Spreading the wings of radical, transformative change - Sambhaavnaa Institute

Founded under aegis of the Kumud Bhushan Education Society in 2004, Sambhaavnaa Institute of Public Policy and Politics is an alternative learning and living space for those concerned with social and political change.

Nestled in a small village called Kandwari, Sambhaavnaa Institute was founded by Prashant Bhushan, a lawyer, activist and politician. Sambhaavnaa's main mission has been to nurture value-based leadership by encouraging individuals, especially the youth; to discuss and develop a critical perspective on the ideals and ideas that define a just society. Since 2011-12, Sambhaavnaa has emerged as a platform for a wide variety of individuals and organisations to engage and reflect on processes of transformation challenging the injustice that prevails in the society today.

They believe that there is a need to question and challenge the inequities in social, economic and political structures and their dominance by vested interests; that there is a need to radically change the structure and functioning of the society, polity and the economy to serve public interest with the principles of equality, justice and freedom.

..there is a need to radically change the structure and functioning of the society, polity and the economy to serve public interest with the principles of equality, justice and freedom..

"We believe that there exists an overlap in the hegemonization & exploitation process across the social, political and economic structures as well as between human beings and the natural world with the emergence of a powerful and dominant class serving its own interest rather than that of the polity, society and ecology", says Shashank, who is the Programs Manager for Sambhaavnaa Institute.

Sambhaavnaa's Vision and Mission is to provide a platform for:

  • Strengthening resistance, political action and participation

  • Supporting and working on creation of radical alternatives (across the socio-economic-political models/institutions)

  • Bringing about personal transformation

With the above vision, Sambhaavnaa Institute has created a learning & sharing space where programs & workshops are organised to:

  • Facilitate reflection, collaboration, exchange and innovation in strategies and action amongst those engaged in transformative work

  • Facilitate the building of a politically conscious citizenry especially youth

  • Facilitate the process of personal transformation.

Programmes at Sambhaavnaa Institute

Sambhaavnaa Institute Of Public Policy and Politics, located in the lap of the mighty Dhauladhar mountain ranges in Himachal Pradesh, currently has a total of 30 people working for them full-time. They organize multiple programmes & workshops throughout the year involving youth, leaders and representatives of the civil society & social movements.

Nayi Dishayein: Deconstructing Development

In the summer of 2012, Sambhaavnaa initiated a programme called "Nayi Dishayein". Over the last four years a series of people have come together as a part of this program in facilitating a process of collective consciousness building amongst young people wanting to engage with issues around them and explore their own role in transformative politics.

Take a glimpse into the 2016 edition of the dialogue:

In this program, they work with the participants to:

  1. Deconstruct, i.e., critically examine the notion of development

  2. Re-examine our belief systems, worldviews and privileges around power structures of caste, gender, religion, class

  3. Assess possibilities of change through exposure to a range of contemporary interventions/initiatives/movements towards a just society


"Buniyaad" has been conceptualised for young social and political activists who have spent at least 3 years on the field. The duration of Buniyaad is 2 weeks, and the attempt is to broaden the understanding of ‘on the field’ activists regarding big-picture issues in the social, economic, political spheres. The program offers an opportunity to be with, gain inspiration and knowledge from experienced activists. The participants also gain from sharing time and space at leisure with fellow activists working on diverse issues, across varying regions of the country.

The program uses a variety of methodologies including interactive lectures and discussions facilitated by subject experts, live experience sharing by activists, film screenings and collective reflection, readings and presentations, group and individual exercises, amongst others, to enable participants to reflect on their current understanding, and help deepen the same. Perspective building activities are done namely in the Political, Social, and Economic & Ecological context.

Pahar aur Hum

"Pahar Aur Hum" is a 10 day workshop for young people concerned with the Himalayan region to understand and reflect collaboratively and deeply on the issues facing the region and themselves.

As a part of this program, a diverse palette of issues ranging from history, culture, ecology, economics and identity to paradigms around development, diversity and context are explored through talks, discussions, activities, field visits, performances, manual labour, open spaces and silence.

Take a glimpse of the Pahar aur Hum 2016 edition here:

Apart from the above mentioned programmes, Sambhaavnaa organizes various other programmes, the details of which can be checked out on their website.

UDAAN Learning Center and School

The Sambhaavnaa Institute campus also houses "Udaan Learning Center and School", a space that aims to ignite curiosity and love for learning in children. They seek to provide an environment for an overall development of a child’s personality. They have started a progressive pre-school for the local village children. The school is designed as an experiential learning space, where teachers work as facilitators. They believe in enabling & supporting a child in his/her learning journey, rather than trying to teach him/her.

Udaan has been set up to provide children around Kandwari with a resourceful space and supportive adult interactions in order to:

  • Bring out the natural creativity

  • Nurture the curiosity & thirst for exploration and learning

  • Develop critical, creative and constructive thinking

  • Connect the learning back to community and life

Alongside the school is a Children’s Learning Center which is focused on providing a friendly & fun learning space for the village children. This center has a large library, science & math lab, puzzles & indoor games room, activity room & a playground.

Way ahead

Sambhaavnaa Institute plans to reach out to more youth and young change makers interested in engaging in social organisations from smaller cities, towns and rural areas.

In the near future, they plan to focus on running longer political education programs that will help in building an all round perspective on the contemporary socio-economic and political issues.

How can you contribute?

Sambhaavnaa Institute has voluntary, fellowship, full-time as well as philanthropic opportunities for people wishing to get involved.

For volunteering opportunities, check this out: www.sambhaavnaa.org/get-involved/volunteer For fellowship opportunities, check this out:

www.sambhaavnaa.org/get-involved/fellowship If you wish to donate, please head over to this link:


Important Links

For any queries/questions, you can reach out to Sambhaavnaa Institute here: Email Address: programs@sambhaavnaa.org

Website: www.sambhaavnaa.org Facebook: www.facebook.com/Sambhaavnaa Twitter: www.twitter.com/Sambhaavnaa Head Office Address: V.P.O. - Kandwari, Tehsil Palampur, Kangra - 176125, Himachal Pradesh.

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