Finally, after a period of 2 months, I managed to go out of Akbarpur for a so-called fun trip. At least that’s how I thought it to be; can’t say about Aarti and Anand, the other colleagues who accompanied me. “We all exist and survive despite hardships with a single goal of living in harmony along with preserving our nature and co-existing with it,” the basic philosophy of the place where we were supposed to go. Rakesh ji, our mentor here at Shramik Bharti is deeply influenced by this philosophy and suggested us to attend their sessions. The place is called MCVK (Manav Chetna Vikas Kendra) and is situated in Indore. They have a lush green campus 25km outside the city at Pivday. We attended their Parichay camp of 7 days.
This place was started in 2008 and I came to know about it only a month ago. All this began when a few people who were in search of “Mr. Sukh” decided to experiment and learn from the teachings of Nagrajan ji. In the process, a few families decided to set up a campus and live there to work on the evolution of human thinking and harmony. As of now, 30 families reside there and they claim to have achieved their goal. Now, they’re trying to spread the awareness and send a message to the outside world. These people, from what they say, are trying to create an alternative to the current human civilization where there is injustice everywhere and complete absence of harmony.
Our day in the camp used to start at 9:30am and go up to 6:30pm followed by a ghoshti session. The routine was same for all 7 days. We were made to stay in a dormitory which was my first time and truly an amazing experience. It was all organic food for the visitors during the camp stay. The campus consists of agricultural land where nature farming is done by the residents. In order to stop the “शोषण” (in their term) of nature, A/Cs are not allowed to be installed by any family living there. Ducting coolers are kept across the campus. In order to decrease their dependence on the “बाहर की अव्यवस्थित दुनिया”, as they call it, they have a gaushala. A bakery and a processing unit has been set up to produce the products for their basic needs.
The fundamental thing that they tried to explain is that the “अव्यवस्थित दुनिया के भ्रमित लोग”, as they call us, try to find this character called “Mr. Sukh” in materialistic things and facilities. In this process, they never get satisfied as the list goes on and on and on. Here, this is said to be the most common and basic blunder committed by human race till date. They blame the incompetence in human beings to understand issues and believe that just with proper understanding of harmony, relationship with nature and the default human behavior, this problem can be solved and every human being can live in harmony and happiness for the rest of their lives. To sum it up, we spent this 7-day long journey to know who actually is Mr. Sukh and where to find him as he is clearly the most wanted person on this planet.
One of the reasons behind this incompetence in understanding issues is the kind of education received by us. The current system is only teaching us how to make money either by hook or by crook. It is this money-centric approach which does injustice to students resulting in exploitation of the society leading to criminal activities and hence creation of criminals. Here, people don’t believe in the concept of school/university education. They refrain from sending their kids to schools/colleges and rather, prefer home schooling. The focus is on skill-based education that can be applied. By working in different setups inside the campus, children acquire skills based on their interest. It also removes the unnecessary pressure of our education system.
Relationship with the nature and society is considered most important. As per the current scenario, we are moving towards total destruction of our planet and in order to save everything, more focus is needed on strengthening this relationship. Currently, two types of relationship are at play. First, where an individual is giving less to the nature or society and taking more. This is the clear case of exploitation. Then comes the second type where the NGOs and civil society groups are basically giving back the same to nature or society as received by them. In this case, delta becomes zero by stagnating things and leading us nowhere. Here, these people are offering the third alternative where less is taken and more is given back, which is where the progress lies. They’re trying to set-up such a model through this campus experiment.
The solution lies in improving the understanding or in their words, “सब नासमझो को समझदार बनाना”. The long-term plan is to spread this idea to the whole of humanity. It is believed by them that one day, the whole world will follow their model. They have an action plan ready to reach to a large number of people and influence them leading further to an amendment in the constitution. They are also building a similar campus for 200 families in a nearby place.
Initially, I found all this too idealistic to be true and still think the same about a number of things. Their idea on education and collective living has fascinated me the most and I do agree with some of their arguments. Though, I disagree over a range of things. In my opinion, 7 days are too less to understand something of this kind and would want to go and stay there just like one of them for a month to have a better समझ of things.
About commune living – you can go through Gandhi’s Tolstoy Ashram. I recently read a good account of it in a book called The Secret Diary Of Kasturba Gandhi.