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Annual Gatherings

IMA Annual Members Gathering 2023

Date: 17th to 20th August 2023

Location: Khana Shanti Vanam, Hyderabad


The Annual Members Gathering of the Indian Multiversities Alliance (IMA) took place at the serene and spiritually enriched campus of Khana Shanti Vanam, the global center of the Heartfulness Institute. Spanning 1400 acres, this event was marked by its spiritual undertone and a focus on holistic education and human transformation.


Spiritual Undertone:

The gathering commenced each day with a rejuvenating yoga session, setting a peaceful and centered tone for the participants. Following this, guided Heartfulness meditation sessions were conducted by experienced trainers. The attendees drew inspiration from Mr. Vineet, who has been diligently managing the ashram for six years, and were profoundly impressed by his unwavering dedication to seva (service) amidst the demands of such a massive project. Additionally, the attendees had the privilege of an exclusive interaction with Daaji, the spiritual leader of the Heartfulness movement, who validated the IMA's vision and approach toward holistic education and human transformation.


Joyful Interactions:

A prevalent theme throughout the gathering was the importance of joy in all activities. The belief that "no serious work can get done without being joyful" guided the atmosphere. Singing, dancing, playing games, hugging, and laughter were integral parts of the event. The camaraderie and deep bonds formed during these interactions laid the foundation for ongoing collaboration within the alliance throughout the year.


Engagement with the School:

A serendipitous arrangement led to the hosting of all IMA sessions within a school building that serves approximately 900 students. Remarkably, the school principal and key staff members voluntarily attended and actively participated in each IMA session. Attendees were moved by a mesmerizing performance by the school's children, showcasing their astonishing augmented perception and sensorial intelligence. Blindfolded, they could touch a paper and read what was written on it, a seemingly magical demonstration. This experience reinforced the belief that each individual possesses multiple intelligences beyond the superficial logical intelligence, emphasizing the importance of nurturing these faculties.


Sharing of Projects:

IMA members had the opportunity to share insights into their respective projects and visions. Organizational leaders presented videos highlighting their learner communities and the substantial impact their projects were having on regenerating community, culture, health, and the environment. Challenges were openly discussed, consultations were sought, and inspiration was drawn from one another's work. The event also showcased collaborative IMA projects such as Germinator and the Alivelihoods program.


Strengthening the Alliance:

Acknowledging that "collectively we are greater than the sum of individual parts," the gathering included intense introspection on how to enhance engagement and collaboration within the alliance. Attendees committed to dedicating time away from their daily operations to invest effort and intention in building this collective, which holds the potential for transformative change on a global scale.



The Indian Multiversities Alliance Annual Members Gathering at Khana Shanti Vanam in Hyderabad was a spiritual, joyful, and intellectually stimulating event. With 62 members participating from various parts of India and Nepal, it reinforced the importance of collaboration, holistic education, and human transformation in regenerating the diverse wealth found in communities, cultures, health, and the planet. The event's success lies in the shared vision and commitment of the alliance's members to make a positive impact on the world.


List of Participants: 

Project Name
Name of Representative
Project DEFY
Boicha Huidrom
10min evening college
pankaj jain
Vision Rainbow - an open school
Areefa Dice
Deer Park Institute
Pravin Shakya
Rainbow collective
Nishat Anaira
Swaraj Jail University
Parmeshwar Vyas
Talam, Auroville
Talam, Auroville
Nittin Shankar
Flow Game India
Arvind Shivakumar
Yashna Singhvi
The Dharavi DREAM Project-After School of Hip-Hop
Dolly Rateshwar
dJed Foundation
Dilip Jain
Sutradhaar Social Ventures
Archana Tomar
Azadwadi - Community learning space
Atul Srivastava
Design Your Infinite Possibilities
Atanu Ghosh
The Museum School
Shibani Ghosh
The Museum School
Pradeep Ghosh
dJed Foundation
Asha Gandhi
The Ignite Foundation & Khoj India
Naji Mahfood
Durgesh Nandhini
Hasmukh Sapnawala
Bijaya Mani Paudel
K12 Studio
Sandeep C Kannikanti
Earthenomics Foundation
Anish K Sreedharan
I Life
G Raghavendra Reddy
I Life
Druthi A K
Earthenomics Foundation
Sunki Nandika Reddy
Priyanka Modi and Atharva Kumar
aarohi open leanring community and Aarohi Coversity
Aditi & Ratnesh
Hrut Collage
Urmila Samson
Tribe permaculture
john DSouza
joy jungle & movement meets stillness
siddharth kubavat
Parul Seth
Sahjivan Eco Farms
Gopal Singh
SaSarjan ...TalentExcel
Happy Ajay Sanghani 9820020753
Kesla Inititatve (Eklavya Foundation)
Abhishek Savarnya
The Learning centre Goa
snigdha sehgal
The Learning centre Goa
Nathan Braganza
Urban Ashram, Pune
Sheetal sanghvi
Swaraj University
Manish Jain
Swaraj University
Harsh Wardhan
Lemon Ideas
Deepak Menaria
Spiritual Tablets Research Foundation
Chandra Modali
Self-Eco Care
Kanwal Pal Singh (KP)
Nitin Paranjape
Hasmukh Sapnawala
Spiritual Tablets Research Foundation
Dr. C.S. Udaya
We The Yuva
Vijay Bharatiya
Swaraj unschoolers Ecovillage
Mrudula Bhala
Swaraj Jail University
Banyan Tree/ OtherIndiabookstore
Dinesh Kothari
Banyan Tree/ OtherIndiabookstore
Anuj kothari
Let's Enterprise & EcoFriends Community
Akash Bhalerao
CoEvolve Partners- The Heartistry of Learning Together
Kiran Gulrajani
prem-a-culture, satsangam yatra
Arti Bhandari
TIDE (Together In Development & Education) Foundation
Dr Jwalin Patel

IMA Annual Members Gathering 2019

Date: 21st May - 24th May, 2019

Location: Bir, Himachal Pradesh.

In the 2nd Indian Multiversities Alliance meet , we intend to create a space to share our work, to reflect on our learnings so far and to evolve a direction for us collectively. We hope to build a network of alternative learning opportunities for youth and support those who would like to create people's Multiversities.
About Anandwan :
About Lemon school :

Under the Bright Blue Sun

On a sleepy rainy morning
We paint a bright blue sun
Drawn into this unfolding
There's nothing we can't learn

We flock together, in multicolour
Each of us like none
We fly in the sky, we smile and sigh
We sing and dance as one

To conferences & schools, structures of society
We go and add the word "un"
We tear up every tyrannical rule book
And have a hell of a lot of fun!

Together in walkouts of various ways
Together in mess & churn
In surrender to the dazzling light
Of what makes our hearts burn

With no marks to get, no hoops to jump
And no credits to earn
We break walls in minds and hearts
to do what cannot be done

This isn't just a new chapter or a book
We're making the whole library turn
And inviting the librarian to join IMA
Even if she may be stern

We're mothers birthing the newness
Of the world our hearts oft yearn
As our ways shall spread & roots go deep
That lost ancientness shall return

It can't be stopped, stolen or silenced
Cos its already really begun
And one fine day, we'll smile at the sky
and our bright blue sun!

By: Abhishek Thakore

Over the four days, we will be sharing our work together, discuss ideas for strengthening the Alliance, plan the next steps for collaborative projects, visit a few learning centres close to Deer Park, meet and exchange our experiences, and learn from the wisdom of inspiring spiritual leaders of classical wisdom traditions.


Around 60 practioners of alternative education met at Bir, Plamapur for Indian Multiversity Alliance (IMA) annual gathering. This was the fourth meeting of the IMA. The location was chosen so that we can have the maximum out of this experience in the lovely heat of the tropics. The gathering was hosted by the Deer Park.


There were around 60participants from across the country representing different organizations. The names are enclosed in the Annexure.


- Annual Meet up of Multiversities Alliance members ( ).

- Reconnect to and review our core values.

- Review our earlier plans, experiences and activities and cargo (responsibilities).

- Encourage cross pollination, mentorship and synergies among member participants

- Sharing of practices, models and innovations to further evolve the national agenda of Re-imagining Education with newer members, leaders and change makers

- Co-create new projects for mutual collaboration, greater social impact and personal growth of leaders.

- Visit sustainable, learning spaces (Sambhavana & Avishkaar) in Himachal Pradesh to learn, share and reflect as a group

DAY 1:


The day started with the Ice breaker and short introduction of the partners through an exercise.

Manish welcomed all the participants and gave an introduction of the IMA especially for the new participants and where are we today.

Claude Alvares gave a very inspiring background and touched upon the significance of the IMA in the present context. A video of the same is attached along with this report.

Brief presentations by the new projects taken under the IMA last year: During the 2018 meeting new projects were conceived and launched like Traveller’s University, Gap Year Programme, Converse Action.

- Rahul and Ashiq presented their work over the year about the traveler’s university.

- Aneeta presented about the Anubhava – Pan India Gap Year Programme

- Deepankar and Chetan presented their project of Converse Action.

- Abhishek presented project Youth Fest 2069.

- 52 livelihoods was also presented.


Post lunch a Mela of different new initiative which have joined the IMA was organized. Some of the projects who shared their ideas and projects were Sambhavana, Avishkaar, DEFY project, Youth Link,Jail University, Gnostic Center, storytelling.


The second day started with debriefing of the first and harvesting the feelings which emerged on first day. There was great sense of community which the participants felt.


The day was focused to provide space to the partners who wish to start new projects. It was an enriching half a day where everyone contributed their idea and energy to support the projects which are at the idea level.

Presentation and Discussion by Prashant Varma on Engaging with Classical Wisdom

Prashant who hosted us at Deer Park presented the vision behind the deer park and gave us an understanding work related to Classical wisdom which they are focusing on.


A visit was organized to understand the Buddhist culture. We had a guided tour of the Bhumang Jampaling Monastery. We witnessed the vening class of debate which the students have as part of their studies. A student spends 18 years to learn about Buddhism.


The day started with the debriefing of the last day. The facilitators harvested the need of the various participants.

The third day focus was to initiate the collaborative projects and strengthen the new ideas which were emerging which can be undertaken under IMA.
We had 6 ideas which emerged for more understanding. The groups took space of their choice and the different participants choose different projects to interact with.


The participants were divided into smaller groups and brainstormed on any new collaborative projects. Some of the Following projects made their presentation

1. Sustainable Campus

2. I lead

3. Mensversity

4. Rediscover India


Some of the participants did sewa at the Deer park farm. They helped in harvesting the wheat field and preparation of the mulch.


Soon the final day arrived, which started with a check in. carrying on with the enthusiasm of participants, various cargos were made after much deliberation which took different roles and responsibilities. Following cargos were made:

1. Communication (Website Updates, Content Group & Newsletter)

2. Learner Forum/Festival

3. Heart stewards

4. Mentoring new team

5. Next gathering

6. Knowledge team

A steering committee was also presented to the participants which actively met throughout the gathering to chalk out the strategy of the network.


Smaller groups were formed in order to harvest the learning of the gathering.

At the end we had a beautiful and powerful silent closing ritual facilitated by Harsh and Mohit.


The group visited Sambhavana and Avishkaar post lunch to understand their organisations’s work.


The gathering concluded with the determination to take forward the movement with more strength and increase the number of learner’s and partner organisation who align with the vision of the IMA.


IMA Annual Members Gathering 2018

Date: 9th to 12th March 2018

Location: Nagpur, India


In the 2nd Indian Multiversities Alliance meet , we intend to create a space to share our work, to reflect on our learnings so far and to evolve a direction for us collectively. We hope to build a network of alternative learning opportunities for youth and support those who would like to create people's Multiversities.
About Anandwan :
About Lemon school :

That Indian education system is in doldrums and needs a overhaul of change * innovation is an oft repeated complaint in our daily lives. However, there are a few brave ones who take the step towards working on solutions to this grave problem. And, a small section of these bold warriors graced Nagpur with their presence recently during the second annual meetup of the Indian Multiversities Alliance (IMA).

For the uninitiated, these are institutions that stress on learner-driven modes of education, increasing the sustainability quotient of the world around them and improving the connection to nature and human consciousness among the learners. Though these values stand as the common ground on which all these organisations work, their areas of operation differ manifold.

While the one-size-fits-all formula may work well in the manufacturing industry, it doesn’t do so well in the field of education. This was the realization that lead to the constitution of what have come to be known as multiversities.

Today, such institutions abound through the length and breadth of the country - from Himalayan Institute of Alternatives, Ladakh to Sadhana Forest in Puducherry and from Udaipur’s Shikshantar to Guwahati’s Brahmaputra Cultural Foundation. Several of these institutions have now informally come together to collaborate and take the movement forward. However, before that happens, let’s delve into the concept itself and the ideas that went into the formation of this educational revolution. To further strengthen and navigate the efforts of alliance, a gathering was organized for members of Indian Multiversities Alliance at Nagpur in the month of March 2018.

The meet took place between March 9 and 12, 2018, kicking off at Nagpur based Lemon School of Entrepreneurship (LSE) who were the hosts. Incidentally, it was held in an institution that has upheld the ideas of sustainability, learner-led education, rebuilding the local economy, increased synergy with nature and localized solutions espoused by IMA - Anandwan. Thirty five people representing twenty one organizations from all over the country attended it. This meet was also recognized as regional meeting of Global Ecoversities network for Indian Sub-continent and was supported by Ecoversities team and patrons.



The meet kickstarted with a typical Nagpuri breakfast at LSE campus. It was followed by an introduction session which had many an interesting ice breaking activities that helped the participants get better acquainted with each other. Manish Jain from Swaraj University of Udaipur, the grand old man of IMA Claude Alvares from Goa and LSE founder Deepak Menaria introduced everyone to the concept of multiversity and the topics to be discussed over the next three days.

Sunil Deshpande of Sampoorna Bamboo Kendra, Amravati spoke about his experiences of working among the Kokru tribe of Melghat. “People usually equate development of tribal people with them forgetting their own history and traditions. We thought of adopting their ways of life instead and then looking for ways for economic upliftment of the community,” he said while explaining his vision of the project.

All the participants were in awe of Deshpande’s ways of introducing the locals to the tensile strength and other good qualities of the local bamboos which would usually be burnt off. After this realisation, the villagers started utilising it all to make articles out of this erstwhile waste product.

LSE also took the occasion to introduce its paradigms of learning through action, reflection and experimentation that their students go through. The idea is to equip an aspiring entrepreneur with qualities that traditional business schools shy away from discussing. “We are not here to produce graduates who would sell diapers and detergents. Instead, our students are put in real-world situations and undergo experiential learning. Thus, picking up skills required for the venture they dream of floating,” said chief Idea farmer and founder of LSE Deepak Menaria. Many entrepreneurs showcased their ideas as well as work to all participants as part of Start up Mela. The experience of enjoying Maharashtrian food in a very humble Indian way of “pangat” (ground seating) was very touching for the participants where LEMON team played the role of host and serving all visiting guests.

The rest of the first day was spent on the trip to Anandwan, giving all the participants ample time and opportunity to mingle. The next morning, they could see this sprawling institution which is as old as independent India. It was established to provide a home to people with leprosy, who were driven out of their homes and villages and left to fend for themselves at that time. Today, this model village is home to people with many other disabilities. Despite their physical shortcomings, the residents of Anandwan are financially independent, involved in industries like handicraft, textile and agriculture.

The participants were overwhelmed to see the extent of entrepreneurial capability and grit shown by the villagers. They were all especially impressed to see Sahakuntala, an artist with cerebral palsy and unable to use her hands. She painted with her feet! Not just paintings, she did embroidery and murals as well, again with her feet. There were several other talented people around, some of whom performed during a cultural programme the next evening. Everything from stand-up comedy and mimicry to singing and dancing was done by the artistic villagers.

Over the next two days, the participants ventured into several journeys within their souls as they saw the smiling faces of the residents of this village made up of people rejected and refused by the mainstream population, discussed the lack of self love in the world and learnt to look at the world from each other’s perspectives.

These pit stops of these journeys were the formal sessions of the meet where all participants spoke about the work of their respective organisations. Some of the new members of the IMA also discussed their ideas of projects that were still being thought about. There were many open spaces for participants to propose and discuss new ideas and projects. One of the essential elements of the meet war to help participants develop bonding with others as well as explore possibilities of collaboration and co-creations. Few important threads that eventually got converted into smaller focused group were :

  • The idea of Gap year and take this thread forward and make it more concrete concept which could essentially open doors for many youngsters to explore gap year and explore who they are and what they want be

  • Another discussion thread was around mentoring and incubating more education based innovative startups ideas to push the engine the change forward

  • Few participants got into discussion of hunting for multiversities in India and getting them to this alliance make this movement reach newer geographies , The question was can we become 100 Multiversities alliance in one year

  • Human’s of multiversity was another project being discussed during the meet

  • There was discussion around next meet and many participants volunteered to host the nest meeting either at Baroda or Auroville or North east India

  • The upcoming Global Ecoversities meet in Udaipur was also discussed where members of IMA join as part of host team


On the sidelines, there were discussions about the current state of education in India. “At one time, scholars from all over the world would come to India for higher studies because of the superior syllabus in our universities. But today, young people here are avoiding going to classes because we are serving them useless garbage there!,” said Claude.

Dilip Jain from HIAL believes that the current education system is not futuristic enough. “It does not inculcate the quality of evolving their learning ability among the students. Education has now become content driven rather than being character driven,” he said. He added that the key attributes expected of an education can not be taught in a classroom.

Agreeing with this thought, Meenakshi Puvidham who runs a school in the small town of Dharmapuri in Tamil Nadu, said, “Kids don’t want to confined to benches and tables, listening to boring lectures. They want to be free, move around and speak out.” This is the principle she holds dear while running the school where children learn through being involved in organic farming and creative arts in a completely transparent and non-judgmental environment.

There was a full-blown session on coming up with an accepted definition of the term ‘multiversities’ wherein every adjective used to describe the term was discussed in detail. This was done to make sure that like the constituting institutions themselves, the term ‘multiversity’ remains boundless and all-encompassing. The new, improved and universally accepted definition will soon be put on the alliance’s new website!

After coming back to Nagpur, the participants had the chance to meet with Nagpurians who were working on projects similar to theirs or could help their cause in some manner.

These ‘outsiders’ were made a part of this year’s meet, with the intention of introducing the work of multiversities across the country to the general populace. They had overwhelmingly positive reaction to this parallel stream of education flowing by them. Here are a few of their reactions:

Bhagyashree Deshpande, runs a school on a farm for village children: Meeting the people here and hearing their ideas has had a deep impact on me. It is a rare chance for people who do not identify with what the mainstream preaches. It is inspiring that nobody here is saying, “This is the way to do things.” but “I have this solution.”

Shalini Arora, social activist: People are now getting tired of the conventional ways of learning, earning and living. They are looking for alternatives. I am pleased to have learnt of many such alternatives through the IMA. This is how learning will evolve in the future and it is happening right in front of our eyes!

Shalini Arora, social activist: People are now getting tired of the conventional ways of learning, earning and living. They are looking for alternatives. I am pleased to have learnt of many such alternatives through the IMA. This is how learning will evolve in the future and it is happening right in front of our eyes!



Here are the reflections at the end of the meet that some of the participants had:

Bhila Thakare, Abhivyakti Media for Development, Nashik: I felt like being a part of a revolutionary movement during all the discussion sessions. People from varied backgrounds brought different perspectives which was a great stimulant.

Sonika Gupta, Swaraj University, Udaipur: I realised all over again how people usually feel trapped by the rigors of the ‘real world’. While most people would look at the multiversities here as an escape, they are providing much needed respite and succour to so many by giving them the courage to reclaim their lives and means of livelihood.

Shilpika Bordoloi, Brahmaputra Cultural Foundation, Guwahati: In my area of expertise, physical theatre, I touch upon educational philosophies. But here, I got a whole new perspective by learning of the heartening journeys some of the other participants had undertaken. Overall, it was a healing and wholesome experience!

Mukesh Ashar, Lemon School of Entrepreneurship, Nagpur: I surprised myself by express myself in a way I haven’t in the past 20 years! The associations built during the meet was priceless, especially because I came to know that the world is full of unselfish people.

All the participants were grateful for the presence of two special little ones among them. (Thank you, Rishin and Rajni for the practical demonstration of benefits of unschooling through Coco and Durga!)



It is safe to say that this four-day meet was extremely successful. Not only was this an opportunity for the older members of the IMA to come together for a discussion of the direction of the organization, but also gave a chance to the newer members to discuss their budding ideas with them. The occasion was also used to introduce the wonderful work of the participating organization to the general public through interactions as well as media reports. Many smaller teams got constituted with specific focus areas to work further as part of collaborating and co-creating this movement of change.



Bahmaputra Cultural Foundation
Bhoomi Network
Break the cycle
Hyderabad Trails
Klorofeel/ Mindtree
Lemon School of Entrepreneruship
Oasis Social Innovation lab
Prakriti Organics
Sadhana Forest
Sampoorna Bamboo project
Mumbai/ Leh
Swaraj University
Travellers University
Youth Movement
Abhivyakti Media for Development

IMA Annual Members Gathering 2017

Date: 21st to 23rd June 2017

Location: Swaraj University, Udaipur, Rajasthan, India

The Indian Multiversities Alliance 1st meet aims to harness the collective wisdom and imagination of different organisations to give the youth more learning opportunities and choices than the ones currently available in the current education scenario. It aims to generate meaningful responses to the deep crisis of relevance facing the Indian education system.

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