CSG Volunteers


Pravin Shakya
Pravin currently is the Administration & Students Co-ordinator and is the first point of contact as the co-ordinator for the Community Support Group (CSG). To support H.E. Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche’s vast vision, Pravin has been working at Deer Park Institute since 2008. He also serves as an executive member of the Khyentse Foundation –India Programme Committee. Pravin was nominated by Deer Park Institute to work in Cambodia for one year with the Khmer Youth Association (KYA) as part of the ‘Youth Exchange for Peace and Social Innovation’ exchange program. This exchange program was facilitated by the International Network of Engaged Buddhism (INEB-Thailand) and Fredkorpset Norway. Pravin is working actively towards the education of future generations of Indian Buddhist monks. With his encouragement, several young monks are studying at Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche’s Dzongsar Kanishka School, Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche’s Tergar Monastery in Bodhgaya, and Master Hsing Yun’s Fo Guang Shan Center. Pravin also serves as a Director for Buddha Catu Parisa Foundation.


Nikki Keefe
Nikki is a registered nurse with over 40 years of experience in the UK, Australia, and India. She specializes particularly in sexual health, women’s health, drug and alcohol, education and infectious disease. Nikki creates a safe space using a compassionate, non-violent communication style for people to explore and address personal issues. Nikki was born in the UK and has spent a large part of her life living in Australia and India. Nikki has been living in Bir on and off since 2005 and has a long association with Deer Park and Dzongsar Khyentse Choki Lodro Institutes, providing health care and education to the resident monks over the years. Nikki first met and started studying with Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche in 1997 and is an active committee member of Siddhartha’s Intent Australia. One of her roles is to help organize the teaching programs and retreats conducted there and provide organizational and personal support for the staff, instructors, and participants/retreatants as and when required.


Pallavi Deshmukh
Pallavi is an ex-Marketing Communications/Public Relations professional having worked for 14 years in PR Agencies and Corporates. In 2018, she quit her job and took the leap into the world of Creative Arts Therapy, and professionally trained in different modalities. Currently, Pallavi is a Creative Arts Therapy practitioner conducting workshops for groups and holding one-on-one sessions. In her practice, the key approaches she uses are Person-centred, Mindfulness, and Buddhist philosophy. She is a strong advocate of the expressive arts as an effective and creative medium in therapy for mental health and well-being. Her professional qualifications include: Diploma in Dance/Movement Therapy (offered in collaboration with Pune University, Creative Movement Therapy Association in India and Artsphere); Certification in Foundation of Therapeutic Value of Visual Arts; Certification in Psychodrama 101 (online, SMART Bengaluru); Certification in Theatre of the Oppressed (Level 1, Centre for Community Dialogue and Change); Certification in Digi-Akshara (month-long training programme for creating and facilitating e-learning spaces for people working with children with learning and special needs). She is currently pursuing the 2-year Advanced PG Diploma program in Mindfulness-based Psychotherapy from Just Being Center, Pune accredited by TISS (Mumbai). Besides, Pallavi has been studying Buddhist philosophy since 2018 under the guidance and tutelage of senior practitioners and Buddhist scholars, after having met her teacher, Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche, in the same year. Since 2019, Pallavi has worked with various populations across age groups (5 years to 80+ years) and settings including NGOs, old age homes, community centers, and semi-residential schools. She has also worked with differently-abled children facilitating arts-based interventions virtually for their holistic development and growth. During COVID, she led online workshops for academic and wellness centers, for cancer patients and caregivers, and children on the autism spectrum. She also held a series of
creative/expressive arts workshops in different formats of duration at Deer Park Institute.


For two-plus decades, Samir has actively engaged with 12-step recovery groups across locations. These are structured, not- for-profit programs designed to offer recovery from alcoholand substance abuse, dependency problems, or behavioural addictions. Established on a self-help, community support format, the recovery program helps build a sense of identity and self-worth, encourages social inclusion and building supportive relationships – thereby offering hope and a new way to live. Samir has been resident in Bir for the past five years, having exited the big city life. In a past avatar, he has worked with commercial organizations and subsequently as an entrepreneur offering graphic design and corporate
communication services. In the present, Samir prefers to pursue his interests – the design of interior spaces, photography, cooking, etc. and the ongoing quest to seek the true meaning of life.