An abode of nonviolence and sustainability

Life Positive|April 2020

An abode of nonviolence and sustainability
Shammi Nanda’s healing journey made him look at the toxic nature of negative emotions. He discovered that despite eating the healthiest food his illnesses prevailed, they were directly related to his emotional state. His passion for creating a world where one can collaborate with connection and effectiveness led to the birth of Ahimsagram. Founded two years ago, the organisation experiments with different approaches to collaborative governance, exploring Nonviolent Communication (NVC) and Sociocracy. He has now moved his focus to working through Holacracy at Ahimsagram. He is also closely connected to various sustainability movements and ecological communities all over India. Ritika Parwal, a member of Ahimsagram, shares her experience and welcomes us into a new conceptual world.
Ritika Parwal
Having been connected to Shammi and Ahimsagram through social media, I already had a deep sense of belonging and appreciation of the work they were doing. When I was in Jaipur, serendipity led me to Ahimsagram, and I have enjoyed contributing to this wonderful place ever since and also witnessed my healing happening gradually.

An ideal abode

The openness, selflessness, and the giving values this place embodies along with encouraging everyone to take care of their needs is a rare gift. When I see people around me looking at the world with aloofness, materialism, greed, lack of empathy, and exploiting nature, it is very unsettling. But at the same time, when I am at Ahimsagram, I get a sense of peace within me, making me feel like I am part of building solutions.

Ahimsagram is my idea of an ideal world where we are connected to each other, honor everyone’s need, belief in sharing, are sustainable and ethical in our everyday lives, and are able to show support and empathy when needed.

Most of the team members are women, and conscious efforts are made to create a safe and encouraging environment for them so that they can connect with their inherent abilities while supporting the purpose of the organization. This not only transforms their lives in Ahimsagram but also determines how they express themselves in their personal lives, at their homes and on the street.

Commitment to sustainability

The one value which I highly appreciate and can connect with is how deeply this place is rooted in sustainability. We have been composting all our wet waste for the last four years and also have our own terrace garden. The utensils are washed with ash and not by any detergent loaded with chemicals. We make our own bio enzyme to clean the floor and toilets and also use solar energy at times to cook.

We hold our commitment to the environment paramount, and though we have been struggling to make enough revenue, it doesn’t deter us. We avoid plastic and unsustainable packing of our products and largely source organic products, vegetables, and fruits that haven’t polluted the environment while being produced. And though financial wealth could be a challenge, the trust and social wealth we enjoy from the larger community and how they come together to support us when needed is what makes us continue and believe in the power of community.

There is a sense of dignity of labor, and no work is small or big but just a matter of skills and prioritization at the moment. And strangely, I enjoy doing all kinds of work including washing dishes, cleaning, content writing, graphic designing, taking care of the finances, business development, and cooking some of the most amazing healthy food in the city.

Conscious cuisine

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April 2020