General Queries

1. What does Disom mean?

Disom linguistically originates in Jharkhand (Disom in Santali language and Disum in Ho and Mundari languages) and has been used in movements of reformation and assertion that evoke bonding and belonging.

Disom is the homeland of our soul. Here, our mountains, forests and waters live, all beings breathe, our governance is our conscience, and our community comes before self.

Disom is a land of indigenous values. Here we rule ourselves sustainably and compassionately.

We are Disom because we have embarked on a journey with leaders whose identity lies not in the markers of birth and belief; it thrives in the service of the people and the planet.

2. Who runs Disom?

The programme is housed in Initiatives of Change (IofC), a non-denominational worldwide network of people working for peace-building and social cohesion through reconciliation and trust. The movement is committed to transformation of society through changes in human motives and behaviours, starting with our own.

The activities of IofC (India) are looked after by Friends of Moral Re-Armament (India), an educational public charitable trust established in 1961 and registered under The Maharashtra Public Trusts Act, 1950.

3. Is Disom affiliated to any political party / ideology?

No. Disom is not affiliated to any political party or ideology. It stands open to diverse ideologies and perspectives while remaining rooted in its core values and guiding principles.

Disom is based on the core values of it’s mother institution, and it's guiding principles adhere to the Preamble of the Indian Constitution.

4. Who are the people behind Disom?

  • Board of Advisors 
  • The Core Team 
  • Faculty: It comprises of leaders, experts, pioneers, and grassroots practitioners in the spaces of political and social transformation, community mobilisation, development, arts and economic empowerment.

5. How is Disom funded?

The funds for Disom come from diverse sources. Many common citizens contribute to this initiative. A few trusts and foundations also extend support through small grants.

6. Where is Disom located? How can I get there?

Disom is housed in the IofC campus at Asia Plateau, in Panchgani, Maharashtra.

Find us on Google Maps.

  • How to reach Panchgani by air

The nearest domestic airport is Pune Airport, roughly two-and-a-half-hour drive from Panchgani. Pune Airport is well connected to cities like Bangalore, Chennai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Indore, Kolkata, Mumbai and Kochi.

  • How to reach Panchgani by rail

Pune and Satara railway stations are nearest to Panchgani.

  • How to reach Panchgani by road

Panchgani is 250 kilometres from Mumbai and 105 kilometres from Pune and connected by Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) buses and private travel services.


Programme-Related Queries

1. What is the structure and flow of the programme?

It is divided into three parts:

  • The first few months are residential and focus on inner work.
  • The next phase entails in-situ immersions in different parts of the country.
  • The third phase comprises internships with various political leaders, corporate and media heads and development leaders.

Post the one-year programme, we envisage an active engagement by the fellows towards their Dream Missions

2. What is the medium of instruction?

English and Hindi would be the primary medium, but Disom is committed to ensure that those who need support with translations are attended to. We will employ alternative mediums as well, such as non-verbal and tactile.

3. Does Disom offer a degree or certificate?

The programme offers no certificate or degree. We see that the intrinsic value of the journey and learning that this programme affords something worth pursuing.

We hope that our fellows would go on to dedicate their lives to society and politics to become builders of just and equitable communities, constituencies and governments.

4. With so many institutions offering leadership studies already, how is Disom different?

Disom focuses on an inside-out process of nurturing the Self to move towards Selfless Service.

Disom is not a classroom programme; it is designed to be a lived experience.

Disom is a lifelong fellowship; the umbilical cord of the fellows with the movement goes beyond the mandatory one year; transformational leadership in society and politics is a lifelong pursuit.

5. What would a day at Disom look like?

It is difficult to talk about a typical day as each day would be different, especially when we travel. However, a day on the campus would include early morning quiet time and reflections, followed by yoga, trekking or any other physical activities, and sessions with visiting faculty on developing conceptual clarity and core skills.

Specially curated theatre, music and film screenings will be interspersed with activities such as working on a community farm or kitchen, team meetings, and interfaces with communities in the vicinity.

Monthly and quarterly travels for immersions will be built into the schedule.

6. What are the campus rules?

IofC is a no-smoking zone, and consumption of tobacco, alcohol and drugs on the premises is prohibited.

7. Can I bring my family / partner / child along?

Currently, we do not provide facilities for partners / families / children, but do write to us if you have a very specific reason, and we will consider your request.


Queries Related to Eligibility and Selection

1. Who can apply?

Any Resident Indian, who is above 21 years of age, may apply.

2. Is there an upper age limit for application?

No. Any persons who consider themselves ready for the rigours of this programme may apply.

3. Can overseas students apply?

No. The programme is currently available only to Resident Indians.

4. Can persons with disabilities apply?

Yes. As an institution, Disom is committed to the principles of inclusion and equal opportunity. We encourage and welcome persons with disabilities to apply for the programme.

5. Are seats reserved for certain categories of people?

There are no reservations. Disom is committed to diversity, inclusion and equity. We encourage and welcome people from all religions, castes, genders, and geographies to apply for the programme.

6. What is the selection process timeline?

September 2020-October 2020: Application forms would be assessed, and the shortlisted applicants would be interviewed telephonically.

November 2020: One-day regional workshops.

December 2020: Final selection workshop organised at IofC, Panchgani. After which the cohort will be announced.

January 26, 2021: Programme begins.

7. Is there a flexibility in the programme duration or attendance?

No. The programme has a flow, which is organic and unique to each cohort; it would not be possible to attend it in parts.

8. Can I defer admission?

No. Our selection of individuals is for a specific cohort. However, if you are unable to join for some reason, we encourage you to apply again.


Queries Related to Expenses

1. What about fees?

The programme does not charge a fee.

2. What are the boarding and lodging arrangements? Do we have to bear the related expenses?

Fellows would live on the IofC campus, in rooms, on a shared basis. Simple and wholesome food will be provided.

Boarding and lodging would be provided at no cost for the duration of the programme.

3. Is any financial support being offered?

Financial support may be offered on a case-to-case basis. The decision towards this would be made in an inclusive manner after the cohort is finalised.

4. Can I take up part-time work or engagements during the programme?

No. The programme requires one-year, full-time engagement with complete presence.


Queries Related to Future Path

1. Where will l get a job after this programme? Is there a placement support service offered by Disom?

This programme is not for job-seekers. We expect our fellows to work in the leadership space for social-political change and they would be equipped with learnings to generate resources for personal needs and facilitate the same for others working with them.

2. What comes after one year?

The final segment of the Disom programme is built around the Dream Mission, wherein fellows begin to work directly in their constituencies to come up with enduring solutions for issues closest to their hearts. This will be a new start in their public life; Disom will remain a mentor above and beyond the duration of the programme.

3. Since it is a social and political leadership programme, will I be able to attend to the social work or welfare projects I am involved in?

We appreciate your involvement in socio-political work. While your work can help define your Dream Mission, you would not be able to work on your project during the programme.

We urge you to see the programme as an extension of the work you are already doing and as an investment in your self for a lifetime of service to society.

4. I do not aspire to join politics. Is this programme for me?

You may not want to join electoral politics, but if you do not imagine yourself actively engaged with the politics of social change, then this may not be the right place for you.

5. I aspire to be in politics, how will this programme help me?

Our endeavour is to help those aspiring to work in the socio-economic-political space to find the resources and the strength within and without to follow their chosen path.


If you have any more questions, please Contact Us.