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Camps Process

Camps Process

NIRMAN camps are the 1st stage of NIRMAN process as it lays a foundation for the youth to lead a purposeful life. NIRMAN camps are designed to promote self-learning in an interactive and lively way.

Each batch of around 200 selected youth goes through a series of 3 residential camps (in a progressively selected manner) that are organized once in every 6 months. Each camp is of about 8 days, conducted at Shodhgram, Gadchiroli and the series continues for one year. Participants from different regional, economic and academic backgrounds add depth and breadth to this process.

The series of three camps builds on various important themes including:

  • Understanding self – exploring one’s values, identity, life dreams, one’s body and sexuality, one’s drives for social action, financial needs and aspirations, etc.
  • Exploring one’s relationship with society and nature
  • Experiential understanding of the grass root situations and the issues faced by people
  • Interaction with eminent change-makers and real life role models from various fields who have achieved demonstrated social impact
  • Realizing the difference between random acts of kindness and social problem solving method
  • Learning various approaches of solving social challenges and their practical examples
  • Philosophical understanding about the purpose and meaning of life, difference between meaning and happiness, and developing clarity about one’s life mission
  • Understanding the biological basis of altruism and concepts for practicing effective altruism
  • Nurturing a values-based and criteria driven decision making process
  • Raising questions about the present inequities in society and providing exposure to the participants so that they can develop their own personal socio-political-economic worldview
  • Appreciation and curiosity about the impact of applied research, the power of measurement, and the process of community empowerment and knowledge transfer
  • Understanding various options of contributing to the social sector, facilitating clarity about life goals and personal career, help in determining and choosing concrete work options
  • Cultivating a spirit of experimentation with life – Kar Ke Dekho
  • To stimulate thinking and emotional sharing, being authentic, strengthening the interpersonal bond and a budding social change maker identity

Experts from different fields discuss with the youth the problems from social, economic, scientific and technological perspectives. Participation by the students from diverse backgrounds - regional, financial and academic, adds breadth and depth to the experience in the camp.

The various educational interventions and techniques used in the NIRMAN camps include
  • Personal Exercises and Introspective Questionnaires
  • Case Studies, Group Discussions and Sharing
  • Interactive Sessions with the Experts and Resource Persons
  • Field Visits and Exercises, Group Presentations
  • Community and Peer Learning Spaces and Free form Question/Answers
  • Books and Journal Club
  • Reading and Discussion on different Articles
  • Songs, Role plays and Games
  • Movies and Documentaries
  • Shram-daan
  • Self-learning Activities and Reflections Sharing
  • Personal One-on-one Discussions with NIRMAN Team Members
  • Preparing Action-Learning Plans for the intervening six months before the next camp
  • Along with the camps, study visits, educative sessions, reading assignments, internships, fellowships, individual mentoring, individual volunteering and group actions are carried out. They help sensitize the youth towards societal challenges through exposure and experience. In this intermediate period between the camps, the participants keep in touch with each other and build further understanding of social issues through self-initiation and self-learning activities.

Before the Camps - Selection Process

The participants aspiring to join NIRMAN have to fill up an introspective questionnaire which includes questions regarding their values, goals in life, personality characteristics, decisions, interaction with social realities, etc. Based on the applications, the participants are screened for personal interviews.

After the Camps – Starting Their Work

After having gone through the NIRMAN process of camps, the participants commonly develop/decide on their area of interest for social contribution. Frequent discussions are carried out with the NIRMAN team and various resource persons to develop clarity regarding the individual’s prospective work domain, area, role and problem definition, organizational and financial aspects so that person specific edu-action plan is chalked out.

The participants who have graduated and want to start working, generally take up one of the following five work options:

  • Be a social entrepreneur and start one’s own venture
  • Work with different non-profit organizations with an explicit social mission
  • Join the government system and serve the people
  • Avail certain fellowships to work on a definite project and
  • Work in the private sector and contribute part time for some social cause

Key Features of the NIRMAN Process

  • Sensitize the youth towards societal challenges through exposure and experience
  • Solidify their conviction to work on social issues and develop a problem solving attitude
  • Expose the young participants to a different ‘life philosophy’, to the concept of ‘Swadharm as fulfilling the Purpose of Life’ and help them achieve personal goal clarity
  • Facilitate their journey towards becoming a healthy, responsible and effective adult by enabling their growth in self-awareness, thought clarity, self-expression, confidence, appreciation of diversity, spirit of experimentation, etc.
  • Support them to take concrete steps for social action and provide them with useful tools and frameworks to become an impactful social change agent
  • Give them an enabling and stimulating group of friends and an outstanding network

Venue

The camps are held at Shodhgram, Gadchiroli, the main campus of SEARCH.