Our Story

  • SIDH started in 1989 when some village women approached Pawan Gupta and Anuradha Joshi to start a school for their children. These same women, three years later, told Pawan and Anuradha that their children were ruined by the new education. 
  • The women were pointing to their experience that the SIDH school, based on the current system of education, was creating a break between the home and school, giving the children a false sense of superiority that made them look down upon their own. A non-literate mother advised, “बच्चों को होना सिखाओ, दिखना नहीं !” (“teach them how to be, and not how to appear to be”).
  • This was a turning point for SIDH. It started the introspection on the aims of education and helped gain clarity on the links between education, lifestyle and happiness. The experiment that started in this manner, led to alternative models of learning and to the 35 village schools and the numerous publications brought out by SIDH over the years.
  • Over the years, SIDH has evolved its field of work from running schools, to influencing educators through workshops, courses and seminars to more widely spread the learnings. In effect, SIDH today is more a research (and dissemination of research) oriented organization than one focussed on implementation.

Our Inspiration



Dharampalji was a Gandhian thinker whose scholarship and writing about Indian history, pieced together through a deep study of original British documents, has had a deep influence on SIDH. SIDH has published his collected works in 5 volumes. Read more about him on Wikipedia here..


Ravindra Sharma

Guruji Ravindra Sharma, the founder of Kalaashram in Adilabad, was an artisan and storyteller who mesmerized people with his reminiscences of his childhood in Adilabad, a part of the India that was relatively untouched by the British destruction machine. Listen to a talk by Guruji here.

Samdhong Rinpoche

Professor Samdhong Rinpoche is a close aide of the Dalai Lama. He has served as the democratically elected Prime Minister of Tibet in exile and as the Director of the Central Institute of Higher Tibetan Studies at Sarnath. Listen to a talk by Rinpocheji here...


Agrahar Nagraj

Shri Agrahar Nagraj Sarman was a saint, ayurvedic practitioner and farmer who lived in Amarkantak. His madhyasth darshan and the books he wrote laying out its contours have been very influential. There are currently numerous experiments in alternative living based on this darshana. Read more about him here...


Prof. A K Saran

Prof. Saran was a radical spokesman of Tradition following in the footsteps of exponents like Ananda Coomaraswamy. Saranji, with a clear and unique voice, wrote extensively about the ills of modernity and about its hold over the modern man. Read more about him on this website...


J. Krishnamurthi

A great philosopher and religious teacher, who, in his early life, was groomed to be the new World Teacher by the Theosophical society. He publically rejected this and through his long life spoke about the need for a radical change in mankind. Read more about him here...

Our Team

Pawan Gupta
Pawan Gupta
Founder and Mentor

Pawanji is a well known speaker, author and thought leader on education. He is the co-founder of SIDH, a non-profit engaged in research and projects in Education, Rural engagement and Youth Empowerment since 1989 . His life-journey has given him valuable insights into the impact of modernity on our society. Know more.

Arun Elassery
New Publications and Projects

Arun, an alumnus of IIT Kharagpur, is an Author, thought leader with three decades of experience in Engineering, e-learning and Education. His books on "Learning to Learn" seek to bring fresh perspective to learning and education. At SIDH, Arun manages New Publications and Projects.

Harsh Satya
Chief of Research

Dr Harsh Satya is an observer and  research specialist on traditional systems of India.  A PhD from IIIT Hyderabad, he brings in rich experience of working with grassroot initiatives in rural areas. His research works included 'A study of the traditional Jajmani system in India"

Vijay Varahaswami
Volunteer - Digital Outreach and Fundraising

Vijay has over 3 decades of cross functional experience in Technology, Education, Financial Services and Travel businesses. He is currently a Director at Semantic Web India Pvt Ltd. 
As a Volunteer at SIDH, he helps with Digital Outreach and Fundraising.

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  • Mussoorie 248 179 INDIA