Sustainable Development in Northern India
On the 23rd of February at 10 am almost 30 people, mainly community children and EduCARE interns, gathered in Channi community to start a walk down to Beas river through the forest and learn a few things about trees and soil.
I organized a few activities for the day, the main one being a presentation of the main trees of the area with their hindi names, botanical name and medicinal values, if there were any: Chirndi, quercus leucotrichophora, Rubble, prunus cerasoides, paja, … were some of them.
A first big one hour walk finished next to the river where the children were explained the water cycle and the importance of trees for water infiltration.
Lunch had been prepared the day before; puris and chana; and were eaten in a few minutes while chai was heating on a fire in a big clearing 20 meters far from the river.
Three teams were created for the next activity: The Wolfs, the Tigers and the Vandarya (monkeys in Hindi) with both interns and children from the communities in each of them. They had to run to collect one leaf from each species I had previously written the name on the board I brought down for the occasion. Each team won a game but the Tigers had the most points.
The next activity concerned flowers anatomy:
The children first draw a flower. They all drew the picture, the perception they have of it (We almost all have the same image of a flower which is similar to a daisy).
Then I gave them Rhododendron flowers, where stamens, pistils and sepals are clearly distinguishable and I asked them to draw a flower again, but this time, as they see it. All of them draw the pistil and the stamens, flower organs that were not on their first drawing. This activity was to show them the difference between perception and reality, the last one being, in that case, more complex because it includes more elements. I then taught them the different names of the flower parts and game where each team had to remember the names and positions of each part of flower finished the session.
The Tigers won again in front of the Vandarya team and the Wolfs. They all won the right to eat cakes I had bought the day before.
The last activity of the day was about soil constitution. Half of the kids were not listening anymore. It was probably 10 minutes too much.
We walked back to the community where the forest trip ended.
Thanks to all the interns, B and Rachael who helped me a lot.
Community Reforestration Project Manager