Eco experience at School eco park

Posted by on Jan 8, 2018 in School News | Comments Off

‘What children do not understand, they do not value, what they do not value, they will not protect, and what they do not protect, they will lose.’

Our children are constantly dealing with pressures of academics, after-school activities and self-doubts in order to find their way in this competitive world. Therefore it is wonderful to give them a day that lets them reconnect with who they really are, the joy that comes from within, with adventure that opens up the heart and feeds the soul. Our day trip to the School eco park at Sohna was nothing short of what the School intended it to be, perhaps even more!

Being amidst nature and in stillness is mostly alien to our urban children. To exercise their sensibilities of touch, sight, smells, and the taste of freshness of a rural setting is sheer nourishment for creativity and emotional well being. Besides this, we believe, ingraining a love for nature lends itself to building sustainability, a crying call of our times.

Students of classes IV- IX stepped out of city clamour on 28 December 2017 to travel into the country, through villages punctuated by green and yellow mustard fields glistening in the sun. The Aravalli hills lined up along one side of the road as we journeyed to our destination.

The fresh air laced by the fragrance of the soil and the foliage made for a heady mix! The students quickly spread across the undulating space, soaking in the purity of nature. They could scarcely be kept long from the activities that awaited them.

There was a wide and interesting range of activities to choose from-creating mini butterfly gardens in discarded car tyres, assembling worm towers, creating rustic toys with fallen twigs, painting on a village wall, playing ‘sports of the soil’ and potting air purifying plants.

Students were treated to the antics of a family of pet ducks paddling in a still pond and the profuse rabbits sampling the spare greens.
The village potter’s wheel was a big hit with students not shying away from soiling their hands. Diyas and pots of different shapes and sizes were a treat for the eyes as the students marveled at their own earthen creations, left to dry in the sun.

Learning to pot a plant was fun too. Doing it from scratch, that is selecting a robust plant, removing the excess soil even whilst protecting the roots, and then carefully placing it in a pot filled with the right proportion of soil and compost was a lesson in life skills.
Herein we teachers too revisited our childhoods as we joined the children as they played gilli-danda and pitthu!

The rustic wall painting, pattal painting and toy making with twigs were a fillip for the latent talents of many too. The resultant artwork made for a great photo op.

Braving up the Burma bridge was a cake walk for the children, but much to the amusement of the spectators and performers alike, manoeuvring down was a bit nightmarish for many! It certainly taught to overcome fears and lent for the spirit of lending a friendly hand. Working as a team, the students learnt the art of paper recycling, a significant lesson in conservation.

The ambience of rustic charm and simplicity prompted the singers in several of us too as mellifluous voices harmonised with the dhol, tabla, harmonium and the manjeera. A rendition of popular folk songs of the area built appetite for the scrumptious hot farm lunch that was laid out for us. Mouth watering makke ki roti, sarson ka saag, dal makhni, shahi paneer and gajar halwa wildly tickled our tastebuds.

We spread ourselves in the wondrous sun after lunch, some with a book, others grabbed a nap as yet others continued painting and petting the rabbits.

Piping hot milky tea served with fresh vegetable pakoras were a signal to prepare for pack up before sun down. Last but not the least freshly picked crisp vegetables found their way into bags carried by students. There was spinach, radish, cauliflower, brinjal, beetroot, gourd and coriander to name a few to take home to mum!

The experience at the School eco park was thus a memorable getaway for our children for a first hand feast of freshness. We are sure each one carried back and excitedly shared the ample experience ( and the spoils) with the family at home.

Ms. Gandharvi Mukherjee.

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