We’ve covered a range of stories about people who have shifted away from their usual routined, materialistic lives to live what they think of a more meaningful, fuller one. We’ve told you about Peepal Farm – the organic-farm-cum-animal-shelter, and about Sadhana Forest, the members of which stay in what was once barren land, and strive to make it greener. Still, there are a number of people who want to turn to a more sustainable life, but who find they are unable to do so merely because they don’t know how. Bhoomi College provides this learning space.
Bhoomi College is a learning space that focusses on increasing awareness about issues related to sustainable living and education. “The aim of Bhoomi is to provide such a space to people are on the path of sustainable living and to create a community where people get support from each other; to create a hub where likeminded people can come together and invest in the cause and to nurture one another,” Farah Khan, a director at Bhoomi College, tells Homegrown. Like any educational institution, they offer diploma programmes – 2 one-year post-graduate diploma programmes, centred around Science and Management for Sustainable Living and holistic Education. They also offer programmes on self-exploration, including courses like Inner and Outer Ecology, Self and Identity, and Deep Ecology Weekend workshops with activities like terrace gardening, home remedies and holistic nutrition. Apart from educational programmes, Bhoomi College also publishes a magazine every 4 months around sustainability and organise conferences bi-annually where members from across the world debate sustainability issues, the most recent of which was held in April, 2016. They also hold an annual event, called Bhoomi Utsav, on October 2nd, where they conduct workshops and sell a range of their products, including organic food items and handloom fabric. They believe in recognising the fighters of ecological causes – the Bhoomi Award celebrates leaders who steer their communities towards local ecological change.
“We seem to have reached a point where we cannot afford to ignore sustainability issues anymore and each one of us needs to be more aware and conscious of these issues. Modern development and technology has given us a lot and we all enjoy the convenience, comfort and connectivity it gives us. But it has come at a cost that we may not be paying directly. The idea is how to find a balance between the two. The question, that we at Bhoomi explore, is how to move towards a paradigm that is sustainable and less depleting of nature...to build awareness among people about the complexity of an issue, to work together and find solutions to some of these,” Farah says. At Bhoomi college, they don’t follow conventional methods of teaching and learning; “text books do very little justice to the issues that are current and critical. We learn concepts and theories from the text books but miss out on many real life issues.” Farah tells us. “Children need to be sensitised and made aware of some of the macro concerns so that they can make informed choices which may be towards a sustainable future.”
Bhoomi College doesn’t just teach its students how to be sustainable – it takes various measures to be sustainable itself. The entire campus, as well as that of the Prakriya School, run by the same trust, works solely on solar power. They try and make their kitchen as organic as possible, growing their own fruits and vegetables, and their kitchen water is, in turn, recycled for use in their garden. The powder they use to clean their dishes is also organic, reetha powder. From among many other forms of water conservation they use, they have their own system of rainwater harvesting, as well as a Phytorid plant that recycles the waste water from toilets.
When asked about what Bhoomi College considers its greatest achievement, Farah points to Bhoomi’s culture of celebrating things big and small, from the Bhoomi Award to the Diploma Programmes at their college. “We are now recognised as a space for sustainable living and alternative careers. A platform, where people who are walking in the same direction come together – to offer and receive from each other, share their learning, knowledge, wisdom and experiences and to support many who would like to take an alternative path.” There’s nothing that encourages the turn to sustainable living like Bhoomi College does.
If you liked this article, you may also like: