India – Varun


Varun Vidyarthi is the coordinator for Citizen Network India.

Varun has been working with disadvantaged groups in rural India for the past thirty five years. He is known as the pioneer of the self help process of social and economic empowerment that has touched the lives of millions in India. Varun has trained and guided several thousand workers and professionals in government, banks and non profits through the institution Manavodaya (Sanskrit for Human Awakening) co founded by him and his wife Amla.

Manavodaya believes that true change starts from within. This is a process that needs to be cultivated through deep reflection on the larger purpose of actions. The organisation has organised collective reflection sessions on the subject with a large number of facilitators of change from various backgrounds over several years  that has led to evolution of Eight Steps in Action for those interested in embarking on the journey of inner and outer change

Varun is currently engaged in conducting several short and long duration courses for students and professionals interested in facilitating development and social change among the weakest sections of society. All programmes are based on deep reflection and practical learning and have a profound impact on the life and work of participants.


telephone: +91 80900 61459

Our focus for 2019

  1. A one year diploma course for facilitators of “Participatory Rural Development” conducted by Manavodaya is now recognised by a leading university in India. The course is  of immense value to build knowledge and skills to tackle the huge task of poverty alleviation through self help methods in different  parts of the world especially developing countries. We hope to raise scholarships and internships for students of different regions and share the information through various forums. Students from Nepal, Sri Lanka and some African countries have already benefitted from similar courses at Manavodaya.
  2. We propose to develop a series of Instructional/Motivational videos on methods of self help, empowerment and collective reflection for community development and social change that has an appeal to students and social workers. These could be used for starting a process of reflection and action among citizens too.

What we can share

A two weeks’ international course on “People Based Development” has gained popularity among social workers and students of social care in Norway where it is being used for giving academic credit to students of social work since the past fifteen  years. We hope to share the learning with  faculty and students from colleges in other countries especially those interested in community development and social change from the people’s perspective.

Connect with us

Let us build the citizens network as a people’s movement for developing awareness and participation in methods and practice to work towards social transformation.  We could collectively organise Courses/Seminars/Discussion groups on Principles and Practice of  Integral Transformation or a related subject.

Our Strategic Partners

Manavodaya International UK has been our strategic partner for several years now and has played an important role in sharing the values of  development from within through various events in the UK, nominating participants for the international course and in supporting facilitators’ education in India.