss, Ecosystem Restoration and Climate Change.
She believes that the modern era requires a much deeper effort to Communicate, Collaborate and Create with youth. This in turn leads to a stronger personal expression and confidence. The timeless wisdom of our heritage can be a source of inner growth, build core skills for living & working in this era and contribute to the community.
The Gita Vicara Leadership Program holds in its vision a complete commitment to developing the leaders of tomorrow by leading today. Inner Transformation workshops interwoven with continued Seva activities provides a view & way of life. The youth involved in game design and development are imbued with the spirit of Seva as they see a higher purpose in what they are doing. This spirit is priceless, enabling them to see the value of leading a life of contribution to society. The past few years she has run an enormously successful week long Game Design retreat with youth and adults at Arsha Vidya Gurukulam.
Rathi has been recognized in many forums, including receiving the New York State Woman of Distinction award. She has served as a distinguished panelist on the NYSCA Board. She has done extensive interfaith work and is called upon to share the Hindu perspectives in many forums. She has been featured in Newsday and New York Times. She was a key participant in Channel 21's 'Asian Indians in America' documentary. She has played a strong role on Long Island through her work with Long Island Traditions.
~Links / Websites
VediCon 2018 Photos: https://www.facebook.com/pg/gamesforseva/photos/?tab=album&album_id=2113419675558052
Game Design Retreat Photos: https://www.facebook.com/pg/gamesforseva/photos/?tab=album&album_id=2191587317741287
Young Indian Culture Group: