A modern day movement in support of the planet began in this month close to half a decade ago. Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring had awoken so many of the youth, and increasingly degraded air and surroundings lead to more people raising concern and springing into action. Environmental health was, for the first time, a part of tea time discussions of the common man and the agendas of the politicos. That was 1970. This is 2015.
Despite increased awareness and more inclusive action to address environmental issues, we are, unfortunately, still in the midst of a climatic crisis, one that leaves us with a precarious future. One of the biggest reasons for this climatic turmoil is deforestation. However, it is not only the risks of climatic turmoil that we face due to deforestation, it is also a loss of our food and water security. Ahead of Earth Day on the 22nd of April, this workshop by Priyanka Pandit was about this very concern: loss of our green spaces.
As part of Kokuyo Camlin’s ‘Camlin Kids Power’ initiative, Camlin promotes awareness of burning social issues amongst underprivileged children through mediums such as music and art.
How glad we were to Priyanka and the folks from Camlin over to explain food chains, deforestation and food security with the help of a book and a guitar!
To begin with, Priyanka took the students on a tour of the forest. A forest comprises of producers, consumers, decomposers and the likes. The consumers are herbivores and carnivores which are poles apart in every way, but still have one common link: the producer, our very own forest.
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.”
This year has been a real test for our plants. After a few pleasantly wet days after sowing, we were back to the dry spell.
Needless to say, the patch didn’t fare too well (to add to our troubles, we’ve been having trouble with the hand pump in the school).
We may have been off to a slow start because of the, may we say, ‘belligerent’ weather (For those who didn’t follow the diaries, yes, the weather was actually dead against us), but we were successful in the end. A section of our summer plants fared very well and our winter plants made us proud.
However, our real pride was the students of Turia Middle School. They showed responsibility and organisation one often doesn’t see in middle school students. We looked at the organic gardening project as a way to instill not only knowledge of organic cultivation but also of cooperation, team work and patience for mutual benefits.
To bid goodbye until we return with our diaries in the next academic year, we’d like to revisit some memories of our enjoyable yet very educational experience. Here are some of the photos that capture the pith of our organic experience.
After a busy month, we’re back to share some good news-
The methi, spinach and coriander have fared brilliantly! The spinach has already been picked for use once and is still going strong.
We’ve finally surfaced! If you’re wondering why we’ve been so quiet all December, we should let you know, we’ve been putting in a little of that extra effort for the winter sowing.
Just like in July, we sowed our seeds with hope. And, looks like we’re going strong!
Have you ever wondered how our planet provides us with pristine drinking water?
As a part of our program for the second year, we have taken it upon ourselves to go organic! In our principal attempt with a small Kitchen Garden for Turia Middle School, experts at the organic affair, Ms. Pulkita Parsai and Mr. Ankit Pogula, guide us through the entire process.
From a small overgrown unkempt spot in the school to a flourishing organic kitchen garden- Join us on our fun- filled, amusing and sincere endeavor to encourage our students to embrace organic foods and improve their daily nutrition.
To kick off our second year at the E-Base, we commenced with our Food and Nutrition Module.
As an introduction to the module we went to the basics- our digestion process.