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REDEFINING CITIZENSHIP

The need to redefine civics education

We started our exploration with one question – what makes a good democracy, and what sustains it? The answer? Citizens. There is no more important task in front of us today than building an informed, effective and responsible citizenry. Without dedicated and continual commitment on the part of all of us, the fundamental values and principles of our democracy and an open society cannot survive, let alone prosper.

Today, right now, is the time for us to build. To build mindsets that identify first with India. To build able heads and hearts steadfast in the knowledge that we are more than the sum of our parts. It is time to mould young minds into clear thinking and enlightened participants for our country’s progress.


It is time for us to build a true, united and accountable nation of people. This is our calling.


A long period of research, talking to experts and examination of six decades of governance has led us to our calling – citizenship education.


Civics, as a subject traditionally creates an awareness of our constitution, fundamental rights, our fundamental duties, institutions within a democracy, the rule of law, the mechanisms of governance and how they all permeate into our lives. Citizenship education complements and cements the Civics studies further, by inculcating a respect for others and recognition of equality of everyone in the country. Citizenship education makes us aware that for a democracy to achieve it’s goals, citizens not only elect their representatives but also actively participate in voluntary work, giving feedback and developing an opinion on key issues. It gives the citizenry a voice and enables everyone to exercise one’s judgement and critical faculty while fostering a sense of collective responsibility. Citizenship education endeavours to explain HOW the operating machinery of the state is for the people and by the people, and makes it accountable to citizens.


Desh Apnayen is attempting to add a few such layers to the Civics Curricula by making the students aware of the ‘core of democratic values’ such as:

  • “If I do not do my duty, I cannot expect others to do the same”.
  • “If the structure of Governance assumes, I am the end-all and the ‘Owner’. I must act as the owner or else, I will become a subject of the process.”
  • “Ownership means being concerned about the country and ready to discharge one’s duty happily even before claiming rights.”

If the widespread apathy amongst citizens as reflected in poor civic sense, low voting percentage, acceptance of poor goods and services is removed, a proud and progressive India is bound to emerge.


Desh Apnayen is revolutionising the way civics is approached and taught in schools.The Foundation’s innovative and engaging content that adheres seamlessly with state and national curricula and unique delivery mechanism, in which teachers of all participating schools are trained, makes civics education credible and enjoyable for school going children.

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