Ingvar Rönnbäck and Peter Söderström, co-founders of Another Development Foundation, together with Dr. Valli-Pillay Batchelor and her husband Professor Andrew Batchelor are grateful meeting the founders of and workers at Visthar Academy, a secular civil dociety organization committed to social justice, peace and sustainability. Through the meetings with David Selvaray, founder of, and Mercy Kappen, director for, Visthar Academy a fruitful and respectful dialogue on potential areas of collaboration were discussed.
Visthar Academy is, from information at their website, a hub of socio-cultural and environmental consciousness. Famous for hosting events that highlight challenges to basic human rights and the survival of the marginalized, it emphasizes the need to evolve sustainable alternatives. Visthar Academy offers study programs on a plethora of subjects including gender, diversity, social justice, peace and development. Several of these are accredited by universities in India and overseas such as the course on gender, diversity and social transformation and the semester on justice, peace and sustainable communities. Our programs attract students, artists, performers, development workers and activists from various parts of India, Africa, South and East Asia, the US and northern Europe. As part of its community based initiatives, Visthar Academy works with marginalized women and children in north Karnataka.
They have designed the campus in Bangalore to be an eco-sanctuary. It continues to be developed as a place for traditional seed preservation, biodiversity conservation and environmental education. The conference and retreat centre (CRC), located in this green environment, is a social enterprise which offers facilities for conferences, exhibitions and celebrations. Another initiative on the campus is the recycled paper unit producing paper and paper products.
Another Development Foundation is keen on continued dialogue with Vishtar Academy on future opportunities. The young women in the photo has been trained at the academy and is now working for freedom from violence as a human right and climate justice in various ways.