Sayahna Sayahna

Who's Who

Sayahna Foundation is a nonprofit advocacy organization with a mission to accelerate progress in science and technologies by leading a transformation in research communication, propagate free/open source software based advanced document engineering, promote sustainable living, undertake documentary digitization initiatives, etc.  The Foundation is run by the following volunteers:

Active Volunteers

  • Ashraf Mohammed Ashraf Mohamed was born in 1962 in Chavakkad, Thrissur of Kerala state. He completed his graduate studies in Economics at Kerala Varma College, Thrissur. He served the Treasury Department of Government of Kerala as an accountant for a decade, then he migrated to Qatar and worked as a procurement officer in a fertilizer company which he continued till 2016. He was actively involved in the pre-press production work of Encyclopedia of Dravidian Linguistics as a proof reader. He is a freelance illustrator and cartoonist. The cartoons in the famed Rachana brochure were drawn by Ashraf. He is responsible for the illustrations for the works published by Sayahna.
  • Anupa Ann Joseph is an engineer by training, she had a brief stint with the International Center for Free and Open Source Software, Trivandrum. As a free software activist, she liaised with the student folks in the technology institutions to bring out the women folk to the core areas of computing in free software. She is one of the two leading typesetters at Sayahna through whom the pdfs take shape every day. She takes care of the daily deliveries in social media groups along with Jamuna. When needed, she assumes the role of the key resource person to train interns in LaTeX and Ithal.
  • Aravind Rajendran is a network engineer by training and had a decade long experience in the communication industry in India and uk. Lately, he developed an interest in law, particularly intellectual property law and is currently in the final semester of his graduate course in law. Along with it, he is actively associated with Sayahna's open access publishing efforts. As a technologist, he takes care of the various servers of Sayahna in India in tandem with Hàn Thê Thành in Germany. Owing to his in-depth knowledge of intellectual property rights, he scrutinizes the consent assignment documents and evaluates various copyright assignments of works presented for publication at Sayahna.
  • Ashok Kumar PK is a typesetter by profession and training, has four decades of extensive experience in typesetting right from the age of metal typefaces through digitized typesetting including TeX and LaTeX. Free content activist and principal tester for fonts developed by Rachana Institute of Typography, played a major role in the migration of production of Janayugom daily using free software. He is also one of the founders and early players of the palliative movement in India. Ashok oversees the daily production, schedules deliveries and liaises with authors.
  • Hàn Thê Thành has a strong background in typesetting and typography. He wrote pdfTeX, a popular typesetting program among academic authors, and also used to do large xml-based typesetting projects, e.g., Bible. He released pdfTeX as free software in the nineties which is the default compiler in all standard TeX distributions. The popularity of pdfTeX is such that someone at somewhere in the world might be using it at any point in time of the day. For more details see this Wikipedia link. Thành holds an M.Sc. and a Ph.D. in Computer Science from Masaryk University, Brno, Czech Republic. In fact, pdfTeX is part of his doctoral work. He is part of Trivic s.r.o., a software development company with headquarters in Czech Republic. Thành is the key technology resource for all the TeX requirements of Sayahna apart from the maintenance of all our servers in Germany.
  • Hussain KH is a Library and information scientist by training (he holds a doctoral degree in the discipline) and profession, font designer and developer of several fonts including, Rachana, Meera, Meera Inimai, TN Joy, RSugathan, Janayugom, Keraleeyam, Uroob, etc., free software activist, released all fonts under Open Font License. Played an important role in the migration of Janayugom daily to free software based production technologies. He is also one of the founders of Rachana Institute of Typography.
Apart from the development of several families of fonts, a few other items of contribution deserve mentioning. He is the founding leader of Rachana Aksharavedi, one of the earliest technology movements in India. The glyph naming method followed in truetype and opentype fonts in Malayalam is his invention. He developed the Kerala Index, the comprehensive catalogue of books in the University Library, Trivandrum. He is one of the key resource persons in Sayahna for font development and maintenance, standardization of usage of Malayalam and unified style book for the language.
  • Jan Vanĕk has a masters degree in Computer Science from Masaryk University, Brno, Czech Republic (1991–1996). He started his software development career in 1998, first in Prague mostly in C++. In 2002, he moved to Mannheim, Germany to work for a company, dcw GmbH, as a Java developer where he continued till the company was sold to sap ag in 2007. Afterwards, Jan Vanĕk remotely worked for the London based Origin Technologies Ltd., developing embedded software in C++ (e.g., Pogo Alert+) for three years. Since 2010, he worked for Mannheim based Libra GmbH as a Java developer till 2019 April, afterwards, he set up his own technology company, Trivic s.r.o., along with Hàn Thê Thành.
Regardless of the programming language and environment, he tries to produce quality code particularly in large projects where the complexity (mess and wastage) can be enormous. He believes that by providing the right sub-structure, like component framework, and shifting to proper practice, we can tame the complexity factor. He prefers statically and strongly typed languages like Scala, Kotlin and Java. He is the key architect and developer of authoring and text processing software that supports complex input, Unicode, and many languages including Malayalam to empower the authoring community. The software will become part of Ithal shortly.
  • Prof. Lissy Mathew is the sole academic person in the core team of Sayahna. She holds masters and doctoral degrees in Malayalam language and literature, currently serves as the head of the Department of Malayalam in Sri Sankaracharya Sanskrit University, Kaladi, Kerala. She is the author of many books and research articles, guided several researchers leading to the award of doctoral degrees, organized seminars, participated in many international and national conferences, undertaken funded research projects. Her assumption as the head of the Malayalam department has resulted in newfound enthusiasm in digitization efforts, migration of text processing from stone age software to Unicode based systems, collaboration with publishing industry to impart newest technologies to the students of publishing oriented specialized courses, etc. Prof. Lissy Mathew is the principal gateway of Sayahna to the domain of academic world and she takes up the role of principal coordinator of the standardization of Malayalam language usage and creation of unified style book for the language.
  • Rajagopal CV is a free software activist and Java programmer, one of the founders of the Free Software Foundation of India and Indian TeX Users Group. He conceived, designed and developed TeXFolio, the complete journal production system, ithal, the text-processing and formatting framework for Malayalam language documents and Neptune, the online proofing framework for LaTeX authors of academic articles, all running in the cloud. He is also one of the founders of Sayahna Foundation.
  • Rajesh TS is a graphics editor by training and profession. Has an intrinsic and strong interest for environmental protection. His passionate work on the conservation of biodiversity in the River Valley campus in Malayinkeezh, Trivandrum led to the the special jury award of the Biodiversity Board of Government of Kerala in 2019. He leads the graphics processing team at Sayahna.
  • Rajeesh KV holds Master's degree in Computer Applications from [ nit Calicut} after obtaining B.Sc. in Computer Science with first rank. He worked in the it industry for a decade, mostly with ibm, as an Entreprise software architect. He worked in the pharmaceutical industry and served for his client as the development manager for Europe-Middle East-Africa regions. In 2017, he founded TeXByte Solutions — an it company focusing on enterprise applications, typesetting and open source --- and serves as its cto presently.
Rajeesh is an active contributor to Free/Libre software movement. He contributes to the Fedora and CentOS projects since 2008, a core kde developer since 2011, and font maintainer and language technology developer to Swathanthra Malayalam Computing since 2008. He has keen interest in typography and development of typefaces, and is one of the founders of Rachana Institute of Typography. He is an expert in Unicode and [htts:// OpenType] engineering for Indic fonts.
Rajeesh was part of the Indic testing team for HarfBuzz, the core software that shapes Indian languages correctly in Linux and Android (and now in Adobe software). He has mentored students for the Google Summer of Code programme. Rajeesh is also a regular contributor to many well-known free/libre software including Qt, gnome, vlc, Odoo, Fontforge, sile, con{TeX}}t, Okular etc. Rajeesh is one of the key resource persons in Sayahna for font engineering and maintenance, Unicode and language technologies and other general technological matters.
  • Resmi Revindran is an engineer by training, Resmi Revindran had a brief stint as a programmer in a technology company in Chennai, then as an executive in the State Bank of India for eight years. Currently actively involved in the content management at Sayahna. The choice and selection of cover images are the responsibility of Resmi. She is also a voracious reader and assists in the editorial process apart from managing and moderating one of the many social media groups of Sayahna.
  • Rishi has been working for the last 25 years in the technology division of stmdocs, a text processing company that provides pre-press services to international science, technology and medical content publishers. He has been instrumental in the design and implementation of various kinds of workflows to meet the requirements of various global clients which includes world's biggest academic publisher, Elsevier. He is also one of the key persons behind the painless implementation of work from home migration process as a consequence of the lock down without loss of schedules of the clients and dislocation for the staffers. He is associated with Sayahna in design and implementation of the workflows needed for the entry, proofing, copy editing, typesetting, quality control, delivery, archival of content at Sayahna.
  • Shamsuddeen is a native of Chavakkad, Thrissur district of Kerala. After his university education, he served the Agriculture Department of the Government of Kerala and then migrated to Qatar. He spent a quarter century working in the Ministry of Culture, Arts and Heritage of Qatar government. He has organized several film and music festivals in Doha, and also written coffee table books for the Foreign Affairs Ministry of Qatar. He is a founding member of the trust set up in memory of Vaikom Mohamed Basheer in Doha. Shamsuddeen has read extensively and is entrusted with organizing the digital rental and borrowing service by coordinating the thousands of village libraries sprinkled across the state of Kerala.
  • Sreedevi SA worked for 16 years in the proof-reading and editorial division of stmdocs, a company which is providing pre-press services to the international science, technology and medical journal and book publishers. She is now an active volunteer of Sayahna. Sreedevi manages our proofing volunteers, their training, quality checks, manages turn around times of proofing, copy edits data, supervises interns for copy editing and proofing from Universities. She is a graduate in Botany and Law and has Master's degree in Business Administration. She also holds a diploma in Computer Application.
  • Sujith KB A veteran armed forces service person, he got discharged after 18 years of service in the Indian army. Electrical technologist by training, Sujith is an all rounder with a lot of skills --- typesetter of complex text (he formatted \emph{Yuktibhasha}), skillfully scans text, administers our computer network, manages the volunteers engaged in data entry, maintains the electronic registries of documents in various formats of data (both text and binary) with special emphasis to scans of original manuscripts of authors and their physical upkeep. Needless to say that he is a skilled maintainer of our various electrical systems.

Inactive volunteers

  1. GS Krishna: JWRA 36, Jagathy, Trivandrum 695014. Film maker by training, free content activist. (inactive)
  2. Sundar Ramanatha Iyer, Baker Land, Kaladi, Trivandrum. Researcher, short story writer, critic and free content activist. (passed away)
  3. PN Vijayan, Kochi. Free content activist. (inactive)
  4. PN Venugopal, xxviii/2859, ‘Vasudha’, Vikas Nagar, Kochi 682020. Translator, freelance journalist, critic and free content activist. (inactive)
  5. AM Shanmugam: VTRA 48, Killippalam, Trivandrum 695009. Trained in TeX, XML and related technologies. Publishing specialist and project manager. (inactive)
  6. Mahesh Chelen: KRA 1, T.C. 53/2493, Nemom, Trivandrum 695020. Engineer by training, systems engineer. (inactive)
  7. V Apu: Manalil Veedu, Valiathura, Vallakkadavo PO, Trivandrum 695008. Engineer by training. TeX programmer. (inactive)
  8. K Brahmanayagam: Chartered Accountant by training and profession. (inactive)