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21 May, 2019
10:00 AM
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Nayi Dishayein Summer Schools

Rethinking ‘Development’: a space to think critically, explore the art of communication, listening, and dialogue, and evolve pathways for a gentler and more sensitive society

Background

Inequality is deeply entrenched in the sociocultural and economic fabric of our country today, and the gaps are widening at an alarming rate. In 2017, 1% of the population held 58% of the country’s total wealth, which was higher than the global figure of about 50%, and currently, the top 1% of the population holds 73% of the wealth. We understand this phenomenon as ‘growth’. Sometimes, either we equate growth with ‘development’, whereby the distinctions between growth and development get blurred, insidiously so, or at other times, the discussions remain fixated with the notion of economic growth.

As for ‘modern development’, we see it as a panacea to the issues related to poverty, inequality, unemployment, and marginalisation in our society. Many of us have come to see the moot concept of development in ‘fixed’ terms and as a natural societal progression which necessarily would be followed by, or accompanied with, a more aware and ‘educated’ society, relatively free of the multifaceted divisions that steer us in our face. But, the conditions of societies across the world today, wrought with conflict, discrimination and exploitation, is a grim reminder that those thought processes need to be problematized with a sense of urgency. These dominant narratives of development need to be punctured, and more ambiguity, chaos, and uncertainty needs to be introduced into these stories – the linear stories which are being fed to us left, right, and centre.

About the Summer School:

Sambhaavnaa Institute has for the last seven years been organising a participatory, reflective and perspective-building program on ‘Rethinking Development’ called Nayi Dishayein. In this program we work with young participants to:

  1. Deconstruct, i.e. critically examine, the notion of development. 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 distribution of wealth and resources, and its impacts on nature and people, in a society fractured along the lines of gender, caste, race, class, ethnicity, religion, sexuality, 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, through an 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 21-26 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 living.

Language: Primarily English, and some Hindi.

This call for applications is for two distinct programs. Please apply for any one.

  • Program 1: 6-week program (Campus + Field Internship), 21st May to 4th July, 2019
  • Program 2: 12-day program (Campus only), 17th to 28th June, 2019

Program 1:  6-week program (Campus + Field Internship), 21st May to 4th July, 2019

This program aims to interweave theory and practice. The first part of the program is a 10-day campus-based component that will focus on building a varied and dynamic understanding of some of the pertinent issues facing our society today. The second part of this program shall involve field immersion for a month with some ongoing social change initiatives (in groups of 2-3). Participants will be sent to grassroots organizations across the country for a month; and they will return to Sambhaavnaa Institute for the third part of this program (for 4 days) to reflect on their learnings and experiences, based on their internship.

Contribution for program 1:

  • Rs. 6000/- This includes only the food and stay expenses during the two classroom components of the program at the Sambhaavnaa Institute. Do not let money be an impediment to your desire to apply. Need-based fee waivers are available. We have a limited number of scholarships, so, please apply for a fee waiver if you really need it. Do remember that there may be others who need it more than you.
  • Participants are expected to bear the cost of travel and food expenses of the internship. (Lodging will be provided by the internship organization. No support is available from Sambhaavnaa Institute for this component.)

Program 2: 12-day program (Campus only), 17th to 28th June, 2019

In this program, the aforesaid themes would be explored utilizing some creative and imaginative methods of pedagogy at the campus of Sambhaavnaa Institute.

Contribution for program 2:

Rs. 7500/- This includes only food and stay expenses at Sambhaavnaa Institute. Once again, please do not let money be an impediment to your desire to apply. Need-based fee waivers are available. We have a limited number of scholarships, so, please apply for a fee waiver if you really need it. Do remember that there may be others who need it more than you.

How to apply?

Please complete one from amongst the three FIELD EXERCISES detailed below, and then fill the application form. The field exercise is compulsory for your application to be considered. Please note that we will not be assessing the exercise on the basis of language, grammar or efficacy of presentation. We are interested in your reflections, interpretations, and analysis of ‘social realities’. 

Exercise 1: Locate one person in your neighbourhood who is an ‘unorganised sector’ worker, and speak with them about his/her life, the nature of his/her work, wages, family, who else earns in their family, the living conditions of their family, and so on. Find out about his/her background in terms of caste, region, class and other sociocultural markers. Share with us your reflection on their life and working conditions, and if and/or how it could be changed for the better in your opinion? (Write in about 500 words.)

OR

Exercise 2: Follow the garbage trail from your place of residence, to the final place that it rests. Locate one person in the life-cycle who manages your garbage, and speak to them about the nature of their work, their wages, their family and who else earns in their family, the living conditions their family and so on. Provide a description of the garbage trail and any insights you obtained from it. Write about the garbage worker as well as your reflections on his/her life and working conditions, and if and/or how it could be changed for the better? Share your reflections and observations in about 500 words.

OR

Exercise 3: Visit a government school in your neighbourhood. Interview some students and teachers about their experiences at school, and get their views on the current education system in the country. Observe the working conditions, the general infrastructure, and the general atmosphere in the school. Do a comparison with the kind of school you attended. What do you think ails ‘education’ today and what could be done to change things around? Share your reflections and observations in about 500 words.

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.)