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  • Writer's pictureIndian School of Democracy ISD

ISD annual update 2022

Dear friend,

Happy New Year :)

We hope the past year has been good for you and you are entering 2023 with renewed hope and reflections.

2022 was a transformative year for us in many ways. We learnt new things, walked a few steps towards our collective vision, stumbled a bit, picked up the pieces, and found inspiration and beautiful stories along the way.

Our little team grew and we are constantly pushing ourselves towards building a stronger culture, understanding and creating more impact, and exploring and learning about Sarvodaya in small and big ways.

All in all, it was an eventful and memorable year!

It is always tough to be able to capture an entire year in a few words, but if we had to, 3 words stand out for us in 2022.


Humility: We have faltered, made mistakes and tried to understand how we can do our work better and get closer to the idea of principled politics and sarvodaya. The work of Manav Nirmaan and nurturing political courage in the face of challenges and failure has been hard.

Trust: We have more questions than answers at the moment. And finding more people joining our little family, who are willing to nurture this dream alongside us and nurture these people, has also been something we are immensely grateful for. The trust of our supporters and mentors have kept us going through these uncertainties and pushes us to do more, be more everyday.

Hope: Seeing our alumni rise up and make the choice of contesting elections has given us hope. This year, 7+ have either contested elections or supported their team members in doing so. As we watch our little seeds sprout, and see them flourish, it reinstills our hope that this work needs to be done, and we are not alone in doing this!

This email is a small snapshot of ALL that happened in this year. We have also attached a deck for more information, if you are curious :)

  • 3 highlights

  • 2 learnings

  • 1 disappointment

  • Alumni Spotlight

  • Questions

  • Support needed to continue our work


  • The Good Politician concluded!

The very first iteration of The Good Politician program began on 15th Aug, 2021 and was successfully completed on the 23rd of July, 2022! This was Indian School of Democracy’s longest iteration of a learning journey, with 33 grassroots leaders who were committed towards redefining public leadership towards the vision of Sarvodaya.

  • Our 1st-ever Alumni Meet!

On 7th October 2022, we organized our first ever in-person Alumni Get Together with the intention of celebrating the Alumni Community and building a stronger community. The Alumni Meet was attended by 41 alums who represented 6 different cohorts across programs conducted over the past 3 years.

  • Hemakshi is an Echoing Green fellow!

Our co-founder Hemakshi has been selected as one of the 18 global Fellows for the Echoing Green cohort of 2022. We couldn’t be more proud of her, and the rigor and dedication she brings through her work. This also takes our work to a global level and all thanks to you all for standing with us.


  • Applicability of Pedagogy and Content:

Our content is well structured and has been largely well received by our participants. With a sharper focus on politically advanced audiences, engagement and retention are big learnings for the program team. We need to find more creative pedagogical methods to deliver complex content and we also need to ensure that the direct applicability of this content to their role and phase in political growth is clearer and more pronounced.

  • Short-term Trainings:

Typically, we only work with around 80–90 people in a year through our 4 flagship programs. However, now we need to impact a larger set of people in any given year for our work to cultivate a larger ecosystem steered towards encouraging political leadership. Hence, we are planning to do more short-term programs and partnership programs in 2023.


  • Less than 50% women in DE22 cohort

We committed at the Indian School of Democracy to have at least 50% women in each mixed cohort, but we failed at being able to fulfill it this time in Democracy Express 2022. We deeply regret our inability for not living up to our collective promise. We will work harder next time to live up to providing equal space for women in our programs and we need your support in that.


  • Kiran Mugabasav (TGP21) is one of the 117 full time yatris in the Bharat Jodo Yatra. He started his political career as a student politician in NSUI and has served multiple roles with AICC and is the national convenor of RGPRS.

  • Swathi GL (SR20) is working with TDP as the Lead of Program Committee and works closely with Chandra Babu Naidu. She worked as an independent media person and with a popular new TV network post She Represents.

  • Najma Nazeer (DE22), is a young medical student, with JDS is a prominent student activist with a strong online following. Having worked on multiple election campaigns and the youth wing of JDS she is currently preparing to contest at the Zila Parishad.

  • 5 alumni contested local governance elections this year. 2 other alumni supported their team members in contesting local elections. Some alumni gave a very close fight in the elections and lost by very narrow margins. One of our Democracy Express alumni, Laxmi Dhande (DE22) won election as a ward member in her panchayat.


  • Who do we want to work with? How can we find them better?

  • How can we support our growing alumni with their customized learning needs?

  • How do we gauge the impact of our work, what can be our realistic metrics of success?


  1. Donate to ISD and help us build a truly people-led organization. Any and all amounts are valued!

  2. We are hiring. Please spread the word :)

  3. Follow us on social media Facebook | Instagram | Youtube | Twitter


ISD Team

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