Prakriya School Children's field trip to Bhoomi Tiruvannamalai Farm
In the month of December, when it started as the season of harvest for winter crops, children of Class 9 visited Bhoomi Farm in Tiruvannamalai. A perfect place to understand a land, which can be dry, which can have harsh weather, yet so giving when understood in its true essence.
As part of the ICSE field trip program, children of Prakriya visited the farm to get some hands-on experience of the farming, engage with the local community and also to strengthen the bond between each other as a class. A total of 20 children along with 3 facilitators visited.
The following was planned for children:
- Harvesting of the Paddy and Ragi: Children learnt how to identify which crop is ready to harvest along with technique of harvesting. In the process children interacted with the farmers, learnt about their lives and also started appreciating the hard work put in by each one of them.
- Soap, Laddu and Chikki Making: Bhoomi farm is a good resource to interact with SHG of the area. Children learnt how to make soap, peanut chikki and foxtail laddu and they thoroughly enjoyed it too. They realised how easy it is to make these at home and sustainable too. Children also interacted with the women to understand how SHG works and enables them.
- Trekking: Two treks were part of the trip. One trek was to a nearby river, where children spent some time and enjoying the breeze. The trek was part of Ramana Maharshi Ashram, where they climbed to see the cave where Maharshi used to meditate and a beautiful site of the city too. After the trek, they visited the Ashram, read about the journey and sat in meditation for a while.
- Visit to a farm: Children also had a chance to visit another farm of a young farmer, who chose this as his livelihood consciously. The interaction with him was eye opening for many when they learnt that his father was an activist who promoted the used of chemical based fertilizers and now they together have an organic farm. All of us also had a beautiful experience of having lunch together under a tree followed by delicious payasam made by his mother for all of us.
- Cooking together: The last lunch of the trip was made by all the children. From deciding the menu, to grocery quantity, chopping and putting it all together, it was very exciting for the children. The food, was one of the best we had.
- A lot of free time: Children of this age are often occupied with multiple activities, hardly leaving any space to just be, take a break and enjoy. They found a lot of free time where they played volleyball and other games, had a lot of conversations and also just did absolutely nothing. It was a delight to watch all of it.
The four days went like a breeze, before we realised they were gone. The time there was made easier and meaningful because of the lovely smiles of everyone at the farm, delicious food of the akka and constant feeling of being taken care of. The place really touched each one's heart, from stories of people to knowing a little more about each other.