Why do you only/mostly conduct workshops?
We have found that the intensive/immersive workshop format works very effectively to communicate knowledge/skills/perspectives and trigger sel-learning processes. A 40-hour workshop for instance, is equivalent to a semester-long course in university; yet it's easier for people to take a week out for some committed learning, than take six months out for it.
I was hoping to join the Gap Year College, but it's no longer running!?
Yes, the Gap Year College as an extended year-long programme is no longer running (Why?), but you can put your own gap year together. Attend a few of our workshops (these workshops were a key component of the Gap Year College program!) and you'll get ideas for a lot of projects to pursue; combine these with other meaningful places/people to visit (which too we can point you to) and you could have a very fulfilling and edifying gap year in place.
Who attends your workshops?
People from all kinds of backgrounds do; teachers, students, educators, ngo workers, businessmen, bureaucrats, activists, and seekers of every ilk.
What's the average age of participants?
32 years. Thus the actual age of participants ranges from 18 to 65.
How much does a workshop cost?
Depending on the duration and nature of the workshop, our workshops have so far been priced somewhere between Rs.2000 and Rs.5000 per participant. This is to cover the boarding and lodging expenses of participants and the travel expenses and modest honorarium for the workshop facilitators. Some workshops are shared as a gift, and for these there is no 'fee', but only a suggested contribution. The Jeevan Vidya workshops especially are ones that we share freely, since for them the facilitator does not even seek an honorarium, and participants who are able to are simply requested to contribute something to cover boarding and lodging costs.
Do you offer scholarships?
Occasionally we do, if there are a sufficient number of full-fee-paying participants for us to recover the minimal costs of conducting the workshop; the scholarships usually take the form of a partial/substantial fee waiver.
Why don't you make your workshops free?
The expenses involved in conducting the workshop (boarding and lodging of participants, travel expenses and honoraria for the facilitators...) need to be recovered, and these come from the participant fees.
(Why) have(n't) you got a campus of your own?
We don't have a campus of our own. We use the premises of friendly individuals/institutions for our programs. We decided to focus our energies on the content of our programs rather than spending years setting up new infrastructure; in our view there is a surfeit of unutilised/underutilised infrastructure scattered all over the country.
Why do you operate out of a rural location?
We seek to practice the kind of healthy, wealthy and wise living we advocate, and that is easier in our rural location. Here's how the city hurts your brain, not to mention other parts of your body. Distanced from their daily preoccupations, we find participants to be better able to focus on the workshop, while also enjoying the idyllic life around.
I don't have time. Can I come for part of a workshop?
No, not unless a specific workshop is specifically opened to partial participation. Most of our workshops are of an integrated and immersive nature, and missing part of the workshop is a sure way of missing out on the self-learning processes that the workshops seeks to trigger in participants.
Why aren't your workshops shorter, so more people could attend?
As mentioned above, apart from communicating knowledge and understanding in a condensed form, the real aim of our workshops is to trigger self-learning / self-exploratory processes in the participants. This is possible only in workshops of a certain duration and intensity.
Can I bring my friend / partner / spouse to the workshop?
No, please don't. We would like your undivided attention during the workshop, and by long experience we find that this is often unlikely if you come accompanied with a friend / partner. Additionally, some workshops are self-exploratory in a very deep way and require you to interrogate your interpersonal relationships, and it helps in the self-exploratory process to be distanced for the moment from the immediate contingencies of these relationships.
For some workshops that are more skill/knowledge based though (like film-making, theatre, food...), it's ok to come together.
If an idyllic holiday is what you are looking for, you can come another time for a farm-stay, for which we can point you to some good options in our region.
Will my cellphone work at the venue?
Some cellphones work, while others don't. In any case best to give your phone a little holiday while you attend the workshop; don't expect to run your business telephonically during the workshop.
Can I check my email while attending the workshop?
There is no e-mail / internet access available to participants during the workshop.
Do you give a certificate at the end of the workshop?
No we don't. We hope what you'll take back from the workshop will be much more valuable than any printed piece of paper. However, if you need a certificate to prove to your employer / organisation that you attended the workshop, we'll give you one.
Can I bring my child to the workshop?
That depends on how old your child is. In most cases you'll also have to bring along a care provider (and pay for his/her stay at the venue), so that you can participate unhindered in the workshop.
We do not have the staff to provide care to children during a workshop.
Can I bring my dog to the workshop?
No, you may not bring a dog or other pet.
Are you willing to conduct a workshop in a new location?
Yes we are, if there is a suitable person / organisation to collaborate with us to make this happen at that location.
Who funds you?
We are funded entirely from the fees from participants of our workshops and by occasional contributions from friends. We are not funded by any funding agency.
So how do you make a profit?
We are a not-for-profit organisation; however, we do desire to be self-sustaining, and for this reason have to peg a minimum participant fee for most of our programs. We usually do not end up with a 'profit'; however, any excess funds left after the costs of a workshop have been met, are ploughed back into future programs of the organisation.
What's your legal status?
We are a Public Charitable Trust, registered in Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, with the mandate to conduct our programs anywhere in the country.