“There is a movement towards sustainability gradually growing around the world. In India too we need such educational institutions to join and foster this movement. The only way forward is to focus on youth and women to work and create livelihoods through activities for sustainability,” begins Seetha Ananthasivan, director, Bhoomi College, Bangalore.

The institution finds its origin in an Earth Citizenship seminar held in 2007. Along with an expanding, enthusiastic Bhoomi Network, Bhoomi started the Bhoomi magazine and organised several programmes on “Inner and Outer Ecology.”

Since August 2012, Bhoomi has been running a college that offers a one-year course in Science and Management of Sustainable Living and short-term courses in sustainability, gardening and ecology. The first batch of 10 students belonging to the one-year course completed it this June. The aspect that sets Bhoomi’s course apart is that the college does not charge any fees. “We decided to offer this course without charging tuition fees because of our belief in a ‘Gift Economy’ which we, and many thinkers and economists who focus on sustainability, believe is necessary as an alternative to the capitalist economic system which has almost become a global religion today,” says Ms. Ananthasivan.

The selection involves submitting a detailed form where students indicate why they want to do this course and an interview.