Phase III

Phase III (1982-88): Bold New ‘Adventures’ but Without Organisational or Ideological Preparedness

  • Reproductive Awareness and Women’s Health; Involvement in women’s movement across the country (1980s onwards).
  • Formation of EKLAVYA and Expansion of HSTP beyond Hoshangabad District (1982 onwards).
  • Involvement in National Teachers’ Commission. (1983-84).
  • Bhopal Disaster — Pro-active support to the Victims’ Struggle against the Collusion of Indian State and Union Carbide (1984-87). (The Bhopal struggle constitutes the first major engagemCnt of KB whose focus v•as outside the campus, raising questions regarding the re1e›•ance and limitations of carrying the complex responsibility of campus maintenance and management of the contingent development progiainmes.)
  • Water Testing Programme with Higher Secondary Students of Chhindwara Government School (1986-87).
  • Children’s Pedagogic Programmes, with emphasis on language development (1987 onwards).
  • Engaging with Narmada Dam Issue (1988 onwards) and extending support to the first public protest at Harsud.

By this time, the NGO culture spreading all over the country started being reflected in KB too, leading to incremental distortion and attrition of KB’s voluntary spirit, along with a dangerous trend of depoliticisation. The KB group was quite ill-prepared both ideologically and organizationally to deal with this early neoliberal impact during the late 1980s. Consequently, disarray, ad-hocism and adventurism in work styles and priorities led to attrition of the overall sense of purpose, though somewhat restrained by KB’s history of rich experience.