Nayi Dishayein: Buniyaad ; A 2 month foundation course for activism and change

October 1 – December 7, 2014

The process of engagement in social change and transformative politics throws up numerous questions and contradictions. It is the engagement with these questions and concerns that gives depth to our efforts, helps creates new experiments and chart alternative paths. However, the hectic schedules of those involved in the efforts for social change, often prevent the depth of reflection that needed to incorporate their experiences. Buniyad is designed as a program for young social activists – who have been working on the ground for a year or two – to bring together theory and practice. On the one hand it would help them place their learning and experiences in a larger socio-political context; on the other hand it would look to providing an exposure to a wide range of perspectives and skills.
The socio-economic and political realities of our times are highly interconnected. Issues of development, livelihood, ecology, democracy, economy, education or human rights cannot be seen as independent of each other. Therefore, any effective socio political – intervention requires an understanding of these issues, as well their linkages to each other. And it is with this premise in mind that Sambhaavnaa Institute is organising a 2 month program, for young activists, to provide this wide-ranging exposure to lay the foundation for political and social activism.
The 2-month program would be divided into three parts. The first 3 – weeks would be spent at Sambhaavnaa Institute where a diverse faculty of social and political activists, academicians and practitioners would interact with the participants. The next 4 weeks would be spent by the participant in fieldwork working on an issue or in a geographical location different from their previous experiences. Participants would be sent to a diverse range of organisations. The last 2-weeks would be spent in Sambhaavnaa where we would attempt to integrate theoretical approaches to on – the – ground experiences. The varied inputs of the participants from a range of organisations and social initiatives will also help the group evolve a deeper understanding of different approaches to social change.


Economic Justice

· History of Industrialisation: Capitalism; Globalisation and Neoliberalisation
· Agriculture and rural economy
· Forest and Natural resources: Ecology, Environment and development
· Services, Infrastructure: Health, Education, Transportation
· Urban development issues

Social Justice

Caste, Communalism, Gender, Ethnicity and regional identities etc

Political Justice

Evolution of Indian Democracy .The Electoral System

Four Pillars of Democracy:

· Executive, Judiciary, Legislative and Media
· Deepening Democracy and Decentralisation
· State Repression

Fifth Pillar of Democracy: Civil Society, Movements and Citizens Initiatives; Different ideologies of Change – A Historical Perspective

Skill Building:

Use of Theatre and Art for Social Change

Organisation Building and Interpersonal Relationships

Raising resources and Sustenance of Livelihoods of Activists

Issues would be discussed through lectures, interactive sessions, film screenings, reading material and field visits. In addition, the program would attempt to provide the participants with skills that are essential for social activists such as documentation, using RTI, writing press releases, using media and social media, presentations and public speaking and campaign building. Field Study.

Program Fees: Rs. 13,500/- This includes : Your training cost, food and stay at Sambhaavnaa Institute. You have to take care of your travel expenditure to and from Sambhaavnaa and during your field visits.

Need-based financial assistance is available. Do not let your inability to pay, be the reason for not applying!( You can select options for full or partial fee waiver in the online application form.) In case you opt fee waiver, you have to give reference of a known social activist who knows about your work.

Eligibility: This program is intended for young activists who have preferably at least two years experience of working with a political organisation, social movement, sangathan or NGO; we would prefer participants with a minimum age of 25 years. However, there is no strict upper or lower age limit for applicants.
The course would mainly be conducted in Hindi.

How to Apply: The application form for the program is available on our website link:

The last date for receiving applications is 31st August 2014

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