“You have to grow from the inside out. None can teach you, none can make you spiritual. There is no other teacher but your own soul.”
we, at bikshani, propose to live in a community and share our house with those children who are deprived from their parental care and provide them with their right of education and the facilities to grow in a healthy way both physically and culturally.
We believe that the core objective of the education is self-development, therapy, reflect and retreat. Learning should be a “lifelong process whereby every individual acquires attitudes, values, skills and knowledge from daily experience and the educative influences and resources in his or her environment – from family and neighbours, from work and play, from the market place, the library and the mass media.”
Our aim is to break the mechanical information feeding in the children and extension of education and learning throughout life, which takes place within a community formed by the people from different expertise rather than recognized educational institutions’. Lifelong learning is the ‘master concept’ that should shape educational systems (UNESCO 1972:182). We are interested in education, art, eco-building(?), health, community and responsibility. It typically involves workshops, community courses, interest based courses, conference style seminars.
Keeping the above frame work in mind we are planning to set up a communal household, with land to grow our food and keeping animals e.g. poultry, duckary, cows, etc and self sufficiency in general. We aim to build our communal household in such a way where we can sensibly manage our resources, energy and waste allowing us to live a more economical and humble lifestyle. We endeavor to live close to nature and her cycles, keeping the Rhythms and celebrating the seasons and become environmentally conscious. At the heart of the community the object will be self-development as well as development of the whole community and ensure that the children, who are deprived from parental care, can be safe in the community without requiring them to give up their rights and liberties and are able to live in the society with dignity.
Now “An ideal community, according to Gandhi and Socrates, is one that resembles the human body. Different parts of the human body have different functions. Yet, in crisis, the whole body galvanises to deal with an injury. An ideal community must emulate this response of the human body.” In the line of this philosophy, we focus on authenticity – being real, ‘being who we are’ and welcoming to difference, connecting with ‘not like us’ with warmth, generosity and support. One of the big challenges is conflict resolution. Most of us would rather avoid conflict, but inevitably it will arise in community life and we will need strategies for dealing with it. It is important that we as a team learn to deal with conflict soon after it arises so that prolonged processing due to a build-up of unexpressed feelings is avoided. Hence it will also be a part of our self-development programme to learn to create the necessary balance between our own needs, the needs of the group, and the project at hand.
There are challenges on every steps. We are also not always sure about how to meet them. We will struggle together, in commune after commune, to make our life wholesome and live as sustainable as possible with the core objective of meaningful education and spiritual awareness.