Friday, February 13, 2009

'Green' school at Vijayanagar

Right across the road from the public park in Vijayanagar colony where our Ugadi plants are coming up is Ananthageetha Vidhyalaya. The school stands out for its greenary.The teachers here take as much care of trees as they do their students. The trees, on their part, provide a welcoming shade; and LKG teachers prefer to hold classes out in the open.
Friends of roadside trees(Fort-Mysore) found this school eminentally suited for trying out their pet scheme to initiate school children into backyard tree-planting. Some of us in Fort have been plugging it, with little success. This may be because we have been talking to wrong people.
Ananthageetha seemed a promising school from where we could make a start. They have planted even on public space in front of their school. "These trees are four years old," said the school founder K N Anantharamaiah, referring to their pavement plantation.

Within the school campus there are rows of teak, where students spend their lunch time. The management has throughtfully provided granite-slab benches where they have lunch.
The rows of teak gave us a context to talk about our scheme for student tree-planting. The idea is to persuade parents seeking school admission to plant a sapling to celebrate the occasion when their young ones start schooling .The sapling and their child would grow together. And children would relate to saplings planted to celebrate their schooling.
Prof.Anantharamaiah didn't need any persuasion to see the benefit in the child-sapling idea. Snag, he said, was that they had no more space in school for trees. We suggested that the children could plant them at their own backyard or on pavement close to their house. Referring space shortage the school founder noted that Ananthageetha had a strength of 320; and senior boys and girls used the public park across road for recreation, as there is not enough play-area within the school premises.

Prof.Ramaiah said they had already started admission process for the next academic year; and that our suggestion could be tried out with parents who bring children for fresh admission. He wasn't sure, though, about parental acceptance - 'we can't ensure implementation of our suggestion'. Mr E R Ramachandran of Fort-Mysore noted that the number wasn't important. Even if 10 percent of parents and students are persuaded to plant rees at their backyard, it would be worth a try. The children who do take up tree-planting could be motivated by the school. The best boys and girls from the nursery, primary and middle standards should be honoured on the school annual day. ERR came up with the idea of Friends of Roadside Trees instituting prizes for outstanding student tree-planters.


Swarna said...

Another simple solution that will go a long way and benefit the society at large. Salutations to the school authorities!
I am sure every parent is bound to see the logic, the need, and the spirit behind the entire idea.

Anonymous said...

In Mysore all kinds of tree planting have been tried. Asking each student to plant at least two trees is one such strategy. Perhaps this school can institute prizes for those who have planted more number of trees in a year. Every month the school can announce who are the leaders so far. What is needed is genuine desire on the part of staff and the management to plant trees. Of course planting is just one part of the job. One needs to ensure they will grow. There have been occasions when NGOs have planted more than thousand trees and not one has survived. This lesson should be taken into cosnideration while giving the prize.

remainconnected said...

i read this post and some of the best takeaways and learnings are

1. students are studying in the midst of greenery. being born and brought up in a steel township for my schooling, i always see the appreciation for trees and greenery. a visit to the steel township campuses of SAIL or TATA would make my point clear.

2. if constraint of space, is one of the reasons for not being able to plant more trees, within the school premises, that's ok. there is a big big world outside to carry on one's noble initiative. by this small gesture of planting trees, more so with active involvement of kids has many +ve points.

a. kids would learn about their environment and would take into account that when we take about greenery and tree planting, its just not my house, my school or the park in my neighborhood, it can be any place, which i may or may not use in the future...

b. kids would meet new people and expand their friends circle by participating in such events.

c. also at times, for such initiatives, kids can become better catalysts for change, than the city/municipality authorities.

great job so far by the school authorities but still they can set the bar at much higher levels of environment consciousness.

also as swarna expressed in her comment, i even think every parent would support and fuel this spirit with great passion.

Renu said...

very good initiative and need of the hour. We need to care for the environment and pollution, it will help us in decreasing pollution and bring a climactic change also. Wish them all the best !

My Blogs said...

Very good initiative. My hearty wishes to Prof.Anantharamaiah for such a good cause. Definitely I would like to visit the School next time, when I will be there in Mysore.

Please provide me the postal address.

Thank you


Venkata Ranga

Soumya said...

This is a wonderful initiative. Backyards, frontyards or other places where we can keep a watch over the saplings are good places to plant...or else they have a very low chance of surviving in our cities.

A few months ago my husband took me over to see the only tamarind tree in Dehradun that he had planted with his grandfather when he was 5 years old. That tree was located in the backyard of the house our family rented 30 years ago. Its lovely green foliage stood out in the midst of a densely packed old lane in the heart of dun. Even if 10% of the students could be persuaded, it would leave its mark on Mysore.

My congratulations to the "green" principal and the students of this school for taking up this initiative..

GVK said...

An e-mail from T Srinivaasan, New Delhi:
Looks like a brilliant & practical intiative; perhaps in these days of capitation fee regime, it is rare to see that we can have such wounderful natural way of gifting the school that brings the
knowledge - perhaps "Plant a tree & take a Knowledge" could be a nursery rhyme;
It has lots of genuine impact - Like -
1. consider that the kids develop a liking to this, you have already sold the idea of natural conservation free of cost;
2. Who knows, kids may take cultivation has a career option - that is what is lacking at present (all these computer & software will hit the wall one day)
3. Drive the kids to a natural inbitation & living - you can save on all diseases & treatment
4. No parent will ever bargain on such intiative, as they see the tree grows while their wards grow as well.
May be many such feats can be accomplished if this is done with all efforts; I must send my pranams to the founder of the school who has initiated this wonderful activity.

GVK said...

Sue from Denver through e-mail:
Good idea, our ancient traditions have always supported the idea of being one with nature since it fosters the growth of the mind, soul and body. More importantly is the idea to go green--recycling, nurturing and taking care of that which is in existence for those who may not fully support this idea. The principal of this school must be commended.

Happy Kitten said...

A wonderful idea.. all the best to this initiative..

I guess some of us just cannot forget those classes we had under the trees. Those were one of the best moments of school life. Nature can really affect one positively and the kids who get to nurture a tree would have learned one of the best lessons in life.

aneri_masi said...

This is amazing! I hope parents take this seriously and help their kids with this initiative.

I feel the parents will need more coaxing than little kids to take some time out of their daily routines and help kids with this as well.

A few things that can help convince the parents:
1) Kids will learn the value of life!
2) Kids will learn to be responsible! After all the life of the plant depends upon them.
3) Kids will learn patience! This is a trait that is becoming rare in our instant-gratification culture. People are always looking for short cuts to finish their work, but with growing a tree there are no short-cuts :)
4) taking care of plants is definitely better than sitting indoors and playing video games

Will write more as the thoughts come into my head.

Indrani said...

Great initiative!!!
Young minds trained thus will prove beneficial and blessing to the society in the long run.
The idea for giving prizes to the outstanding tree planters is novel!

Cuckoo said...

Great initiative. My only apprehension is of future when you have thousands of children and are short of land to carry this on. Any thoughts or future planning on this ?

Anyway, I have linked this post to my blog. Hope you don't mind it.


amd said...

Fascinating and just wonderful! Please keep up the good work. I would recommend checking this out:

Good luck and hope you have much deserved progress.

Goli said...

Hey, Great initiative, I have linked your post here,

GVK said...

Thank you, Goli. A correction - the schoo is located in Mysore.

Anonymous said...

Great. What a wonderful idea. Good luck.

Anand Srinivasan said...

This is a fantastic scheme which I hope succeeds and also spreads around to other towns, cities to the point where planting trees is as much a part of school life as prayers, assempblies, holiday homework etc!

kallu said...

Wonderful thoughts all around. First from the school to plant those rows of trees; having lunch outside under their shade and then your initiative to keep it moving and inspire children too.

Ramakrishna Vidyalaya at Coimbatore has a novel form of 'punishment' for misdemeanors. Students have to plant trees/ water them etc instead of uselessly being made to kneel down or stand outside or whatever is the latest form of 'being shamed'.

mysore said...

This is a wonderful idea. Mr Anatharamiah must be applauded forthis. An action taken now will be benificial to everybody and particularly the next generation