In 2003, as SRUTI entered its 20th year of existence, the Activist school was introduced. Having started with the objective of providing support to individuals / small groups for a limited period, the emphasis now shifted to making struggle-based groups self-sustainable.
Based on collective reflection, the Activist school was proposed as a way to augment efforts for social change through a process of leadership building. With a goal of training 100 youth annually, the school envisioned an exponential impact reaching out to thousands of villages over the next few decades.
Activist School training courses have been initiated in four geographical areas - Maharashtra, MP, Chhattisgarh, Orissa and Jharkhand. A single course is usually of 6 months to one year duration and is attended by 25-30 passionate youth selected by the fellows from their work areas to undergo intensive theoretical and field training. Fellows and other SRUTI associates work together to develop the syllabus and conduct the training sessions. The curriculum is designed to impart a political perspective while discouraging dogmas and cultivating a capacity for social and political analysis and future planning. There is a minimum academic requirement - Class 10 pass - and a selection emphasis is on disadvantaged communities and women.
On successful completion trainees initiate community organization work in a limited designated area (1-2 districts). They are provided nominal fellowship support and their work is monitored largely by the existing fellows.