International Online Fellowship Program on Nonviolence and Peace (IFPNP 2022-23)
International Fellowship Program on Nonviolence and Peace (IFPNP 2022-23) was organized by Sevagram Ashram Pratishthan in association with Gujarat Vidyapith, Sabarmati Ashram Preservation and Memorial Trust and MGM University. This four months fellowship program (Oct. 02, 2022–January 30, 2023) was offered online and using English medium to support the international participants. In addition participants were given an opportunity to participate in an international symposium/ conference on related themes held in January/ February 2023 in India .
The response to the announcement of the program was overwhelming. We had 110 applications from twelve countries (of Asia, Africa, Europe and America) of which 23 international and 28 national candidates were given admission.
Inauguration: It was inaugurated on Oct. 02, 2022 by Mrs. Rajni Bakshi , Journalist, Author and Founder of Ahimsa Conversation .Prof . Rajendra Khimani, Vice Chancellor , Gujarat Vidyapith, Prof. Vilas Sapkal, Vice Chancellor, MGM University and Shri TRN Prabhu, President, Sevagram Ashram Pratishthan addressed the session.
Key Persons: This international fellowship program was facilitated by Siby K Joseph; Premanand Mishra; D John Chelladurai and Virat Kothari. Eminent teachers and facilitators from across the globe conducted the session. Notable among them were Michael Nagler, Olek Netzer, Michael Sonnleitner, Pietro Ameglio, Christian Bartlof , Mark Lindely and Marke Wosinki.
The Program aimed at introducing to the international participants the fundamentals of Gandhian nonviolence and peace; the dynamics of nonviolence; the ideas of Peace in the Global context and its conditions and constitution; Methods of nonviolence action: struggle for justice and peace; construction of sustainable living.
The program also aimed at equipping individuals to transform conflict into creative experience; and empowering them to handle human situation (turbulent) constructively and contribute to the betterment of global peace;
Program Structure: Sessions were conducted thrice a week (90 Minutes each) on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Participants were given field practical tasks to the extent of three hours a week (neighbourhood engagement)
Methodology: The program was conducted mostly in a participatory and interactive manner, using audio visuals and PPT, to enable the participants with the basic concept of peace and nonviolence in the light of Mahatma Gandhi’s Truth.
Outcome: In order to facilitate the participants, we launched an interactive website to upload all relevant materials. The whats app group helped sharing instant insights and quick responses.
Summary reading materials of every session were shared to the participants. All the sessions were recorded and a link was provided to those who could not attend any of the sessions.
Nineteen candidates successfully completed the course.
Challenges: Although we had planned many things, all of them could not be translated into action effectively. For instance, we could not monitor the journal writing of the participants and guide them effectively in the field practicals…
Recommendation: Nineteen candidates may be declared as Peace Fellows and ask them to commit for sustainable peace through sustaining action.
Siby K. Joseph
( Director, IFPNP)
Sri Jamnalal Bajaj Memorial Library and Research Centre for Gandhian Studies,
Sevagram Ashram Pratishthan, Sevagram,
Wardha- 442102, Maharashtra (INDIA)