CBSE – S.H.U.N.Y.A.
(SUSTAINABLE HABITATS UNDER NETWORKED YOUTH ALLIANCES)
A majority of Indian citizens will be aware of one of the most significant gifts that India gave to the world – the concept of Zero or Shunya. And although people tend to use these terms (Zero and Shunya) interchangeably, the underlying philosophy has polar divergence. For most people, ‘Zero’ has a numeric connotation and thus, most people tend to look at Shunya as a contribution to mathematics, but the word has several meanings in Sanskrit including empty, void, vacant, blank. The same word when looked at as shUnyatA has interpretations such as nothingness, absolute non-existence (buddhism), vacant, desolate, meaningless, absolute emptiness, the beginning, etc. Via this assessment framework, the CBSE aspires to address both aspects of this concept – the numeric and the philosophical.
The broad objectives of SHUNYA include: To provide a context for our already existing CBSE curriculum to have real-world, field-based applications that results in environmental stewardship and to enhance sustainability awareness &develop sustainability-friendly attitudes among the stakeholders.
The Pride Project
A unique curriculum for school and university students that busts ‘global’ myths, rediscovers local traditions in light of sustainability & has young people appreciate sustainable development in the local context. Consider, after decades of ‘independence’ we still look towards the industry for guidance on what’s ‘sustainable’. Whereas, we can find true sustainability in our very backyards, across India, among our parents, grandparents, rural & tribal communities.
We can find deep connections between our local culture and our local climate. How? Well, local culture evolves over thousands of years to respond to a specific, unique, geo-climatic context. Therefore, protection of our local climate (to mitigate climate-change) could be the direct fallout of preserving local culture. With its commitment to ‘Reviving Faith’ in ‘traditional’ and ‘local’, the pride project has been designed specifically for Class 9 and 11 students, and beyond.
MaPani is just that – what the name suggests – reviving faith in worshiping water as the mother, the originator of life itself. If we held this thought as a context, as a world-view, then what kind of products would we manufacture? Would they endlessly pollute rivers? Would they pour millions of tons of toxic waste into water streams? We think not.
With the tagline – Water-Mother-Worship – MaPani is a brand that creates skin-care products for you, despite being least interested in your skin! Yes, you read that right. We don’t care about your skin. Do our products do wonders for your skin? Yes. Do they gently do what all the chemically-intensive and cosmetic products do? Yes. AND, we don’t care about your skin. We care about what happens after the product leaves your skin and goes into the water streams – in other words – down the drain. THAT’s where the real damage to the mother happens, and we are out to reverse that. AND we need to start in your “mind”.
The H2Our Project (as the name suggests) – is an initiative that aspires to shift our individual perception towards “H2O” into a collective one. In the process of interviewing our grandparents for our work at Swaraj, we discovered that they had a certain perception towards water (among other elements of life) of reverence, collective ownership, spirituality, care, community, and many more. Their wisdom and insights transcended mere dependence on technology as the global saviour, and brought power back into the hands of the organism-as-a-whole-in-the-environment.We create awareness regarding water education to examine the role of water for sustainability, understand the policy perspectives at the national and at international level (Agenda 2030), and revisit our old folk-tales and traditions that revolve around water with the help of our grandparents and parents, their experiences and wisdom that they wish to share with the world, learn how to converge ideas into action on water conservation.
Swaraj has been conducting university elective since the past seven years in various universities, where they create connections of sustainability and the local culture. Where sustainable development has NOTHING to do with green buildings, solar power, waste water recycling, fly-ash blocks, or passive architectural design. AND, on this account, you will discover all the evidence you need to unravel the truth from the myths.
We answer questions about the real sustainable development and make you discover a system that has over 65% of India be sustainable today, and perhaps also holds the key to our sustainable future. It requires field work, travel into rural areas, and research beyond architecture – into anthropology, sociology, history, language studies, musicology, textiles, rural development, religious studies, and philosophy.