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Ways you can connect

Sreejan is an idea as well as a space, a community and a canvas for all. No one owns Sreejan (though some people own land at Barkheda). Our invitation to connect with Sreejan is open to everyone with whom our stated beliefs and our work resonate. Our simple ‘Engagement Model’ ensures that different people with different gifts and endowments engage at their own pace and depth-meaningfully and creatively and that they get what they are looking for in return without manipulation, exploitation or drudgery. A consensus driven continuous ‘Evaluation Mechanism’ is in place to keep all participants engaged, productive and energized and those who want to live off others or the commons are identified early enough. We hope that all the processes and mechanisms evolve as we learn from our mistakes.
This note explains the different ways and options for any new comer to connect with Sreejan. First a few terms need to be explained.
  • Sreejan Karta (SK): We define a Sreejan Karta as someone who lives at Barkheda and earns his livelihood from what he does on site. A Sreejan Karta could be engaged in different activities and vocations by matching his/her interest and the current need at Sreejan.  Current SK’s are all members of the SIMPLE scheme (hoping that in future there could be more schemes like SIMPLE). Each SK in SIMPLE as of now has 2 distinct responsibilities. First and the primary one is to build and nurture his allotted 1 acre land into a model of ‘precision farming’ as planned and second is to fulfill an additional role befitting his natural gifts or acquired skills to support the site incharge in maintaining the site. For the first role he is answerable to the Governing Council while for the second to the site incharge. We hope to see 15 to 20 Sreejan Kartas fully engaged and joyfully immersed in various activities at Barkheda by the end of 2013. Sreejan Kartas usually get a stipend till they become self reliant. IN SIMPLE scheme for example, they are assured Rs 3000 per month for 3 years plus boarding and lodging.
  • Scheme: At Sreejan we let a Sreejan Karta execute our collective shared vision by first defining what we call a Scheme and then running with it as his or her own endeavor. All Sreejan Kartas work as micro entrepreneurs independently as well as interdependently with other SKs.  Our intent is to create a community which is interdependent at work level. Currently our SIMPLE scheme has 5 Sreejan Kartas and the scheme is mandated to develop these Sreejan Kartas into eco entrepreneurs (micro farmers) within 3 years starting Jan 2012.
  • Sreejan Hiteshi(SH): We define a Sreejan Hiteshi (SH) as someone who is inspired by the vision and who believes in the concept we call Sreejan but may not live permanently or draw his livelihood from Barkheda. Someone who is willing to connect with and contribute towards the aims and objectives of Sreejan. All Sreejan Hiteshis by design are expected to surround and support the Sreejan Kartas who are attempting to live and create sustainable abundance at Barkheda by engaging in different livelihoods over there.  A Sreejan Hiteshi, depending upon the joining options that he chooses (see ‘joining options at Sreejan’ note) could also create his own little space/canvas/laboratory within Barkheda premises as an avenue of inner expression. As an example a Sreejan Hiteshi while supporting a Sreejan Karta in the SIMPLE scheme can also be allotted a 2000 sq ft of space to build his house and a 5000 sq ft of space to open a Yoga centre (or whatever)  to engage in or create that he/she is passionate about as long as those engagements and creations ultimately converge into the aims and objectives of  Sreejan.

All new comers join as an ‘Invited member’ and have a choice to be a Sreejan Karta or a Sreejan Hiteshi. Over the years a member qualifies himself to be an ‘Ordinary member’ or a ‘Principal member’ or a ‘Core member’ thru a transparent and participatory evaluation mechanism.  
The higher membership levels confer benefits of greater say in the governing council and greater share in the ‘Surplus Sharing Scheme’. Otherwise, membership hierarchy does not play any role in the day to day working or relationships. A Sreejan Karta can be a Core member while a Sreejan Hiteshi can be an ordinary member or vice versa.

  • Each aspiring member, based on his choice to be a Sreejan Karta or a Sreejan Hiteshi  and based on his commitment of contribution of resources and his time, would choose one of the many ‘joining options’ as per attached excel sheet.
  • He would then apply in writing to the Chairman of Sreejan Society requesting to become a member explaining the reasons thereof.
  • In the meantime the aspiring member is encouraged to make as many trips to the site and engage with as many existing members as possible to get a feel of the community.
  • An MOU between the new member and the governing council will be signed at the time of joining. Decision of the Governing Council will be binding and final.
  • Appropriate development and other charges as fixed from time to time by the Governing Council will be deposited by the new member with the society.
  • Since Sreejan is an open space, each member is expected to voluntarily associate with the project at his or her comfort level by informing the Managing Committee or the Governing Council of his/her plan.
  • A monthly news letter will be uploaded on the ‘Sreejan’ website to keep all members updated regularly.
  • Once a year ( around 2nd Oct ) all members shall be invited to Barkheda for a three day open space and conversations around all aspects of the project including strategy, finance and funding, operations and community development related issues. Policy level decisions would be presented and approved in this forum. Members of the Governing Council as well as the Managing Committee will also be elected during this time. 
For the first year all joining members would be called ‘Invited Members’. Thereafter membership at Sreejan will be reviewed and evaluated every year.  Through a self assessment and an open consensus forum, each member will be judged on the following 7 criteria (on a scale of 100) and then the score multiplied by its weighted factor. A summation of scores for all the 7 criteria gives the final score to determine the type of member.   Anyone scoring:
  • Between 30 and 50 consecutively for 2 years gets to be an ‘Ordinary Member’
  • Between 50 and 70 consecutively for 2 years gets to be a ‘Principal Member’
  • Above 70 consecutively for 2 years gets to be a ‘Core Member’

Sunil an "SK"
DOING-deploying what u have and receiving what u wantCAPITAL/FINANCIAL CONTRIBUTION 20%100(80x0.2)=16 (0x0.20)=0

PHYSICAL/TIME CONTRIBUTION 15%100(30x0.15)=4.5 (70x0.15)=10.5
 INTELLECTUAL / SKILL CONTRIBUTION 10%100 (80x0.10)=8.0(20x0.10)=2.0
LIVING-sustenance thru meaningful livelihood and reduced Eco foot printECO FOOT PRINT 10%100 (10x0.10)=1.0(70x0.10)=7.0
 LIVLIHOOD (FROM SREEJAN) 25%100 (0x0.25)=0 (90x0.25)=22.5 
BEING-living in essence as who you areEMOTIONAL QUOTIENT10%100 (50x0.10)=5.0(50x0.10)=5.0
 SPIRITUAL QUOTIENT 10%100 (50X0.10)=5.0 (50X0.10)=5.0 
TOTAL SCORE     39.5 52

The examples shown above clearly show that Mr Raina, though a founder member scores only 39.5 as against Sunil, a Sreejan Karta who scores a 52. So when it comes to decision making at the policy level or while distributing the surpluses of the commons, Sunil gets to have a higher say than Rajinder Raina.

  • Site Incharge ( SI):Is responsible for the day to day administration, coordination and upkeep of common properties. He is a member of as well as reports to a management committee. He lives in Barkheda and represents Sreejan on the site. This is a paid job.
  • Management Committee (MC): Comprises of min 3 to a max of 7 people. Members of MC include the site incharge(SI) as well as 1 member from the ‘Governing Council’ and 1 or 2 additional members from the ‘Principal/Core Members’ of Sreejan.(preferably with accounts and finance background). MC’s role is to guide and align day to day activities with the long term objectives of Sreejan. MC prepares annual budget and monitors it monthly. MC reports to the Governing Council. MC’s tenure shall be a min of 2 years.
  • Governing Council (GC): is the highest constitutional body having 5 ‘Core Members’ elected thru consensus. Their primary role is to ensure that both short term as well as long term goals of Sreejan are met. GC involves less in the day to day operations and more in designing systems, teaching and coaching Sreejan Kartas on need basis as well as being the trustees of the idea called Sreejan. GC’s tenure shall be a min of 3 years.

Vijay Raina,
May 13, 2012, 1:23 AM