It’s a different kind of school. Curious passers-by often stop to ask, ‘What kind of a school is this?’ or ‘What can this school do?’
Standing on a small piece of land near Bhim in Bhilwara district, Rajasthan, the School for Democracy (Loktantrashala) provides courses on various issues of democratic functioning, which affect you, me and countless Indians. It is the outcome of deliberation within the Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan (MKSS) and many other such movements and individuals.
The MKSS was featured in Satyamev Jayate’s episode called Kings Every Day. “The School for Democracy owes its existence to the pressing need for democratic education for those who need it the most—the poor, the marginalised and those discriminated against socially or politically,” says Aruna Roy, co-founder of MKSS. “The idea was born about three decades ago, but took shape in 2004.”
As part of its democratic education, the school teaches the Constitution, and broadly covers political, socio-economic and cultural aspects of a working democracy. The subjects include constitutional understanding, governance, people’s control over the decision-making process and establishing accountability. Learners further define the subjects they wish to be taught and the curriculum is then drawn from this.
The various activities of the school include a public lecture series on concepts of democracy; a youth diwas (youth day) where students from neighbouring villages are invited to engage with these subjects; trainings on rights-based legislations such as the RTI and NREGA; workshops and short courses for activists and others; and a jan sansad or people’s parliament that gathers to discuss a topic of current interest. True to its name, the people’s parliament is held in a circular hall in which people sit facing each other, thus embodying the idea equal participation.
At the moment, the campus is only partially constructed; the faculty block, for instance, still needs to be built. If you wish to increase the space for democratic education, you could donate to this initiative by:
- Sending a crossed cheque or demand draft in the name of School for Democracy to:
c/o MKSS Suchna Kendra
Asind Badnore Road, Near Kanya Patshala
Bhim – 305921, Rajsamand District,
- Making an electronic transfer.
Name of account holder: School for Democracy
Name of bank: SBBJ
SFD Account number: 51041231963
BHIM IFSC Code: SBBJ 0010215
For more information:
The School for Democracy runs entirely on private donations from India only. It does not accept funds from outside India or from institutions.
All donations are eligible for tax deductions under section 80G of the Indian Income Tax Act. Donors, who wish to avail this, will be given an 80G form.
To get a receipt for your donation, send an email to
email@example.com with your name, address, the name of your bank, the amount donated, and your account number.