Adjustment of an A frame in the construction office
In the hot May month a most important action took place on the school area: Contour Bonding (also called Bunding) –a structural operation with thelocal topography. It is useful and necessary for the rainwater harvesting and for the saving of soil to prevent a floating into the lake when there are heavy rainfalls.
Body exercises for parents and labourers at the start of the day
InstructorKasi finds out the structuring lines with the A frame
The– very hard–soil has to be dug out in a depth of 60 cm betweenlines in the same height marked with chalk powder. Trees will be planted into the soil beside these trenches to give support with their roots; the rainwater harvested in the ditches will water them in a sufficient mood, and additionally silt from the lake will give natural manure to them.This will be the start of our perma culture planned for years already.Besides: the lines generated with chalk powder very often have a fascinating shape similar to a snake…
Line marking with chalk powder
A group of parents digging the first ditches
Kasivisvanathan (Kasi), agricultural expert with a lot of experience, led this action(http://aditicert.net/about-us/). He guided the growing up of the Ananda Forest near Puttaparthyalready nearly 13 years ago (a forest of 15 acres started as perma culture on a desert like area. Contour bonding as well was the very first step in this area). Kasi has the vision that our area will be similar to a jungle within a couple of years...
Parents with craw bars going to the next place
We had planned 10 days for this very important action; groups of parents were designated to dig the trenches with a total length of more than 300 m.The students at the Shanti Ananda Nature Concept School receive education, school books and school uniforms free; the parents do not pay any school fees, but a society amountof 200 Rupees per year only. So they should do free service on the new school area for three days yearly as a balance. As well they have the option to select a representative for this work or to pay 100 Rupees. The major part of theparents was willing to follow this guide line – 70% came to do this hard work with temperatures of more than 40 degrees. Nevertheless it was necessary to order a bulldozer additionally to complete the contour bonding. These trencheshad to be optimized by parents’ groups afterwards.
Bulldozer in Action
Kasi recommendedus to arrange a well on the area for the water supply because the outcomes of the two ground water bore wells are not sufficient for our water needs. The area is located beside the Mudigubba water tank – right now nearly empty. The proposal to arrange a well seems to beauspicious because normally the soil near to a lake contains more water...10 m depth should be sufficient. (The conditions for the above mentioned Ananda Forest are very similarto ours with a well beside a lake). Kasi recommends a V Shape Pitadditionally located beside the first ground water bore well. This pit should give pressure to the soil around when filled with rain water causing more outcomes for our bore well like this.
View to the area during contour bonding
Parents’ group after the work beside the construction office
The evaluation of the contour bonding showed that it took more time than planned, but it was very effective. We reached our aim and structured the complete area with contour bonds; this is the first fundamental step for every other action. Meanwhile we are going to grow up hundreds of trees designated to be planted in the rainy season starting very soon. Kasi mentioned a number of trees suitable for the perma culture like cashew-, morenga- und teak trees. In the first year after the contour bonding 1200 forest trees will be planted, in the second year we might start with the plantation of fruit trees. The trees should serve for the financial support of the project as well. Kasi will guide us as a permanent agricultural consultant and will come to the school area one time monthly for two days.
ShantiPrema with clay house
ShantiPrema, five year old daughter of projectmanager Horst Wagner - proudly showing a small clay house built together with „Daddy“ - is a good example for learning with joy and enthusiasm. Professor Gerald Huether, GermanProfessor for Neurobiology is very involved with this subject.He is the leader of the Central Office for neurobiological prevention researchin the Psychiatric clinic of the German University Göttingen and in the Institute for Public Health of the University Mannheim/Heidelberg. He is busy with research of the influence of early child experiences onto the brain development, with the effects of fear and stress and with the meaning of emotional reactions in learning processes. He understands himself as a mediator or bridge builder between scientific research and society as well as individual life practise. The aim of his activities is the creation of better conditions for the unfolding of human potential, especially in the education and learning fields:http://www.gerald-huether.de/populaer/english/index.php. Joy and enthusiasm in the children’s actions are called „manure for the brain“by Huether. These emotions lead to a more elaborated and differentiated structure of the brain causing better learning results. Neuroplastic substances are produced by the brain of a person who experiences enthusiasm; these are the brain manure. Huether is demanding that we don’t need teachers, but learning coaches only for supporting creativity and the ability for enthusiasm. The schools of the future should enable the students to develop creativity, a sense of individuality, the ability to develop individual points of view and social responsibility. The society of the future will be in a desperate need for these skills.
Of course it might take ages to reach this aim, but maybe we can contribute a small piece for this vision with our model school under construction. Our students are mostly learning with joy and enthusiasm and appreciate to be grown up in an atmosphere of love and appreciation. When we had to say Good bye to our 7thclass students at the end of the last academic year many students and as well some teachers were cryingsad tears. (As an Upper Primary School we have the permission to teach only up to the 7thclass; the students have to attend other schools to complete the school up to the 10th class).
A cooperation of the Shanti Ananda School with the Naturgut Ophoven, Leverkusen, in Germany concerning the topic „Change of Climate“ is planned in the next academic year starting on June 6th. TheNaturgut Ophoven is a German institution similar to a Nature Concept School with a big area for all types of projects. Special programs and projects are offered for classes visiting this place. There are no permanent students – all the students come for a visit only to deal with a special subject. They attend this place class wise together with their teachers. The teachers of the Naturgut Ophoven are teachers from normal schools coming one or two days weekly. The Children’s and Youth’s Museum Energy Citylocated in the Naturgut Ophoven is building up a new innovative exhibition: „Energy City on the road –searching for the climate luck…”Topic is the change of climate in the different regions of our world, the effects and consequences for the human beings, animals and plants. The exhibition wants to show that the climate changes have effects not only onto the weather, but as well onto the landscapes, culture,flora and fauna, social interactions and economic development of a region. The personal wellbeing of the humans is linked with these effects. The climate changes determine not only sun and rain, but in a very strong way the personal life style of millions of human beings“. (U. Pfeiffer-Frohnert, Naturgut Ophoven, www.naturgut-ophoven.de). The Shanti Ananda School will cooperate with this famous German Nature Concept Institution; we will contribute photos, films and maybe sounds serving as original documents in the planned installations of the exhibition in the children’s and youth’s museum. Our teachers are looking forward to this very interesting project; the children should have a lot of joy with it…
Virtual walk around through the children’s and youth’s Museum Energycity
With very cordial greetings,
Helga Shanti Fründt
Foreigners should give their donation to this FCRA account
Shanti Ananda Education Society
Andhra Bank, Mudigubba Branch
Anantapur District, Andhra Pradesh, India
Account No: 185410100007532
Indian persons should give their donation to the
Shanti Ananda Education Society
Geetha Nagar, Mudigubba 515511
Andhra Pragathi Grameena Bank
Account No. 19073080607