Nayi Dishayein: Spring School on Rethinking ‘Development’ a space to think critically, to listen, to have a dialogue, and evolve pathways for a gentler and more sensitive society

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Inequality and injustice are deeply entrenched in the socio-cultural and economic fabric of our country today, and the economic gaps, in particular, are widening at an alarming rate.

In 2017, 1% of the population held 58% of the country’s total wealth, and currently, the top 1% of the population holds 73% of the country’s wealth, is this what we call growth? Sometimes, either we equate growth with ‘development’, in which the distinctions between growth and development get blurred, or at other times, the discussions remain fixated with the notion of economic growth and progress.

As for ‘modern development’, we tend to see it as a panacea to the issues related to poverty, inequality, injustice, unemployment, and marginalization in our society.   But, the conditions of societies across the world today, wrought with conflict, discrimination, and exploitation, is a grim reminder that these thought processes need to be changed with a sense of urgency.

About the School:

Sambhaavnaa Institute has for the last eight years been organising a participatory, reflective and perspective-building program on ‘Rethinking Development’ called Nayi Dishayein. This program aims to interweave theory and practice, focusing on building a varied and dynamic understanding of some of the pertinent issues facing our society today. In this program, we work with young participants to:

  1. Deconstruct, and critically examine, the notion of development – to understand it as a field of ideas. We shall converse with a plethora of narratives and discourses surrounding this notion, and the ways in which they are constructed.
  2. Examine the root causes of growing inequity in the distribution of wealth and resources and opportunities, and its impacts on nature and people, in a society fractured along the lines of gender, caste, race, class, ethnicity, religion, sexuality, knowledge, and language.
  3. To stretch our imaginations, and re-examine and challenge our beliefs, views, convictions, and privileges resulting from the enduring power structures that stem from the social markers of caste, gender, religion, and class; and how they are linked with the notion(s) of development.
  4. Examine how the State and its institutions of policy-making and governance influence these power structures and vice versa.
  5. Assess possibilities of transformation through people’s actions, exposure to, and dialogue on, a range of initiatives/movements towards a more just society.

The themes of the program are explored using interactive lectures, group work and group discussions, cinema, theatre of the oppressed, songs of resistance, fieldwork, self-reflections, and importantly, sharing of lived experiences by activists.

Who is the program for?

If you are in the age group of 21-28 years and seeking an engagement with the above deliberations, or you are just figuring out how to frame the questions you would want to ask yourself or trying to understand the interconnections between different issues that you see around yourself, then please join us for an intensive collective churning on them – to open up ‘nayi dishayein’ in both your thinking and … hopefully, living.

Resources Persons: Some of the resource persons who have been part of earlier programs are Prashant Bhushan, Praveen Singh, Bezwada Wilson, Manshi Asher, Dunu Roy, Kamla Bhasin, Bhanwar Meghwanshi, Janaki Srinivasan, Dhiren Borisa, Nawal Watali, Vikramaditya, Himanshu Kumar, Mir Suhail.   The final list will be updated here as we get confirmations.

Language: English, and some Hindi.

Contribution for the Program: We hope that participants would contribute an amount of Rs. 8500 / – towards workshop expenses, inclusive of all onsite workshop costs: boarding, lodging, and all the materials used in the workshop. Need-based partial waivers are available; we have a very limited number of partial waivers, so, please apply for a waiver only if you really need it. Please do remember that there may be others who need it more than you.

Dates and Venue: 21st to 30th April, 2021, Sambhaavnaa Institute, VPO – Kandbari, Tehsil – Palampur, District – Kangra, PIN 176061, Himachal Pradesh

Contact: For more information please Whatsapp or call Shashank – 889 422 7954 or email: [email protected]

Getting to Sambhaavnaa – Please visit: Getting here

Please fill the application form below:

(There is a sincere request we have to make. If you fill the form and get a confirmation from our side for your participation, please do not make cancellations at the last moment, unless there are unforeseen circumstances. So, while filling the form, please try to make sure you do not have anything else planned in advance for the dates of the workshop. It takes some time to process the forms and begin our preparations for the workshop. If you back out after the confirmation, it sends our preparations for a toss, in addition to the time and effort we are expending. Also, many other people who are eager to attend miss out on the opportunity. We shall really appreciate your consideration; and hope you understand the need for such a request.)


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