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Nayi Dishayein Summer School on Re-Thinking Development by Sambhaavnaa Institute [May 25- June 4]: Register Now

Applications are invited for Nayi Dishayein Summer School on Re-Thinking Development by Sambhaavnaa Institute from 25 May to 4 June.

About the Program

The journey of post-colonial India from the Nehruvian socialist economy to the present ‘Atma-Nirbhar Bharat’ is one that needs to be understood within the paradigm of India as economic and political democracy.

The ‘development’ of independent India by revolutionizing agriculture, generating power, expanding transportation, and strengthening industries, led to the widening of the economic gap and reinforcement of the existing socio-cultural hierarchies. While resistance to the loot of natural resources and displacement of communities arose, the state also devised ways to crack down on such activities.

This brings to light questions on citizenship, customary rights of communities, and sustainability of natural resources. The pandemic has been another instance that the Indian state has used to extend control, instill fear, and dilute fundamental rights and environmental policies.

Sambhaavnaa institute has been organizing a participatory, reflective, and perspective-building program on ‘Rethinking Development’ called Nayi Dishayein that explores the history of development in India and understands the ways of its working and the factors in play.

In this program, we work with young people to:

  • Deconstruct, and critically examine, the notion of development – to understand it as a field of ideas.
  • Examine the root causes of growing inequality 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.
  • To 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.
  • To analyze and understand the impact of extractivist economy and growth-oriented economic system on climate and ecology.
  • Examine how the State and its institutions of policy-making and governance influence these power structures and vice versa.
  • Assess possibilities of transformation through people’s actions, through exposure to, and dialogue on, a range of initiatives/movements towards a more just society.

Workshop details

This program will be conducted in 3 parts: The applicants have to commit to all the 3 parts of the program as they get selected for the workshop. 

Part 1: The residential component of the program will be held at Sambhaavnaa Institute, Himachal Pradesh from 25th May to 4th June 2022. It aims to interweave theory and practice, focusing on building a varied and dynamic understanding of some of the pertinent issues facing our society today. Ideas are never context-less, so, this summer, we shall avail this opportunity to understand and help participants to question the dominant paradigms of governance, skills, and knowledge in the context of emerging socio-ecological realities of the country, with a focus on development and democracy.

The workshop will use an interactive and didactic approach to learning and will have a collaborative curriculum – themes, concepts, and case studies using the mediums of interactive discussions and conversations, field trips, theatre, film/documentary screenings, lectures, songs of resistance, and sharing of lived experiences by activists and scholars.

PART 2: The second part of the program consists of a month-long internship in June, after the completion of the workshop. The internship will be assigned based on a participant’s field of interest and geographical location. Sambhaavnaa Institute will arrange the internship with an institution within the field of social work or a movement space. The internship is primarily for the participant to engage with groups that work on the issues which will be discussed during the course of our program. (No financial support is available from Sambhaavnaa Institute for this component) These spaces usually take care of accommodation and food. The participants are expected to bear the cost of travel and food expenses during the course of the field-based internship. A certificate of experience will be given to the participant upon completion of the internship.

PART 3: Participants will return from their respective organizations/spaces of internship to Sambhaavnaa Institute for the third part of this program (for 5 days) to reflect on their learnings and experiences, based on their internship. This will also be a space for discussions to set a direction for the future.

Who is the program for?

This program is open to anyone in the age group of 21-28 years who is seeking engagement with the above deliberations, or someone that is figuring out how to frame the questions that you would want to ask yourself or trying to understand the interconnections between different issues that you see around yourself, especially in the wake of the pandemic. 

Contribution to the Program

We request participants to 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. 

Dates and Venue

25th May to 4th June 2022.

How to apply?

Please complete ONE from amongst the three FIELD EXERCISES detailed below, and then fill out the application form. The field exercise is compulsory for your application to be considered.  There are 2 methods to submit your exercise.  You can choose either of these:

Method 1:  You can make a brief video, looking into the camera, articulating your experiences, specifically as per the requirements of the exercise.  The video has to be at least 3 minutes long. You can share this video on WhatsApp with us – +91 889 422 7954 or

Method 2:  Write about your experience and learnings from the field exercise. We are interested in your reflections, interpretations, and analysis of ‘social realities’.  (Please note that we will not be assessing the exercise on the basis of language, grammar, or efficacy of presentation). Please write in no more than 500 words.

Exercise 1: Meet leaders/organizers of any protest/march that has happened over the last year in your area/that you have been part of and write a note about it. or

Exercise 2: Interview an informal worker in your area (peasant, domestic worker, migrant laborer, etc) and write a note about how they form a part of the development paradigm. or

Exercise 3: 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 of their family, and so on. Provide a description of the garbage trail and any insights you obtained from it. Share 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?

Click here to view the official notification of Nayi Dishayein Summer School on Re-Thinking Development.

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