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Nayi Dishayein Summer Schools

Event Start Date:
21st May 2019
Event End Date:
28th June 2019
Event Venue:
Palampur, Himachal Pradesh


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





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