Event Date: 
26 April 2017 - 9:00am - 30 April 2017 - 4:00pm
Event Poster: 
Join us to re-evaluate your understanding of the Rural India.


To understand 'Development' by questioning its basics.


The present world is aggressively talking about development. Be it the social media, corporate board meetings, government panels, public forums or international dialogues, everywhere ‘Development’ has taken the center-stage, making people come up with innovative ideas, inclusive frameworks, diverse teams and multi-dimensional strategies to solve age-old as well as newly found problems. More and more people are now thinking beyond their individual selves to participate in the whole social process of solving human challenges across the world. There are now people who volunteer on weekends, and there are people who have dedicated their whole lives for the betterment. Though the transition is extraordinary, it also comes with its limitations if proper ‘preparation’ is not done before ‘action’.

The process of preparation requires us to ask a few basic questions:

  • What do we mean by development? How exactly do we define it?
  • Why do we need development? Is it essential to follow this path, or is it optional but we consider it essential?
  • If we need development, how do we decide the direction of development? For example, development may mean eating packaged machine-based food, and it may also mean eating self-grown home-made food.
  • While we decide the direction of development, how do we consider our relationships with each other and with plant, animal and material world?
  • Lastly, thinking beyond Roti, Kapda, Makaan, Bijli, Paani and other essentials, what are the intangible outcomes of development that may give meaning to our existence on this planet?

‘प्रश्न विकास का’ is a dialogue meticulously designed for asking all these questions one by one in rural context and for reflecting on them collectively, both while being in a circle and while being on-field talking to villagers about their life experiences. On one hand, the dialogues shall try to find new answers to its central questions, and on the other, the dialogue shall also try to re-evaluate the direction of development we have taken so far as a society. In the process, the dialogue shall consider ideas like ‘Localization’, ‘Self-reliance’, ‘Globalization’, ‘Industrialization’, ‘Governance’ while keeping in mind the modern tools such as ‘Technology’, ‘Education’, ‘Infrastructure’, ‘Tourism’, ‘Entrepreneurship’ etc.

The dialogue comes with a very participatory, experiential and simplistic approach. There would not be any experienced person or role model from rural development field to influence our thinking. We would all be on our own doing the unlearning, re-learning, forming theories and experiencing realities while being on-field. We will get our chances to explore the modern upcoming village of Bir and also spend time with villagers living in deep interiors of the Dhauladhar ranges of the Himalayas (Yes, we will trek to their villages to experience their life first-hand!). In the end, our intention would be to come up with our own understanding of how the villages should be ‘developed’ so as to maximize collective happiness and harmony.



Those who wish to work or who are already working for the development of the villages in India in any field such as Education, Livelihood, Health, Technology etc.


The dialogue shall help us to re-think about our working approach and look at the same from a fresh perspective. The dialogue aims to highlight our good practices and also the problems that may come up in future due to our present actions. In other words, the dialogue shall provide us an opportunity to re-evaluate our strategies and fix the loopholes, if any.


A dialogue means that we shall have our discussions with an open mindset. There shall not be any conscious, or rather secretive, effort to lead the participants to some pre-defined conclusions. Anything may come up based upon our life experiences and on-field visits.


April 26-30, 2017
Minimum 10 - Maximum 20 Seats
Deer Park Institute, Bir, District Kangra, Himachal Pradesh



More Information on: http://www.sahajfoundation.in/234623812352235823812344-23572367232523662360-23252366--a-dialogue-on-rural-development.html


The dialogue shall be organized on Gift Economy basis by Sahaj Foundation. However, all participants would be required to pay for accommodation and food expenses as per the actuals charged by Deer Park Institute. Good news is that Deer park offers wide ranges of accommodation/food facilities that cost somewhere between Rs 2,000 to Rs 4,500 for a period of 5 days. We recommend you to fill out your preferences in the application form as per your budget.

Breakup for Rs 2,000: Rs 100*5 (Accommodation) + Rs 100*3*5 (Food- Rs 100 per meal)= Rs 2,000
Participants shall have to pay more in case they wish to avail shared/single room accommodation.

Note: Selected Participants shall have to submit a non-refundable deposit of Rs 2,500 each in order to secure their space in the dialogue. The amount shall later be adjusted towards accommodation/food bills.

Summary of Total expenses= To and fro Travel to Bir from your base location+ Accommodation and Food charges (Rs 2,500 advance deposit; to be adjusted into acco/food bills later) + Contribution to Sahaj Foundation on Gift Economy basis.

Also note that we seek a minimum of ten participants for the dialogue. So, if we don’t get our minimum number, we may cancel the dialogue altogether. Your deposit shall be refunded in full in that case. However, if you choose to withdraw your participation after submitting the deposit, you shall not receive any refund from our side.


Ashish Arora

Ashish graduated from Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Roorkee in the field of Electrical Engineering in 2009. Post studies, he pursued his corporate career for a few years before deciding to move on to his passion to work with rural communities. Since then, Ashish has lived in the villages of Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh and worked for many rural projects related to Education and Livelihood sector. Before founding Sahaj Foundation in 2013, he also worked with Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Mandi to help set up their ‘Centre for Innovative Technologies in Himalayan Region’.

Presently, Ashish lives a simple and peaceful life in Bir village situated in Kangra District of Himachal Pradesh. He has chosen Education as his primary medium of service while he continues to explore more on organic farming and holistic healing with an aim to simplify his lifestyle and benefit the society as much as possible.

Ashish’s journey of living with rural populace while understanding their needs took him deep within. Through his explorations and interactions, he realized that the concept of development needs rethinking so as to grasp the basics first before thinking about projects or policies. At personal level, Ashish has found simple living with minimum outer dependence for products of daily needs preferable to his lifestyle. In the whole process, he also realized that his life is more about purifying his inner self by serving people with great love in smaller ways than solving big issues or establishing large enterprises.

Ashish strongly believes that we need to create spaces wherein people can develop their abilities to think critically and understand the world by using their own experiences. This dialogue is an effort to do just that!

For more information, write to Ashish Arora (sahajfoundationinfo@gmail.com) or call him on +91 98168 62327
Sahaj Foundation sahajfoundationinfo@gmail.com प्रश्न विकास का- A DIALOGUE ON RURAL DEVELOPMENT! http://karmayog.in/events/%E0%A4%AA%E0%A5%8D%E0%A4%B0%E0%A4%B6%E0%A5%8D%E0%A4%A8-%E0%A4%B5%E0%A4%BF%E0%A4%95%E0%A4%BE%E0%A4%B8-%E0%A4%95%E0%A4%BE-dialogue-rural-development RSVP. 26 Apr प्रश्न विकास का- A DIALOGUE ON RURAL DEVELOPMENT!

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