In English: Enquiring Minds – Front for Rapid Economic Advancement of India (English), Curated by Mira Savara In Hindi: Apni Jameen ki khoj mein: 70 ka samajik chintan, Curated by Rakesh Dewan
The Front for Rapid Economic Advancement of India (FREA) was started by a group of engineering students of IIT Bombay in 1968. It began with providing technical advice to small and middle scale industries but soon its core became the ‘Involvement Programme’ (IP), a unique initiative that sent over 300 students every year from premier institutions to work on development projects, often gramdan villages across 10 states. The students came from more than 20 different cities and towns. In the course of the programme, they worked to build bridges and roads, mines and dams, and set up surveys, processes, and training to support the existing and local effort for rural development. However, the critical contribution of FREA was that it provided a guided opportunity to the students to become more ‘involved’ in enquiring about society, their own roles and the social value of their education. There were many offshoots of this initiative; one of which was CTARA. Enquiring Minds, the book is an outcome of a reunion meeting of FREA members held in IIT Bombay in 2019, 50 years after it had been formed on the same campus. CTARA had helped facilitate this reunion. One part nostalgia and one part transforming, Enquiring Minds is a testament to the fervour of young people and the ground-breaking power of enquiry and experience.