Home > Programs > Nayi Dishayein Summer Schools 11th June
11 June, 2018
09.00 AM
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Nayi Dishayein Summer Schools

Deconstructing Development | Social Justice | Transformative Politics


‘Development’ is the defining agenda of our times. All that goes on in its name receives an uncritical nod from citizens as diverse as the ‘savvy metropolitan’ to the ‘struggling villager’. Political parties are increasingly using it as the most effective rhetoric to win elections. Meanwhile, as a country, we continue to grapple with issues of poverty, inequality, marginalisation and conflict. We fail to understand why this ‘development’, which is the promised solution, is not only not producing the desired effects but is also increasingly becoming problematic.

About the Summer School

Sambhaavnaa Institute has, for the last six years, been organising a participatory, reflective and experiential schools series, called Nayi Dishayein. In this program we work with young participants to

  1. Deconstruct and critically examine the notion of development
  2. Re-examine our belief systems, world-views and privileges around power structures of caste, gender, religion, class
  3. Assess possibilities of change through exposure to a range of contemporary interventions/initiatives/movements towards a just society

With these objectives in mind, Nayi Dishayein is designed to encourage the participants to examine the following questions:

  • What is the current notion of ‘Development’? How did this term evolve?
  • What are the gaps between what ‘development’ promises and what it delivers?  
  • What are the costs of ‘Development’? Who pays these costs? Who benefits from it?
  • What is the relationship between development and social problems?
  • What is the relevance of caste, gender, religion and class in contemporary India?
  • How do these realities affect us?
  • As an individual, are you free from prejudices and stereotyping on the above counts?
  • Are you able to see your privileges and under-privileges? Or do you believe that all you have achieved is because of your ‘merit’? Are you part of the problem?
  • What are some of the interventions people have experimented with to challenge existing oppressive social structures? How could one understand and assess them?
  • Can this assessment help us shape potential pathways for ourselves?

Some of the facilitators, resource persons and guest speakers for this year’s workshop include:

A) Guest Speakers:

Ajit Jha, was a Professor of Political Science at Delhi University and has been involved in political activism in the country for several years. He is one of the key members of the Swaraj Abhiyan.

Himanshu Kumar will be talking about Understanding the Nature of the State​. He is a social activist and human rights defender, and has been working with the tribals of Chattisgarh for the last 23 years, with dozens of cases filed in the supreme court for atrocities committed by security forces.

Janaki Srinivasan: teaches at The Department of Political Science, Punjab University, Chandigarh. Her areas of research interest are political theory, development studies and feminist studies. She works on development thought and the politics of social movements in contemporary India.

Kamla Bhasin, is a senior feminist who has been a part of Women’s Movement in India for over four decades. She is a founder member of many organisations like Jagori and Sangat working towards equality, justice and peace in the country

Nityanand Jayaraman, is a Chennai-based writer and social and environmental activist. He has been a part of several environmental movements and involved with the campaign for justice in Kodaikanal since 2001.​   He will be facilitating sessions on limits to growth and environmental action in India.

Prashant Bhushan is an Indian lawyer, activist and politician. He is noted for his use of public interest litigation (PIL) to support a number of causes related to corruption, environmental protection and human rights.

B) Facilitators:

Praveen Singh is into political education and believes that society today has two mutually reinforcing fundamental fault lines. One is at the level of our worldview: i.e., our beliefs regarding what is happiness/success/wellbeing/development/progress, and the other is our capitalist economic system.  He believes that any attempt to better society that does not simultaneously address both of these will woefully fall short.

Manshi Asher is an environmental activist. She  has been associated with Sambhaavnaa since 2011. For the last 18 years she has been working as an activist and researcher on issues of environmental justice in association with several organisations and campaigns.  She has been one of the co-travellers in the ‘Nayi Dishayein’ journey.

Mohammad Chappalwala and Shashank are part of the Sambhaavnaa team for the last 3 years.

Who is the program for?

If you are in the age group of 21-28 years, seeking answers to the above questions; or you are just figuring out how to frame the questions; or trying to understand the interconnections between different problems that you see around you, then join us at the Summer School, where we will collectively churn on these issues and attempt to open up a nayi dishayein in both our ways of thinking and living.


The medium of instruction will be primarily in English, and some Hindi.

Last date to apply for Program 1 is extended as we have 3 more seats

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

Program 1: Six week program ( Classroom + Field Internship) 21st May to 4th July 2018

Program 2: Twelve days program (Classroom only) 11th to 22nd June 2018

Program 1:  The Six week Program (Classroom + Field Internship) 21st May to 4th July 2018

This program aims to bring together theory and practice. The first part of the program is a 12 day classroom component that will focus on building a holistic and interconnected understanding of the issues facing our society today. The second part of this program involves field immersion for a month with some ongoing social change initiatives (in groups of 2-3). Participants will be sent to grassroots organisations across the country for a month and will return to Sambhaavnaa Institute for the third part of this program (for 4 days) to share their findings, learnings and experiences of the different kinds of efforts on different problems in different contexts across the country based on their internship.


  • Rs. 6000. This includes only the food and stay expenses during the two classroom components of the program at the Sambhaavnaa Institute.
  • 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

Twelve Days Program (Classroom only) 11th to 22nd June 2018

In this program, the theme will be explored using interactive lectures, theatre, group work, discussions, film screenings, collective reflection, and live experience sharing by activists.


Rs. 7500. This includes only food and stay expenses at Sambhaavnaa Institute.


Do not let money be an impediment to your applying. Need based fee waivers are available. Please ask for a fee waiver in the application form if you feel you need and deserve it.

Rolling admission deadlines accept applications until the programs fill up. However, there is a chance of losing your spot if the program fills up, so it’s best not to wait too long.

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 language, grammar or presentation efficacy. We are interested in your reflection and analysis of social realities. The presentation can be in any form that you prefer or like.

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 conditions their family lives in, and so on. Find out about his/her social background in terms of caste, region, class. Share with us your reflection on their life and working conditions and if and/or how it could be changed for the better? Share your reflections and observations in not more than 500 words.


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 conditions their family lives in 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 reflection on his/her life and working conditions and if and/or how it could be changed for the better? The write-up should not exceed 500 words.


Exercise 3: Visit a government school in your neighbourhood. Interview some students and teachers about their experience at school and get their views on the education system. 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 not more than 500 words.

Venue:  Sambhaavnaa Institute, Palampur, Himachal Pradesh

Contact: For more information please whats app 889 422 7954 or email: Nayi_Dishayein@sambhaavnaa.org

Please fill the Application form below to apply