The Story of Eklavya

The idea of self-designed learning and Swaraj University has its roots five thousand years ago in the story of Eklayva. We consider Eklavya as our first Vice Chancellor.

 

In ancient India, there lived a young Nishada (a tribe of hunters) prince by the name of Eklavya. Even though he was a hunter by birth, being the son of the chief of hunters in the forests of Hastinapur, he aspired to become a great archer and a brave warrior.

 

He expressed this desire to his father, "Father, I want to be an archer and become a disciple of the great Guru Dronacharya – the greatest teacher of the art to archery and the science of warfare in the kingdom. Please give me your blessing before I set out for his gurukul.”

 

His father remained silent. Eklavya knew what was bothering his father. He said, “Father, I know we are Shudras, belonging to the hunting tribe. But the Guru is a wise and learned man. Please allow me to become his Disciple.”

 

Eklavya’s father was a kind man and did not wish to refuse his son. So he gave his blessings and sent his son on his way.

 

Eklavya reached the gurukul of Guru Dronachrya – who was also the royal teacher of the Pandavas and the Kauravas. Thrilled at the prospect of finally meeting the Guru he had idolized, his eyes eagerly sought out the teacher. He soon spotted him instructing a boy – none other than the Pandava Arjun.

 

Eklavya went to Dronachrya and folded his hands in greeting, bowing down low to touch the sage’s feet. Drona was surprised to see the stranger and asked him, “Who are you?”

 

“Oh Guru, I am Eklavya, the son of the chief of the Nishada tribe of hunters in the forests of Hastinapur. Please accept me as your humble Shishya and teach me the art of archery and the science of warfare”, replied Eklavya.

 

Dronacharya reflected for a minute, then said, “Eklavya, if you are a Nishada hunter, then you are a Shudra, the lowest caste in the kingdom. I am a Brahmin, the highest of castes. All my students are Kshatriyas, the warrior caste. I cannot teach a Shudra boy.”

 

Eklavya was surprised and hurt at the Guru’s words. He quietly left the gurukul. Resolute in his determination to learn archery, he went back to the forest. There he built an idol of Guru Dronacharya with mud and placed it in a secluded clearing. Eklavya believed that if he practiced faithfully in front of his Guru, he would be able to master the art of archery. So every morning he would pray to the idol and practice diligently throughout the day.

 

One day, while practicing, a dog started barking some distance away. Its constant barking irritated Eklavya, who fired seven allows in quick succession, filling the dog’s mouth without injuring it. The dog was no longer able to bark and roamed around the forest.

Thus  roaming, the dong reached the Pandavas, who were practicing in the forest along with Guru Dronacharya. Drona was amazed to see such a feat of archery. He realized that only an extremely skilled archer could have done this. He, along with the Pandavas, set out to look for the archer.

 

Soon they came across a young man, dressed in a hunter’s clothes practicing archery. It was Eklavya.

 

Dronacharya went up to him and asked, “You aim is remarkable! Who is your guru?”

 

“You are,” replied Eklavya.

 

Dronacharya was stunned, “How can I be you guru when I have never met you before?”

 

“I am Eklavya, the boy who came to learn archer from you at your gurukul. After you refused, I came back to the forest and made a mud idol of you. I prayed to it everyday, and with its blessing I was able to master the skills of archery,” replied Eklavya.

 

Arjuna was very angry, as he was sure of his place as the best archer in the world. Dronacharya also realized that Eklavya had the skills to surpass even Arjuna. However, as the royal teacher, Eklavya’s excellence would put him in a difficult situation, as a mere shudra hunter would surpass a Kshatriya prince under his tutelage.

 

He devised a way out. To Eklavya he said, “Seeing that you have learnt from me, you will now have to pay guru dakshina – my gift for training you.”

 

Eklavya was overjoyed at his. A guru dakshina was the offering made to a guru when the guru considered the shishya to have completed his learning. He replied, “I am blessed that you have asked me for guru dakshina. I would never refuse anything that you ask.”

 

Dronacharya seized his chance, “Eklavya, as guru dakshina, you have to give me your right thumb.”

 

Everyone was shocked, even Arjuna. Everyone knew that a archer could never shoot an arrow without his right thumb.

 

Eklavya looked steadily at Dronacharya. He realized the reason behind this demand. Nevertheless, he replied, “I will never disobey your wish. I am grateful that you recognized my your disciple even though I am a Shudra.”  Saying this, he took a knife and cut off his right thumb and placed it at his Guru’s feet.

 

Everyone, including Dronacharya marveled at the boy’s courage. Dronacharya was humbled and blessed Eklavya, “You will be known far and wide as a great archer, even without your thumb. Moreover, you will always be remembered as the greatest Shishya ever for your loyalty towards your guru.”

 

Eklavya later learnt to shoot with middle finger and toes and remains a great example of the ideal self-designed learner till today.

 

Why Swaraj University?

“There is a lot of teaching and training happening in India but very little learning or understanding.”
                                                                                                           ~ Yashpal Committee report

The idea of swaraj is inspired by MK Gandhi, Rabindranath Tagore, Vinoba Bhave, our village grandmothers, tribal communities, ancient wisdom traditions, walkouts and the global crises facing humanity.

 

  • It is an invitation to reclaim the unique, expansive and interdependent ‘self’: our self-respect, our self-understanding, self-mastery and the harmony-of-the-selves;

  • It is an invitation to decolonize and decondition ourselves from the global monoculture of the mind, artificial scarcity, competition and industrial-military development;

  • It is an invitation to freshly re-engage with indigenous/alternative worldviews to re-imagine and co-create diverse living models for localization, systemic change and evolutionary consciousness.

It is no secret that the present education system is struggling, and while there have been massive efforts to revamp it through quality education, teacher training and other such means, these have had little positive effect. The present education system has not been able to adapt to the fast-changing social, economic, cultural and political transformation that has been taking place over the past decade. Moreover, growing threats to our ecology, disruption of local communities and the rise of global consumerism have made it necessary to question many of the basic assumptions that have shaped the modern world. Today, we are left with a worldview of society as a great machine whose purpose is to extract and convert natural and human resources into commodities for concentrated profits.


As a result, today’s youth find themselves at a crossroads, not sure of their own ideals and values, or of their identities. Alien (and alienating) institutions like schools and colleges, the mass media and government promise a successful life, but in reality drain their labor and energy and leave them cynical and dependent. The education system has not prepared them to understand their needs, strengths or dreams. Rather, it has urged them to become standardized products, designed to fit into techno-industrial molds.


With such complex situations facing our world today we need a new kind of youth leadership and a radical way of learning. Swaraj University is an attempt to provide this to today's youth.

Team

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Co-Founders

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One of the founder- members of Abhivyakti. For more than 20 years, his passion has been around supporting community media for deeper personal reflection and social dialogue in local communities. Most recently, Nitin has co-founded EarthCare Designs, a green enterprise which designs and prototypes eco-friendly products and technology.

Nitin Paranjape

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Reva Dandage has been passionately involved with Democratic Education since 2002. Her interest in understanding the pedagogy of self-directed learning has taken her to several alternative and free schools around the world. She also experienced being a self-directed student during her graduate studies at Goddard College.

Reva Dandage

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Manish Jain is the founder-coordinator of Shikshantar Andolan which has been significant in shaping the larger unschooling movement in South Asia. His passion is in the areas of organic farming, healthy cooking, zero waste living and community media. He was one of the visionaries behind UNESCO’s Learning Without Frontiers programme for the 21st century.

Manish Jain

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Swapathgami Team

Kailash Vaishnav
Kailash Vaishnav
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Harsh Wardhan
Harsh Wardhan
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Sanjay Gameti
Sanjay Gameti
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Hunarshala Team

Gautam Bharti
Gautam Bharti

Director, Hunarshala

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Sumitra C Vyas
Sumitra C Vyas

Facilitator

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Vipin Roat
Vipin Roat

Facilitator

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Jail University Team

Praveen Kumar Vaishnav
Praveen Kumar Vaishnav

Computer Facilitator & Graphic Designer

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Priyank Kashyap
Priyank Kashyap

Music Facilitator

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Diken Patel
Diken Patel

Co-Founder Jail University

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GUARDIANS AND CARETAKERS OF TAPOVAN ASHRAM

Dr. Mehta - the founder of Tapovan Ashram, they have transformed a barren land into a rich bio-diversity in last 28 years. With immense knowledge of medicinal plants and organic farming, Dr. Mehta is still a curious learner you should definitely meet when you visit campus. 

 

Choti ji and Amri - From Nayakheda Gaon, the adjacent village to the Ashram, they hold an important element of the campus - Kitchen - bringing love, care and nourishment to everyone on the campus.

 

Nana ji, Rafeeq ji, Dittu Didi, Hudi didi, and Berki - a group of locals from Nayakheda Village who have been associated with Tapovan Ashram and contribute in farming, up-keep and maintaining the campus.

DEEP GRATITUDE TO ALL FORMER TEAM MEMBERS

  • The Late Bhavani Aadimoolam

  • The Late Mrs. Mehta

  • Akash Karemore

  • Ravi Gaikwad

  • Suyash Sahoo

  • Shraddha Mange

  • Rahul Hasija

  • Sonika Gupta

  • Chetan Kanoongo

  • Mohit Trivedi

  • Bhawna Trivedi
     
  • Deepankar Raina
     
  • Arvind Shivakumar
     
  • Shivendra Vaiyapuri
     
  • Shruti Tharyil
     
  • Kaushiek Pranoo
     
  • Dhaval Shukla
     
  • Asawari Mathur
     
  • Sumitra Vyas
     
  • Ankur Roychowdhary
  • Vartika Poddar
     
  • Sameer Khadilkar
     
  • Pradnya Khadilkar
     
  • Sameer Dandage
     
  • Mihir Bhardwaj
     
  • Amit Deshwal
     
  • Aas Bai
  • Peace Ankit

 

Advisory Board

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Our international community of advisors

Helena Norberg-Hodge
Helena is an internationally recognised pioneer of the world wide localisation movement and a leading analyst of the impact of the global economy on culture and agriculture. She is the founder and director of the International Society for Ecology and Culture (ISEC) - based in the US and UK, with subsidiaries in France, Germany, Australia, and Ladakh. Helena has given birth to many ideas, books, articles, films and not least the concept of ‘Localisation’ which she has been promoting for three decades. Her landmark book and film ‘Ancient Futures’ (translated into nearly 50 languages) opened the eyes of many to the shocking effects of economic development on vibrant traditional cultures like Ladakh.  Helena is truly an international figure but her feet are placed firmly on the ground - particularly on the soil of Ladakh - where she has been active in supporting local causes and deepening friendships since 1975.

Jan Visser
Jan is a deep thinker and supporter of the self-directed learning processes. His profound insights and knowledge about science, history and music as well as about spirituality and humanity is without comparison a true feature of his personality. He once presided over UNESCO’s innovative programme called ‘Learning Without Frontiers’ which tried to release learning from the rigid confines of institutionalised settings and make it more accessible and fun. Jan is a writer of vast depth and quality, and a great person to be with, especially if you like to go on long walks in the early hours of the morning. He presides over the ‘Learning Development Institute’ (LDI), which is based in the USA , France and The Netherlands. LDI’s work is geared towards getting a better, and particularly more complete, understanding of human learning, as well as to creating the conditions for such learning to actually happen. Jan sees ‘ Swaraj University ’ as one such opportunity.

Kishore Saint
Kishorebhai Saint has a vast repository of knowledge and anecdotes from his long association with many national and international organisations, including CIDOC with Ivan Illich  and Friends World College . Listening to him is such a pleasure that you straight away realise that you are in a challenging/questioning presence. So penetrating are his thoughts and queries that you are struck by their sheer simplicity and of course exceptional synthesis of experience, wisdom and reflections. His range of thinking from development discourse to scathing analysis of contemporary reality to spiritual and Sufi traditions is deep and conveyed with passion and affection. His tone is inviting and sonorous, and soon you are immersed in his world of art, poetry, aesthetics, language, ecology, history and philosophy, which he mixes with easy charm and compassion.  He is a Gandhian, and a rare visionary who is concerned about the modern civilizational crisis and failing values and integrity of present political and educational system which he wants to transform for a better, socially and ecologically just and peaceful world to emerge. He lives with his wife in Udaipur. 

Margaret Wheatley
Meg, as she is fondly called by her friends and colleagues, has been deeply influenced by different disciplines: science, history, literature, systems thinking, organizational behavior, social policy, cosmology and theology.  She  values what she learned from each of these different fields, for she believes that no one discipline, institution, or specialization can answer the questions that now confront us.  She says “We all must draw from many different perspectives to reweave the world”. She has been consultant, professor and speaker since 1973 and has worked with diverse organisations and people on all continents. They range from the head of the U.S. Army to twelve year old Girl Scouts, from CEOs to small town ministers.  This diversity includes Fortune 100 corporations, government agencies, healthcare institutions, foundations, public schools, colleges, major church denominations, professional associations, and monasteries. She is the co-founder and President emerita of the Berkana Institute, a global charitable foundation established in 1992 and author of several books including the acclaimed ‘Leadership and New Science’ which introduced a new way of thinking about how organisations need to be viewed and transformed.  Her work on leadership also has influenced the next generation of thinkers and leaders to move away from individual heroic leaders who seek to control towards team leadership and people’s ability to self-organise. She has been Associate Professor of Management at two universities. Since 1989, Meg lives with her family in the Rocky Mountains of Utah, USA .

Munir Fasheh
For Munir Fasheh, the directorship of Arab Education Forum sat lightly on his wise shoulders, and therefore when it was time to move to the land of his birth he did without any qualms. His knowledge and wisdom are so profound that he is one of those rare beings who are equally at ease in expressing in both writing as well as speaking, and either way you want to continue to soak in the depths of his acumen and simplicity. His critique of modernity compels you to think about the destruction and mayhem caused by the Institutional authority and its control over our lives, as it invites you to consider alternative possibilities in tune with humane and organic living. He is passionate about his country and what Palestine has suffered for so many years and is currently engaged in protecting the ability of communities to regenerate themselves as an integral part of liberation, which necessarily requires living wisely. This brought him and his family back to Palestine after serving at the Harvard College for many years.

Vivek Bhandari 
Vivek was the Director of IRMA (Institute of Rural Management, Anand), a post he accepted in early-2007 after a long stint as Associate Professor of History and South Asian Studies at Hampshire College in Amherst, USA.  Vivek is interested in the historical evolution of democratic institutions, and how these have been shaped by the choices and actions of people over time.  He is particularly interested in the relationship between modern forms of knowledge and the construction of socio-political identity, an issue he is currently exploring through a Gandhian prism. His passions are photography and trekking, and he lives in Anand, Gujarat, with his family.

Claude Alvares

Claude Alvares is an environmentalist based in Goa. Alvares is the editor of the Other India Press and Director of the Goa Foundation, an environmental monitoring action group that has filed successful pueblo interest litigation cases. He has also supported the Multiversity Network and the Organic Farming Association of India.

Zaid Hassan

Zaid Hassan is a strategist, facilitator and writer who is passionate about bridging divides. His work is focused on supporting individuals, communities and institutions who recognize that new approaches are needed in order to shift contemporary intractable situations.  He is CEO of 10 in 10, a new type of organisation, a cross between a foundation, a marketplace and Complexity University. Our mission is to tackle ten global challenges in ten years. He is also a Co-Founder of Roller Strategies and Reos Partners, an international enterprise that helps businesses, governments, and civil society organisations address complex social challenges.

Late Narayan Bhai Desai

Narayan Bhai Desai was a Gandhian activist and author. Following the Bhoodan movement launched by Vinoba Bhave, Narayan Bhai traversed through the length and breadth of Gujarat, by foot, collecting land from the rich and distributing the same among the poor landless villagers.  He was involved in the setting up of Peace Brigades International and was elected as the chairman of the War Resisters’ International. He along with a Pakistani peace group were awarded the UNESCO prize for International Peace. set up the Sampoorna Kranti Vidyalaya (Institute for Total Revolution). The Institute imparts training in non-violence and Gandhian way of life. He recited 'Gandhi-Katha' (narratives on the life of Mahatma Gandhi) across the world starting 2004.

Deborah Frieze

Deborah Frieze is an author, entrepreneur and social activist. She served co-president of The Berkana Institute where she worked to support pioneering leaders who were walking out of organisations and systems that were failing to contribute to the common good—and walking on to build resilient communities. These leaders are the subject of her award-winning book, Walk Out Walk On: A Learning Journey into Communities Daring to Live the Future Now.  The Old Oak Dojo learning center in Jamaica Plain, MA, is now home and host to many friends, neighbors, organizers and activists who share a commitment to creating equitable and inclusive communities. She also co-founded the Boston Impact Initiative, a place-based impact investing fund that takes an integrated capital approach to building resilient local economies.

 

Faculty, Mentors and Resource Persons

SOME OF OUR GUEST RESOURCE PERSONS

1) Satish Kumar
2) Claude Alvares and Norma Alvares
3) PV Rajagopal and Jill 
4) Kamla Bhasin
5) Bayo Akomolafe and EJ Akomolafe
6) Anita Borkar
7) Frederic Labarthe
8) Kiran Gulrajani
9) Vinish Gupta
10) Shammi Nanda

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We have a rich network of over 1000 well-respected mentors all over the country. They include artisans, healers, farmers, fishermen, ecologists, chefs, designers, upcyclers, filmmakers, artists, musicians, activists, journalists, facilitators, eco-engineers, eco-architects, alternative educators, tribal communities, social workers, coaches. This list is not comprehensive and just gives an idea of what kind of mentors and resource persons we are associated with and this list has been adding on since last 11 years.

Community Media

1) Qudrat - Filmmaker, Pondicherry
2) Sanjay Maharishi - Filmmaker, Delhi
3) Nitin Das - Filmmaker, Delhi - www.filmkaar.com
4) Ankur Roy Chodhury - Theatre with Social activism
5) Paltan - Theatre group, Delhi
6) Bhudon - Theatre group, Ahmedabad
7) Peter Walter - Theatre artist, Ahmedabad
8) Sheetal Agarwal - Clownselors Compassionate   Clowning, Delhi
9) Nitin Paranjape - Abhivyakti Media for Development,   Nasik
10) Madhusudan Agarwal - film-maker and   storyteller,  Auroville
11) Dinesh Kothari - Banyan Tree Alternative publishing   house, Indore
12) Claude Alvares - Other India Press, Goa
13) Ashraf Patel - Pravah Facilitation, Delhi
14) Deepankar Raina - Anubhavshala Facilitation, Delhi
15) Kiran Gulranjani - Coaching, Pune
16) Manish Freeman - Game-a-thon Pune
17) Abhishek Thakore - Blue Ribbon Movement   Facilitation, Mumbai
18) Aspi Shroff- Possibilities Motivational Speaker,   Mumbai
19) Susanta Das - Mime Artist, Bengal

20) Sukhmani Kohli - Purple Mangoes Facilitators,
Udaipur.

Organic and Natural Farming and Organic Food Outlets

1) Dhiren Bhai & Smita Behen - Farming and holistic living, Rajpipla, near Baroda
2) Sanjay-Damyanti - Organic Farming, Chatarpur, M.P.
3) Dr. Dinesh Patel - Farmer, Sardar Farm, Naroda
4) Dr. Sanjeev Kulkarni - Natural Farming, Dharwad
5) Sakib - Permaculture and Urban Farming, Delhi

6) Krishna Mackenzie - Solitude Farm, Auroville

7) Gaurav Gurjar - Maruvan Tiny Forests, Jodhpur
8) Karuna & Vasant Futane - Natural Farming, Amravati
9) Umendra Dutt - Kheti Virasat, Punjab
10) Kapil Mandawewala - EdibleRoutes Urban Farming,   Delhi
11) Preeti Patil - Urban Leaves, Mumbai
12) Bharat Mansata - VanVadi, Mumbai
13) Rohit Jain - Banyan Roots Organic Store, Udaipur 
14) Saurabh Singhvi - Udaipur Farmers Market
15) Sripal Shah - Asal Organic Store, Ahmedabad
16) Aviram and Yorit - Sadhana Forest, Auroville

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Education/Alternative Education/ Unschooling/Deschooling

1) ​Aditi and Ratnesh - Aarohi, Bangalore
2) Jinan KB, Kerala
3) Vidhi Jain - Shikshantar, Udaipur
4) Urmila Samson - Unschooler, Pune Homeschoolers     Network
5) Sumi Chandresh - Unschooler Educationist,   Ahmedabad
6) Ravi Gulati - Manzil and CreateNet, Delhi
7) Meenakshi - Puvidham, Tamil Nadu
8) Ashish Tiwari - Creativity Adda, Delhi
9) Fatema Chappalwala - Udaan Learning Centre,   Palampur, Himachal Pradesh
10) Kiran Bir Sethi - Riverside, Ahmedabad
11) Vineeta Sood - Unschooler Educationist, Bangalore
12) Mana Shah - Waldorf School, Delhi
13) Sandhya and Sarit Gupta - Aavishkaar, Himachal   Pradesh
14) Gautam Bharti - Hunarshala Tribal Youth Academy,   Dungarpur
15) Prachi Mittal - Pitaara Online
16) Amit and Jayashree, Adharshila, MP
17) Sachin Desai - School without walls, Goa

18) Abhijit Sinha - Project DEFY makerspaces,   Bangalore

19) Amit Deshwal - A Little Grove, Hyderabad
20) Mona Patrao - Redstone Farm, Panchgani,   Maharashtra
21) Ajay bhai - Gurukulum, Ahmedabad
22) Anshumaan Bansal - Yo!tribe Entrepreneurship   Education

23) Arun Venkataramanan - Marudam Farm School,   Tiruvannamalai, Tamil Nadu.
24) Abhishek Gupta - Navgurukul Coding, Bangalore

Eco-products/ Art / Design

1) Veena Lal - Karm Marg, Faridabad
2) Guddi Prajapat - EcoHut, Udaipur
3) Laxmi Murthy - Uger, Udaipur
4) Manisha Gautman - Pune
5) Blaise Joseph - Community Artist, Kerala
6) Amit Dhyan - Mural and Tatoo Artist, Jamshedpur 
7) Sampoorn Bamboo Kendra - Amravati
8) Pradeep Shinde - Handmade paper
9) Jaylakshmi Textile Store - Udaipur

10) Alka, Aavaran Indigo Fashions, Udaipur
11) Namrata Manot - ColorAshram, Ahmedabad
12) Dinesh and Anuj Kothari - Takli Fashions, Indore
13) Gopal Singh Negi - Earth Architect, Himachal Pradesh
14) Nripal Adhikary - Abari Natural Architects, Nepal
15) Vishal Singh and Kishan Prajapat - Jugaad Garage,   Udaipur

Healers / Alternative healing

1) Jaajvalya - Pranic Healer
2) Charu Chopra - NLP
3) Sanjeevani Pandit - Access Bars
4) Dr. Rajesh Kapoor - Natural Healer
5) Reena Ginwala - Non-violent Communication
6) Shammi Nanda - Non-violent communication
7)  Shubham Srivastav - Dance Movement Therapy
8) Guru Suraj - Improv Therapy
9) Sangeeta Bhagwat - EFT practitioner
10) Sanjay Maheshwari - Ayurveda and Yoga
11) Vineeta Mansata - Natural Healing
12) Kalyan - Pure Nature Cure
13) Vipin Gupta - Sehatvan
14) Bharat Shah - Naturopath, Baroda

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Eco - Social Activism

1) Norma Alvares - Anti-mining activist, Goa
2) Rajagopal PV - Ekta Parishad activist
3) Vinay & Charu - Activism through Music, Gujarat
4) Rohit Prajapati, Baroda
5) Kavita Kuruganti - ASHA Network
6) Piyush Manush - Salem, Tamil Nadu
7) Ashish Kothari - Kalpavriksh, Pune
8) Kamla Bhasin - Feminist, Delhi 
9) Abha Bhaiya - Jagori, Himachal Pradesh 
10) Pankaj Pushkar - former MLA, AAP, Delhi
11) Abeer Chakravarty - AHEAD, Bengal
12) Felix Padel - Orissa
13) Sandeep Anirudhan - Bangalore
14) Min Amin - Natural Farming Coalition, Auroville
15) Sweta Daga - PARI, Bangalore 
16) Rajendra Singh Waterman - Tarun Bharat Sangh,   Alwar
17) Rajiv Rajan - Disability Rights Activist, Chennai
18) Harsh Surendra - Shades of the Sea LGBTQ+   Activist

 

Campus

Tapovan Ashram is a beautiful, tranquil, green, 15 acre campus located in an isolated,  scenic valley between two mountain ranges, 15 kms from Udaipur city in the western Indian state of Rajasthan. 

The Ashram has an organic farm, herb gardens and an ayurvedic healing centre. Away from the noise and pollution of city life, it offers a serene and beautiful environment for reflection, self-exploration and healing. There are a lot of opportunities for nature and wild-life lovers for walks and trails, and for some bird-watching or snake spotting.  One gets to witness a variety of flora and fauna thriving in the hills surrounding the campus, including monkeys, hyenas, and leopards. Built within this greenery are the staying facilities, common kitchen, dining room, library, meditation hall, swimming pools, nature cure facilities, cow shed etc.

We are a drug-free, alcohol-free, smoking-free, and meat-free campus. This community abides by a few agreements and we ask for your help in continuing to abide by them. We are taking conscious steps to make this campus a zero waste zone and we request for your help in reducing waste (of all kinds) during your stay here. So please do not bring packaged snacks or stuff that will generate waste here. We request you to carry your waste out with you back to the city when you leave.

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If you are planning to visit us, then please write to us at swarajuni@gmail.com or call us on 08764279302 beforehand. If you are coming to the campus for a few days, for a workshop or an orientation, there are a few things that you need to keep in mind and accordingly bring along to make your stay comfortable and hassle-free. Here is the list: 
 

  • Bed sheet and pillow cover

  • Blanket and sleeping bag to keep you warm in winter

  • Torch (a must)

  • Mosquito repellent

  • Jacket/ Umbrella/Raincoat/warm clothes depending upon the weather


In Summer, Tapovan Ashram is generally a few degrees cooler than the city of Udaipur. In Winter, the temperature here drops a few degrees lower in comparison to the city.

Remember that there are NO convenience stores or ATMs nearby. The nearest ATM is many kilometers away in the city. Please bring enough cash with you. There are ATM’s near the railway station and bus stand, in case you get down there.

To know how to reach to the campus, click here

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Visit Us 

Swaraj University, Tapovan Ashram,
Nayakheda Gaon, 2.5 kms off Kundal chowk
from Amargarh Resort, Udaipur - Ahmedabad highway
Rajasthan, India
Phone: +919958311401 
(Because of Network issues sometimes the phone is inaccessible. 
Please SMS or WhatsApp on the number. We will call back)

 

Directions to reach Tapovan Ashram/ Swaraj University Campus

Tapovan Ashram is located to the south of Udaipur city. It is about 10 km from the railway station / bus stand and about 35 km from the airport. The general directions for a taxi / auto driver would be Tapovan Ashram, Naya Kheda Gaon, about 2 kms in from Kundal Chowk on the Ahmedabad highway.

From Udaipur railway station or bus stand
As of July 2021, a small or big auto-rickshaw should charge around INR 250 from the station / bus stand to the ashram during daylight hours.
1.   Turn left (south) on the road out of the station.
2.   Keep going along that road (about 7 km) past Govardhan Vilas up to the Ahmedabad highway
3.   Turn right towards Ahmedabad on the highway and go southward for about 3 km passing Balicha on the way.
4.   To your left you will see the cream colored structure of Paras Hill Resort hotel (now known as Mahindra Hotel) and bang opposite to that is a new stone construction called The Amargah hotel.
5.   Go across the highway and take the small lane next to The Amargadh.
6.   Very soon on this small country road you will reach a T junction. Take a left and keep going for 2 km.
7.   Tapovan Ashram is on the left side along this winding road soon after Osho Dhyan Vihar. Ask local people for directions in case of doubt.

 

When coming by road from Ahmedabad 
1.   Keep alert when you pass the Welcome to Udaipur gate along the highway. (around 15kms Udaipur milestone)
2.   Keep looking out to the right side of the road, about 2 to 3 km later you will see a cream coloured hotel with minarets little up the hillside with a signboard ‘Hotel Paras Hill Resort’ (now known as Mahindra Hotel) and bang opposite to that is a new stone construction called The Amargadh hotel.
3.   Take the small lane next to The Amargadh.
4.   Very soon on this small country road you will reach a T junction. Take a left and keep going for 2 km.
5.   Tapovan Ashram is on the left side along this winding road soon after Osho Dhyan Vihar. Ask local people for directions in case of doubt.

From Udaipur airport
Taxis should be available and should charge around INR 800 as of May 2021.
1.   Take the bypass towards Ahmedabad.
2.   Keep looking for the road coming from Govardhan Vilas to the right on the highway and continue southward on the highway for about 3 km passing Balicha on the way.
3.   To your left you will see the cream coloured board of Paras Hill Resort hotel.
4.   Bang opposite this board turn right through the gap in the divider on the highway you will find a new stone construction called The Amargadh hotel.
5.   Go across the highway and take the small lane next to The Amargadh.
6.   Very soon on this small country road you will reach a T junction. Take a left and keep going for 2 km.
7.   Tapovan Ashram is on the left side along this winding road soon after Osho Dhyan Vihar. Ask local people for directions in case of doubt.


Numbers of autowalas who come to Tapovan regularly:
Smaller autos with capacities of 3-4 people with luggage
Munir Bhai - 8003537758
Shahid Bhai – 9649971752 / 8107725324
Mohammad Bhai - 9783692159

Big autos with capacities of 7-10 people with luggage
Mansoor Bhai - 7737973077 
Sunil Bhai - 8094308322

Private Taxis

Laxman Bhai - +91-7976331546
 

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