Bhoomi College Celebrates Bhoomi Utsav 2018: A Rebirth For Swaraj

October 2nd has always been a day to celebrate for India. For us, it is the day the nation birthed its father – Mahatma Gandhi. As time moves on, we too move on with our lives; lives which are going further away from the ideologies of the man that helped in our liberation. For many of us, Gandhi Jayanti is just another holiday. We remember him for only that one day, that one moment. For the rest of the year, the only contact we have with the Mahatma is in the wallets stashed in our back pockets.

Bhoomi College has moved away from the mundane celebrations, and tried to truly touch the soul of Gandhi Jayanti. In essence, celebrate not just a birthday, but celebrate that thought, that ideology and dive deeper to understand it better.

This is the essence of Swaraj, a notion popularised by Gandhi that has wavered since and exists in the dusty corners of our mind. Swaraj is built on the notion of self-reliance, something that has been taken over by corporates. We are in an age of dependence where we rely for every ounce of our daily existence on external factors.
Bhoomi Utsav aims at doing just the opposite! The thought is to give power back to the people through self-reliance and independence from corporate control. We are having talks, workshops and engaging events on multiple facets of life which are being hosted generously by members of society so that everyone can celebrate their independence and freedom of living.

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There are 6 categories of workshops:

  • Maker’s Hub (DIY products)

  • Fabrics of Society (Clothing)

  • Unlearning Learning (Education)

  • Dr Oota (Food)

  • Buildings of Future Past (Natural, sustainable building techniques) and

  • Earth Yatri (Sustainable Travel)

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Maker’s Hub

With industrialisation and mass manufacturing, machines have taken over what we used our hands for. Big businesses have been pushing their wares with promises of bigger, better and shinier. What ever happened to our childhood curiosities of fashioning stuff with our own hands? Also, with making comes a sensory experience that buying can never match and one which is far more sustainable. The added bonus is that with every handmade item you buy, you get to valiantly support a small community of makers, keeping both the skill and the artisan alive. At the Maker’s Hub, you will meet makers of products, learn a few DIY skills and take away handmade products that will be available for sale.

Organic terrace gardening workshop by Ravish Bhat

This will be an introductory workshop on organic terrace gardening to grow safe and functional vegetables. It will cover many basics of urban gardening including seeds, seedlings, containers, tools and implements, water, light, plant nutrition, pests and remedies. Ravish Bhat is the cofounder of BRICS and has 11 years of experience in industry and research institute exploring biochemistry, bioprocessing activities and related product/process development.

Swap Meet

A multi-commodity exchange market (books, electronics, kitchen ware, toys) where you can bring in 5 items that you want to part with and take away 5 from the market. Only items in good condition will be eligible for the swap.


Fabrics of Society

Us humans are woven together by often unseen threads of hope, joy, love, happiness - a myriad of connections and underlying emotions. History shows that our choice in clothing, fabrics, colours, patterns are often a reflection of these emotions. These were captured even more vividly during festivals and special occasions. With the lost art of hand weaving, loom process, natural dyes, we might be losing a small part of this rich heritage and impacting the livelihood of our weavers and makers. Through a collection of talks, workshops and curated stalls, we hope to bring some focus back our lost fabrics, spinning and weaving processes.

Talk on saree history and heritage by Anju Kadam

Anju Kadam, from the hotly trended #100sareepact, will host a talk on 'We wear our history'. It will be a dialogue on the changing economy, decisions of commerce, losing of traditions and livelihoods and its impact on sarees and us. This will be followed by an interactive demonstration of various draping styles across India by Ishita Bose.

Movie Screening: Weaves of Maheshwar

Weaves of Maheshwar is the story of young weavers reviving the lost craft of threadmanship. It was awarded the Silver Lotus for the best promotional film at the 63rd National Film Awards 2016.


Buildings of Future Past

In an age dominated by concrete, we’ve lost our connections with the soil and its multiple building benefits. 200 plus years of capitalism and concretism has brought about a decline in vernacular architectural techniques using sustainable materials and with it the experiential benefits of living in such spaces. The serenity of living or even visiting a eco-material based structure is difficult to capture in words. The space breathes along with you; it has more eyes open to the world and it enhances your connect with the earth rather than shutting you in and giving you an altered sense of natural reality. On the other hand, the impact of non-sustainable building techniques is there for all to see. But can we change it all? Probably not, but we can definitely start small from our own abodes. You can take the first step towards this by attending our hands-on workshops and demonstrations.

Talks on natural building by various practitioners

Ajay Nityananda, founder of “The living Design House & Do”, will share his insights on Natural Building. Along with him, Neelam Manjunath from Mansaraman will be delivering a talk on the benefits of using bamboo as a building material.

Workshops on natural plasters and paints

Sujit Oommen will be conducting a workshop on natural plaster making and adobe brick making along with a natural paint making session by Anushree Tendolkar.


Unlearning Learning

Today, we live in a world where schooling saps a child's soul. Every child is treated as a roll number and is prepared to be an employee ID. Her natural curiosity is frowned upon and faith in the textbook encouraged. Her spirit of play and creativity is replaced with rigid orderliness. Flair and artistry are subdued with logic; adventure and working with hands by safety; courage and vision by a sense of faultiness. A child's ability to be independent is greatly determined by what happens in her early stages of development. Will your child learn to trust herself, be confident, compassionate and live life with a vision? Are there alternate paths to help her develop fully? Come explore these alternatives with us through engaging interactions with various people who already are travelling the off-tread path.

Workshop on tools and kits for holistic learning by Sudha Ravi

Sudha Ravi is a passionate educationist and teacher for more than two decades. An enthusiastic story teller, she is also committed to working with people in the field of behavioural science. At present, she is the Headmistress of the Primary and Nursery section at Prakriya Green Wisdom School. She will take us through the myriad tools and kits we can use to impart holistic and all-rounded learning to our children.

Talk on education for Swaraj by Indira Vijaysimha

Indira’s work as a teacher and teacher-educator in various spaces provoked a deep questioning about the process of education and lead her to start Poorna Leaning Centre. This emerged from her experience of home-schooling her children and from her reflections as a teacher. Along with actively being engaged in the Poorna trust, she promotes inclusive and ecologically sustainable education. Currently, she is a faculty in Azim Premji University, Bangalore. She will be introducing the concept of Swaraj in the context of education.

Talk on homeschooling by Anupama Thakkar

An engineer by training, an educator by chance and an adventurer in spirit, Anupama has been home schooling her 14-year-old son for the past 5 years. Along with learning about herself, she participates in facilitating group processes aimed at enabling individuals to take charge of their well-being. She lives in Bangalore with her family and is thankful that they embrace her experiments whole-heartedly.She is here to share her trials, tribulations and triumphs in her everyday experience of homeschooling her son.


Earth Yatri

In the modern era of chasing speedier means of travel, we have lost track of how to slow down in our own lives and enjoy the natural joyousness associated with the journey as much the destination. We have forgotten how it feels to walk miles without the agenda of timing it; of discovering the curiosities of local public transports rather than shutting ourselves off in separate cabins; of finding not just cheaper ways but greener ways to travel. So lets learn how to pack our bags lighter, but our stories heavier by sourcing inspiration from fascinating personas who eat, sleep and breathe travel.

Talk by Janardhan

Janardhan is an octogenarian who has cycled the distance to the moon in past 25 years, ran dozens of half marathon, trekked Himalaya 20 times and many more accomplishments. With abundant and unstoppable youthful vigour even at the age of 86, he will be sharing his inspiring journey of self-reliance living and what keeps him on his feet.

Talk on eco-vacations by Shilpi Sahu
Shilpi is an engineer by profession but an avid runner, cyclist, traveller, eco-warrior at heart. She is going to talk about how she travels with her family holding eco-consciousness. She would discuss about all the practical aspects, issues and ideas of earthly travelling.

Talk on minimalistic and zero-budget travel by Tautik Das
Tautik, a Livelihood Consultant, is very passionate about slow-travelling, minimalistic traveling and couchsurfing. He will share some inspiring anecdotes from his own travel diary along with novel travel hacks.


Dr Oota

In this era of frenzied lifestyles, more often than not, we get tempted in resorting to buying take-aways than cooking at home, owing to it being convenient, time-saving, filling and even easy on your pocket. But have you considered how hard it is on your body? If you haven't already, then it’s about time you start looking at what’s on your plate. In the good olden days, our ancestors understood that food was not just for the tongue but for the whole body, mind and soul and deciphered the compelling connect between food and wellbeing. So come lets try and discover this subtle yet profound connect through hands-on workshops and talks. And if you're the kind who doesn't believe healthy and tasty go hand in hand, then you'll be pleasantly surprised by what's on offer.

Workshop on cooking with millets by Meghna Deo

Meghna, Founder of Ace Foodie Blog & I2Cook Organic Produce Suppliers, will be taking an interactive workshop on introducing easy to cook millet grains.

Workshop on quick fix kid-friendly meals by Joel Dsouza

Joel Dsouza, Chef & Owner of Crumbs to Gourmet Food Factory, Mumbai, will be introducing ways to whip up exciting meals for kids in a jiffy, that are as tasty as they are effortless to make.

Workshop on probiotics by Shrikanth and Ganeshram

Shrekanth and Ganeshram are founder of 'Manpuzhoo' - An initiative focused on exploring nature and sustainable living. They will take us through the process of fermentation with specific focus on traditional fermented foods and drinks.

Kids’ Corner

Don't forget to tag your little ones along with you, for we have a host of entertaining, engaging and experiential activities for them like hand spinning, painting with natural colours, papier maché, pottery, origami, newspaper weaving and traditional games.

So folks, come let's celebrate the birthday of this very special person in a very special way which would greatly appease him. With simple yet nourishing edibles, inspiring and provoking talks, enlightening and interactive workshops, all in the company of multitudes of people who wish to discover the true novelty of self-sustenance.

Come join our green fete on 2nd October 2018 from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm at Bhoomi College, Off Sarjapur road, Bangalore. Entry fee: 50/- per head. More details here.

Register for workshops and events here.

As part of a new initiative, we are hoping to create a low-waste festival so please bring cloth bags and your own cutlery. Let’s avoid plastic packaging and packaged foods.

Vinay is a Sustainable Development Fellow at Bhoomi College, Bangalore.