RV Matters - 16 July 2018

A short hike was organised for the students of Class 8 to Nandu’s farm on the hill, close to Thettu (Diguvapalem hamlet) on Saturday. The weather was perfect – overcast, cloudy skies, cool winds..

We intended to spend half a day, learning about various things – life in a remote village, organic farming, tree-planting etc. We visited the three acres of land that Nandu’s family had set aside for raising trees (over 500 trees were planted over the last couple of years), a couple of percolation pits were dug to make water available for the plants and a thorn fence erected to keep out grazing animals. Nandu has been collecting seeds of native forest plants from the neighbouring forest areas and raising them in his nursery. They also had planted trees along the road going to Thettu village. All this without any monetary support from outside!

We divided the group of 51 students and six staff members into three groups – one went for tree-planting on the hillside, a second helped harvest tomatoes and the third watered the trees planted along the roadside, collecting water from the two water tanks (where water was pumped from the ground, 400 feet below the ground).

While we expected this would be a great learning experience for our kids, we were quite disappointed with the way the students behaved. The group that went for plucking tomatoes started throwing tomatoes around and trampled the plants. The group that went to water the avenue trees wanted to know if they could play with the water, throwing it on each other. Some students, despite being told not to litter the place after eating their breakfast (packed by our DH workers with so much of care and made it available to us at 6.30 am), left behind their half-eaten food packets and
grudgingly picked them up only after several teachers repeatedly asked them to do so. These instances of insensitive behaviour displayed despite several reminders and reprimands make us wonder why our kids are so indifferent when they are in a group, mostly self-absorbed and not aware
of their surroundings and their responsibilities.

Dr Santharam