Empowerment, Moving Forward, and Alternative Values in Education

  • Cynthia Groff
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Minority Languages and Communities book series (PSMLC)


This chapter explores situated views about what constitutes a good life, describing key terms related to development and empowerment as they are locally used and explained. The concepts of “moving forward” rather than “being backward” are understood and described differently in mainstream society than at Lakshmi Ashram. Alternative values promoted and lived out at Lakshmi Ashram include high thinking, self-confidence or self-sufficiency, and collaboration or community. The stories and aims of Kumauni young women demonstrate their negotiation of the various discourses and their actions, despite limitations, to take hold of future opportunities, influenced by the village and Ashram communities of which they are a part and by the changing world around them. At the Ashram, the focus is more on internal than external empowerment and development.


  1. Devi, S. (1948, December 20). Suryoday [Sunrise]. Suuryoday, 1.Google Scholar
  2. Klenk, R. M. (1999). Educating activists: Gender, modernity, and development in North India. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of Washington.Google Scholar
  3. Klenk, R. M. (2004). ‘Who is the developed woman?’: Women as a category of development discourse, Kumaon, India. Development and Change, 35(1), 57–78.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Klenk, R. M. (2010). Educating activists: Development and gender in the making of modern Gandhians. Plymouth: Lexington Books.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Cynthia Groff
    • 1
  1. 1.Leiden UniversityThe HagueThe Netherlands

Personalised recommendations