On day nine of our CERES Global Sustainable Development, Permanent Culture and Un-learning tour to India, our tour party spent the night at Swaraj University, a more structured educational off-shoot of Shikshantar. The Swaraj University campus sits in a tranquil 15-acre space located in a scenic valley between two mountain ranges, 15 kilometers outside of Udaipur. The site is a zero-waste space and has an organic farm, herb gardens and an Ayurvedic healing centre.
On day eight of our CERES Global Sustainable Development, Permanent Culture and Un-learning tour to India, our group collaborated in a day of permaculture discussions and garden work with our friends at Shikshantar. In a co-creative process, the CERES Global group and members of the Shikshantar community learned about permaculture ethics and design principles, explored visions for the garden on the Shikshantar premises, and got our hands dirty working on innovations to bring the garden to life, building relationships and learning new things about ourselves and each other in the process. However, our yield from the day was not necessarily what we expected going in.
It is not often one comes away absolutely mesmerised from talking to a person, but such was our experience on this day. On day seven of our CERES Global Sustainable Development, Permanent Culture and Un-learning tour to India, a small number of our group visited with Kishore Saint, a retired geographer and friend of Shikshantar. Kishore-gi shared with us some of his life experiences living in Africa, the United States and the United Kingdom, reflected on insights into community he gained from interacting with tribal peoples in Rajasthan, and concluded with an exhortation for us to change the world by looking within ourselves.