It’s wonderful to write to you with some great news from the field.
It is summer time and Pench Tiger Reserve is busy with eager tourists out to catch a glimpse of the elusive tigers. There is no better month to share our latest initiative than May!
It is with great pride we present to you ‘Tiger Tribes’. An idea born out of the love for meaningful travel and the identification of an opportunity for an alternative livelihood for the community members residing around the Pench Tiger Reserve, Tiger Tribes is a Community Managed Rural Tourism (CMRT) endeavour.
Along with our partners, the forest department of the Pench Tiger Reserve and Grassroutes Journeys, a venture promoting responsible tourism, we have launched Tiger Tribes in Pench.
A means to showcase the rural lifestyles of the communities around the reserve and experience more than only the thrill of spotting a tiger, Tiger Tribes enables tourists to connect with Pench on a more profound level.
It gives us a lot of joy to share with you that the Pench E-Base program was featured in Canada’s ‘Natural Life’ magazine just last month. We have worked tenaciously over the last three years and we have begun seeing changes, big and small. Whether it is students making reading a habit, or them finding solutions to their waste in school, they are being transformed into conscious, independent youth of tomorrow.
Writes Monica Szczupider about the changing face of conservation in our times, “Gone is the day when environmental movement polarized the social structure, pitting non- conformist hippie against upper middle class consumer; these days they are often found inside the same skin. But according to Conservation Wildlands, environmentalism can no longer be an extra curricular activity available only to the middle class and above. Sustainable living must be implemented on the front lines- into the precariously balanced societies straddling a disappearing world, and an exploding one, where people share their homes with the most endangered species on our planet.”
Who hasn’t ever tried to make the two similar ends of magnet touch? Or, tested how many paper clips he or she can lift with just one magnet.
Magnetism is perhaps one of the most entertaining parts of Pyhsics and this month, the students had a wonderful workshop by Vidnyan Vahini on it. Mr. Sharad Godse and Mr. Vinayak Dixit of Vidnyan Vahini were down in Pench to epxore with the students the properties of magnetism and why it is so unique, and the importance of the phenomenon in our daily life.
Everyday, we expel unnatural and harmful elements into our surroundings. In the beginning, they are nothing more than a mere inconvenience, however, over time, we experience the full effects of our actions.
Whether it is littering in our immediate environment, creating a ruckus in the neighbourhood, contaminating our water bodies or simply putting into the atmosphere gases that do no good for us, we pollute in many ways.
This month, the students learnt about the pollution around them in this workshop by Reniscience Education. Sangita Kapadia and Purvi Vora took the students out of the classrooms all around- into the village, by their lake, by the roads- to examine the impact through the pollution created in the village.
Through a pollution survey, the students were meant to identify the greatest sources of pollution and later, come up with solutions to best tackle the issue.
One of the best and most effective sources of clean energy, the Sun, has been manipulated to our benefit since time unknown.
Our students are well versed with solar energy through their extensive exposure to the workings of a solar planel. After all, it is a kilo watt of solar that supports their favourite classroom.
However, this month we took manipulating solar energy a step further with this workshop by Curiouscity Science education. Educators, Utpal Chattopadhyay and Shonali Chinniah, taught the children what happens when we mix different materials, natural and artificial, colours and the light from the Sun.
This month, we had a unique workshop by a very unique personality, Vikram Sridhar. Vikram is a Performance storyteller and theatre practitioner who uses his art and story telling gift to make a difference. Vikram believes the body is a tool of communication. Through his workshops he assists students in becoming more aware of their own bodies and helping them use them as communication tools like he does with his folktale telling performances.
Our planet as it once began has been constantly undergoing changes. The only difference between the changes taking place in the last few centuries and those before that is that now these changes are instigated by man’s actions.
The students know one thing like a gospel truth: life cannot exist without oxygen. It was time to however introduce them to other atmospheric gases playing equally significant roles in the upkeep of our planet.
Amrita Lalljee, Amba Jhala and Anirudh Nair were down in Pench to conduct a very unique workshop this month. The trio, established names in the field of performing arts, visited our students with the motive of making them have some fun and simultaneously helping them find their voices.
Our students walked into the E-Base, unaware of what we had in store for them for the next three days. The workshop encompassed all kinds of learning and fun, from laughing out loud to performing skits based on personal experiences.
Performing Arts is strongly linked to building one’s confidence and opening up. Our aim is to help our students not only find their voice to make them confident community leaders but also identify performing arts as a strong medium of expression and raising awareness.
A tour of the atmosphere by Sangita Kapadia and Purvi Vora of Reniscience Education was in store for our students recently.
With immense help from two wonderful ladies, Divya Nawale and Monica Szczupider who joined us in Pench this month, we have gotten through the bulk of our work.
This month, we began work on our reading program baseline study. Before we open up the library to our students in Pench, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra, we wished to determine the as is state of affairs. Our focus remained on two major components of the reading program- the fluency of reading and content knowledge. The students in the region of Pench grapple with similar problems in the education sphere as those in other remote locations in many parts of India.