An online documentation of the khojis' learnings and doings.

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Inter-generational housing experiments, trying something new vs reverting to old days

Sharing an article on inter-generational housing experiments..

https://transitionnetwork.org/news-and-blog/web-generations-housing-ages-chicagos-h-o-m-e/ A Web of Generations: Housing for All Ages at Chicago’s H.O.M.E.

Excerpt:
“The residence houses up to 12 older people and 4 residential assistants, college students or young people with jobs who live here rent-free in exchange for about 20 hours a week of help, from laundry to meal prep to entertainment.”

My two cents: Believe it or not, even the americans say that earlier this was automatically the case and now things are so separated and lonely. It’s a universal condition, the feeling is mutual. But in this case I see an acceptance that things have changed and a willingness to explore new and creative ways of dealing with the situation rather than just lamenting about the good old days. And I must also give some weightage to the fact that earlier when this was the case, there was also a lot of needless policing, lack of freedom, stress of
expectations.. which many folks are sincerely glad to have gotten away from. Perhaps it’s just as well that we try something new instead of simply reverting.

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Posters and web design by Nikhil

In Jan/Feb 2013 I had done an online internship: I assisted Helena Norberg-Hodge and her team in organising for the Economics of Happiness Conference that took place in March-2013 in Byron Bay, Australia. Click here to see some amazing talks and sessions that happened there. The conference, and the work of its organizers (ISEC), revolves around promoting localization of economies, healthier and happier lives, ecological balance, social justice and many more themes.
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India loves Pakistan


This is an initiative to build a people-to-people bridge of peace and love between traditionally rival nations, through posters with messages of peace. It started between Israel-Iran and has since spread elsewhere. (more…)

Story : the Parrot’s Training

I would like to share a story that I adapted from the nobel prize winning poet Rabindranath Tagore, in which he warned us of the dangers of McEducation for All almost 75 years ago.

In The Parrot’s Training, we are told of a golden cage that is built to imprison the wild and uncivilized parrot so that she can be properly educated by the king’s pundits. In addition to the 3Rs, she should also learn who is the Boss as well as be familiar with all the latest global brands.

First, the teachers tried stuffing the bird with pages of the official textbooks. That didn’t work. Then a UNICEF project came with all kinds of child-friendly and joyful techniques. They also taught the parrot about child rights.

No improvement.

Then the World Bank gave a loan to the king (with austerity conditionalities of course) to build a bigger cage with a nice toliet.

Still, no difference.

Then the OECD came with the PISA standardized tests and new a national policy white paper was written. Harvard researchers were invited to conduct studies on the parrot’s brain and multiple intelligences.

Nothing worked.

Then Apple gave it an iPad and a free high speed wifi connection. She even got her own facebook page.

But the parrot was not allowed to leave the cage despite her obvious distress. In fact she was scolded for being ungrateful and impertinent. Anti-depressants drugs were prescribed.

As the parrot was overstuffed with information, she internalized her label as a ‘slow learner’ and a ‘failure’ and lost her power of self-designed learning. She became totally dependent on the cage. Her dreams were reduced to being a rat in the rat-race. A deep loss of purpose ensued. Slowly her spirit withered away.
In the end, a lot of people made a lot of money on the parrot’s education, everyone benefited except the parrot.

The time has come to more deeply understand the nature of the cage and its impact on each of us and our communities in both the South and the North – beyond what the World Bank economists tell us.

It is important to crack open and re-examine our definitions of progress, success, happiness and to look at how our imaginations for social action have been colonized by the cage.

We also need to question the assumption that, if we keep adding more and more stuff onto the cage, we can actually fix or transform its fundamental nature.

Manish Jain,
Shikshantar: The Peoples’ InstituShikshantarte for Rethinking Education and Development
83 Adinath Nagar, Udaipur, Rajasthan, 313004 INDIA
Tel: 91-294-245-1303
Web: www.swaraj.org/shikshantar

Hymn from the Thin

Inline image 1
Friends, Healthy Dames, Lend me your fat,
For I am too thin and that’s a fact!

My body disposes of every nutrition thrown at it
I’ve been called Skeletor and sometimes I really look like it

All those great-looking body-hugging tees, they melt my heart
Though if I put one on, I certainly won’t look the part!

I can’t feel my hands and feet in winters cold
While upon me many times my shirt will fold

When I stuff in more food to balance my BMI,
The signs aren’t good, like floating interest on an EMI

My system suddenly reacts, disposes of the excess mass.
In forms of solids, liquids and, well, even Gas!

While most humans can stay afloat in water high enough to gulp air,
My Low-Vol, HD physique makes me sink like a wreck in the seas of despair.

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Poem: Give Peace a Chance


“Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” – George Santayana

Let’s make clear everyone realizes the price we pay for war
The way humanity takes a back seat as tempers soar
The way we forget what’s really important in this life
It’s the love of loved ones, not a land in strife. (more…)

Poem: Values

Do our children know how to count…. their blessings?
Can they read… between the lines?
Can they comprehend… the feelings of others?
Can they find the solutions to… the problems that haven’t been solved yet?
Can they draw… a better future for everybody?
Can they question… the status quo?

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