For Shikshantar, rethinking education and deschooling our lives means re-looking at and experimenting with our energy, media, waste, food, water, healing, agriculture, transport, money, to name a few, in an intergenerational learning setting. The co-learners are exploring Udaipur as a Learning City, looking at ways to utilize and regenerate the city spaces to enable new forms of learning and relationships to flourish. This includes, for example, creating ways to bring people of different ages together in order to share knowledge and wisdom across generations. Another objective of Shikshantar is to encourage people to learn from “the small, the slow, the inefficient, the messy things that exist in the margins of our communities” – in other words, those things that – in our ongoing quest for a world that is newer, bigger, faster, cleaner – we tend to overlook or discard. The spirit of play, storytelling, laughter, silence, creativity, magic hugs, dance, infuse these explorations.
In the end, the challenge with which we are faced is not only one of re-thinking education, but of re-designing whole societies.
“What was so powerful about listening to Manish and Vidhi was that they really spoke to something inside me – inside all of us – that yearns to do something different, to break out of that mold. They’ve given us a glimpse of what can be done if you really believe in yourself and hold onto what you think is important.”