Shanti Ananda Nature Concept School
Heide and Hartmut Groll visited the school and the new area onJanuary 5th - one day before the creativity exhibition (taking place every two months). At that time the students were in midst of eager and joyful preparations for this event.
Students of the 7th class create with salt flour dough
Heide and Hartmut Groll are both art painters; they paint wonderful picturesin the so called “Naive Style”. Heide Groll as well wrote several books about her life lessons and spirituality. The photos on top have been taken by Hartmut Groll.
On January 7th in all the class rooms and in front of the school many beautiful and fascinating products could be admiredin the creativity exhibition: for example a self-made tooth paste prepared of cloves, cardamom and chalk powder; furthermore charming jewelry of salt flour dough, mini landscapes and more. In the afternoon the creativity meeting was held as usual by all the teachers; it is meant to improve our creativity standard continuously.
On December 8th School and school area staff, 18 members totally, went for a works outing the very first time. The Ananda Forest – a piece of land sized 15 acres – was the first aim; fourteen years before a lady from Australia had bought it for reforestation purpose. This area nowadays is the only coherent piece of forest in the outskirts of Puttaparthy and a well-known model project as well. Most of our employees saw a coherent forest like this the very first time in their lives (!). They were deeply impressed calling it „heaven on earth“. This wonderful and most beautiful area with a big variety of trees, flowers and other plants is a vivid inspiration for us to create a similar paradise on the new school area.
Shanti Ananda staff members and guests in the Ananda Forest
Group picture in the AnandaForest
We explored the area in small groups, shared our experiences and afterwards had apicnic. Last not least we sang a Red Indian song and danced with all group members while singing it inmidst of the forest on an open area.
In the afternoon we visited two places of the Karuna Society near to Puttaparthy (www.karunasociety.org): the Animal Shelter and the Wildlife Rescue Centre. The Karuna society is practising animal protection since many years. Sick and damaged dogs, cats, monkeys and birds are in the animal shelter,sometimes experiencing surgeries and sterilizations. Furthermore a big number of cows, a camel and some donkeys - looked after in their old age - are present. Especially touching for me were the “Plastic cows”; Karuna arranges surgeries for removing big amounts of plastics from their stomach – up to 50 kg. (The cows -mostly moving around freely in India - eat lots of plastics because everywhere garbage is to be found. While looking for food they swallow the plastic covers).The camel was planned to be slaughtered in Anantapur and could be rescued. Every animal has an individual story; Romula d’Silva - Vice President of the Karuna Society also conducting the Organic Shop in Puttaparthy - told us some of these stories in a heart-warming way. We were very touched by the atmosphere and very impressed by the good work of the society. Our project week – planned for the second week of February with the motto “Reuse, reduce, recycle” - will also deal with the topic “Plastic cow”.
On the court yard of the animal shelter
Fawn put into splints
The Karuna society is doing a great service to the animals as our brothers and sisters. Romula stressed that the laws in India concerning animal protection are very good, but there is a big need for human beings to fulfil these noble aims… The visit to both institutions was inspiring for us to dobetter service to animals – as a Nature Concept School one of our aims is to live happily together with our co-creatures.
„Plastic cow“ after surgery
The Nature Day in December was focused on fruits. It was the very first time that the studentsselected the topic– this should happen more often in the future. A big variety of presentations – rhymes, dramas and songs – and as well many different items had been prepared by the children. They showed a lot of interesting, creative and charming contributions.
Students in grape formation
Children presenting painted clay fruits
On December 18th - very suitable in the Christmas time – a candle workshop was conducted in the guest house; Shreevani and Prabhakar Reddy fromthe PRDS (Prabath Rural Development Society) –transferring our funds from Germany before we received the FCRA (Foreign Currency Registration Account) – taught the preparation of candles to teachers and 7th class students.
Shreevani (behind gas cooker), teachers and students preparing candles
Very attractive candles were created of wax and fragrance by heating wax in a pot and pouring it into nice molds. Power cuts and failures are very common in India; because of this reason many candles are needed. Torches are expensive and have to be fed with electricity or batteries... The selling of candles might generate some income for the PRDS and should make the society less dependent of donations. This topic will become more important for our Shanti Ananda Education Society as well.
The Indian winter – now already completed – is the main season for travelers from the west; so we had some visitors on the new area within the last months. Some of them became active like my brother Herbert and Herbert Mueller; they planted many coconut trees; Herbert Mueller inspired the sieving machine as well.Michael Reisinger (he arranged a strong foundation for the brick machine) and Michael Habermehl distributed sweets to the students; one day Michael Reisinger prepared a very tasty lentil soup and served it to usin the construction office.
Michael Reisinger (right side) serving self-prepared lentil soup
Walter Hoischenis engaged for a professional sports’ ground; he came with Gloria Schuetz (donorand massage expert) to the new area presenting sunflowers in a pot (in Germany he grew up sunflowers of 5 m (!) height).Heide and Hartmut Groll, supporters of the school, introduced Daniela Canton; she is very experienced with video production and conducted a video workshop on January 16thfor a small group (we have a new video camera; therefore it is important for us to learn how to handle it). Manfred and Hansjoerg, carpenter and architect from Austria, were very fond of the project. Furthermore unexpectedly a group from Columbia visited the new area; their driver had told them that we are building up a very creative ashram (!)…
The huge administration building is in an advanced condition. The big dome is nearly completed. But some static improvements became compulsoryfor the building - delaying the completion. That means that the school will shift to the new area at the beginning of the next academic year. The seven rooms – planned as headmaster office,society office, teacher team room, library, computer room and two labs – will be used as temporary class rooms. The entrance area will be used as an assembly and exhibition space. Our main donors finally gave the permission to start with thefirst class room in octagon shape.
Administration building with dome under construction
Meanwhile we planted approximately 2500 trees and 4000 Aloe Vera plants besides more bushes and flowers – in the water and in the soil. Very suitable to the charming picture of the lotus pond I want to recommend a very fascinating link about the life of flowers – Sabitha, teacher at the Shanti Ananda School till November 2011, gave it to me: http://player.vimeo.com/video/27920977?title=0&%253
Yours, Helga Shanti Fründt
Lotus pond in front of the construction office
Foreigners should give their donation to this FCRA account
Shanti Ananda Education Society
Andhra Bank, Mudigubba Branch
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