Co-hosts of Vikalp Sangam
Kalpavriksh (KV) is a voluntary group based in India, working on environmental education, research, campaigns, and direct action. It began in 1979, with a students' campaign to save Delhi's Ridge Forest area from encroachments and destruction. Starting with these roots in local action, KV has moved on to work on a number of local, national, and global issues. Its activities are directed to ensuring conservation of biological diversity, challenging the current destructive path of 'development', helping in the search for alternative forms of livelihoods and development, assisting local communities in empowering themselves to manage their natural resources, and reviving a sense of oneness with nature.
Shikshantar was founded in 1998 to challenge the culture of schooling and institutions of thought-control. Today, factory schooling is suppressing many diverse forms of human creativity, wisdom and cooperation whilst promoting a system built on the commodification of life. We are committed to creating spaces where individuals and communities can engage in deep dialogue to:
1) generate meaningful critiques to expose and dismantle existing models of Education, Development and Progress;
2) reclaim control over their own learning processes, knowledge systems and learning ecosystems; and
3) imagine (and continually re-imagine) their own shared visions, structures and practices for swaraj.
Radical processes of unlearning, gift culture and jugaad are being experimented with in order to seed new alternatives. Shikshantar is based in Udaipur, Rajasthan. It has helped to incubate Swaraj University, Udaipur as a Learning City, Halchal Slow Food Cafe, Families Learning Together Network, Walkouts-Walkon Network and the Learning Societies Unconference.
Bhoomi Network is an NGO based in Bangalore which is committed to creating participative spaces for deep, holistic and practical learning for sustainable living. It has organized several conferences, unconferences and festivals on organic food and farming and other aspects of sustainability.
It has also launched:
The Bhoomi college (www.bhoomicollege.org) which offers a 1 year post graduate programme on Science and Management for Sustainable Living as well as short programmes on food, organic farming, deep ecology, holistic science and economics etc.
The Eternal Bhoomi magazine (www.bhoomimagazine.org) which features positive initiatives of sustainable living as well as articles with holistic perspectives on Nature, ecology and culture from renowned writers and thinkers from around the world.
The Deccan Development Society (DDS), is a two and half decade old grassroots organisation working in about 75 villages with women's Sanghams (voluntary village level associations of the poor) in the Medak District of Andhra Pradesh. The 5000 women members of the Society represent the poorest segments in their village communities. Most of them are dalits, the most excluded group in the Indian social hierarchy.
In order to produce a new dignity for the women from the bottom of the pyramind, DDS has set for itself the goal of achieving community sovereignty.