via Manish Jain and Shilpa Jain

shikshantar site


founder of Shikshantar:

[Zaid writes for Shikshantar]

see it here – via a recent article..profile:

What matters: The intention of Shikshantar and Swaraj University are to directly challenge harmful values that the founders feel are ingrained in the modern world’s approach to education and development. For these visionaries, school need not be compulsory nor based in competition. They challenge the idea of a superior “mono-culture,” (we all need to know the same things), and ask people to reconsider the power of corporations, the allure of consumption, and the monetary-basis of transactions. They do this work by nurturing both thought and action regarding the roles of collaboration, gift-culture, self-designed learning, and environmentally sustainable ways of living

On ed and his daughter, Kanku..

Amidst the chaos (and often contributing to it) is Kanku, Manish and Vidhi’s young daughter. Kanku is an un-schooler. Unlike a homeschooler, who still follows a standardized curriculum, Kanku’s emerging interests comprise her curriculum, her community is her teacher, and her environment is her classroom. Kanku knows what she is missing. Manish points out they’ve taken her to visit schools, just like one might take a child to visit a zoo. He is no shy critic of the conventional education system (of which he sees homeschooling as just another permutation). He likes to point out common aspects found in most schools that he finds unnatural, and often damaging: they are compulsory, based on competition, nurture a singular culture and viewpoint, and are geared towards equipping people with skills that support a consumption-based economy.


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How can you co-create this movement with us?

Over the last 15 years in Udaipur, we have seen Shikshantar organically evolve into a leadership (un)learning community, an incubator for radical educational experiments,  a center for unschoolers, a gift culture café, a dariya dil dukkan freecycle store, a community media center, a zero waste center, a self-healing center…and a jeevan anand-dolan engaging with diverse people, from all around India and the world. This has been made possible by the contributions of friends, who have given their time, talents, energy, resources and caring spirit. We are grateful for all that we have received, and in turn, for all that we have been able to share with our wide web of friends, families, organizations and movements.

We invite you to continue to help co-create this life movement this year. Please consider starting up an innovative self-designed learning experiment with your family and friends, writing some reflections on your own unlearning journey, sharing ideas for new connections and collaborations, walking out of something that you do/consume that doesn’t support your deepest values, or making a financial donation to Shikshantar to support fellowships for local emerging young leaders. We invite you to write to us


shikshantar/swaraj as seen in a vision of city as school.


year on


dec 2015 – swaraj uni:

A University With No Classrooms, No Teachers, Degrees, Curriculum, and Exams- Swaraj University – learning what you feel like learning


feb 2016

The Parrot’s Training (retold) | Shikshantar
We are pleased to announce the release of the first book in the Hacking the Education System series. This book looks at the education system as a cage. It raised fundamental questions on how to begin decolonizing our imagination.
have a look at our new publication. u can order it oniine from banyan tree

notes from book:

p 6

take a closer look at the invisible..

we’re being stressed by what we’ve repressed..

an invitation to our wildest imaginations

p 38

the parrot today is taught to question within the system, but not to question the system itself.

how we are dealing with the crisis is part of the crisis

p 39

to the point we can’t see the cage or we don’t believe we can live w.o it

p 44

(from original story)

the method was so stupendous that the bird looked ridiculously unimportant in comparison.