52 PARINDEY FELLOWSHIP
The 52 Parindey Fellowship is a 6 months long programme for youth exploring alternative* livelihood paths and dreaming of a sustainable, equitable, and just world. It is a leadership journey designed and co-created by the fellows and Travellers’ University.
The fellowship will serve as an immersive on-ground learning experience for the fellows to explore meaningful and regenerative livelihoods (Alivelihoods) by travelling, living with and documenting the life journeys of Alivelihood practitioners (Parindeys) engaged in socially and ecologically conscious pursuits. It will provide them with practical understanding in the domain areas of their interest (such as Conservation, Education, Waste Management, etc.). It will create avenues for their personal growth as the fellows will lead a journey of self-exploration, helping them understand ground realities, shaping their worldviews, and paving way to take affirmative actions.
The fellowship envisions to educate youth about the various Alivelihoods by documenting best practices, sharing pathways to pursue them, providing access to a network of mentors, and creating a space for dialogue among the masses.
*Alternatives are those practical activities, policies, processes, technologies, tools and frameworks that counter the dominant social/economic/political/developmental models that exploit and extract. Alternatives can be practised and propagated by individuals, communities, collectives, organisations, social enterprises and governments. Alternatives may be continuations from the past (re-asserted in or modified for the current times) or new ones, but not necessarily marginal or only practised by a few.
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The 52 Parindey Fellowship is based on a gap-year project 52 Parindey where our co-creator lived with and documented 52 innovators in a year. 52 represents the number of weeks in a year and Parindey translates to birds in English, which loosely captures the essence of mentors we intend to learn from.
Our world, as we see it, is changing at a rapid pace. We are in the middle of a climate crisis. Thousands of species of flora and fauna are on the verge of extinction. Economic inequality has never been higher than now in the whole history of humanity. This digital age and the advancement of technology are offering both complex challenges as well as unique opportunities to reimagine a better world for all beings and act towards it.
In this time of change we need people who are courageous, creative, cognizant, and not afraid to make mistakes. We need youth with the knowledge, skills, and mindset to navigate through these most pressing problems to bring a positive change. And a growing number of youth are looking for livelihood opportunities which are both personally fulfilling and that can address the plural crises observed in the world today. They feel responsible not just for themselves, but also for the entire ecosystem they are part of, and dream to have a healthy and sustainable relationship with the rest of nature.
When it comes to pursuing a livelihood or a career, there is detailed information available on the various steps involved in pursuing the conventional ones. There might also be friends and relatives as reference figures, which makes it easier for the youth to envision their future while pursuing them. In comparison, for alternative livelihood pursuits such as river conservation, natural farming, forest making, etc., it is difficult to find relatable stories of people and usable information that can guide individuals on how to pursue them. In most cases, the desire to work on planet-centric livelihoods is challenged by these constraints.
Hence, there is a need for organized information on these alternative livelihoods or Alivelihoods, along with the personal stories of individuals who are successfully sustaining themselves, serving as role models. The stories of these eco-conscious livelihoods that are relatable and rooted in local context are essential to inspire youth. They will serve as pathways to support them to pursue the Alivelihoods of their choice.
The conscious individuals or Parindeys (free birds) who have found their Alivelihood through their planet-centric approach are creating an enriching world around them. The 52 Parindey Fellowship envisages identifying such individuals across the country, celebrating their journeys and bringing to the forefront their personal journeys, the eco-conscious livelihoods they are engaged in, and its emerging importance in today’s world. It will act as a catalyst in making Alivelihoods more visible and acceptable among the youth at large, preparing a foundation for them to pursue the Alivelihoods of their interest.
APPLICATION FOR COHORT 3 WILL OPEN IN APRIL 2023