Shanti Ananda Nature Concept School
Since we shifted to the new area on June12th a lot happened. Children and also teachers feel at home and enjoy the huge space of more than 9 acres and the big variety of different options for many types of activities. New contacts generated, new habits developed. Old habits have to be checked whether still suitable. Like this it was noted that a small two years old tree in front of the gardener house (Upper Kinder Garden classroom) had been damaged with a sharp stone. Luckily the damage was discovered very soon by our employees, and the small tree could be supported. When we looked for the responsible person it came out that three UKG boys – new at the school since June – had damaged the tree.
The three boys who damaged the tree in midst of the students‘ circle
This event was the reason to arrange a ritual by all students with the damaged tree in the centre. The students recited a mantram together, prayed for the tree and practiced energy work. The three boys – who only had imitated the wide spread cutting of trees in this area (what probably is an important reason for the lack of rain and the undergoing desertification process) – received a public teaching by Headmaster Raja Sekhar about plantation and protection of trees as one of our main aims. We want to build up our Nature Concept School buildings and simultaneously grow up a forest on our area. Like this it will become an oasis in midst of deforestation and destruction.
Students in a circle, in the background administration building and toilet block
Headmaster Raja Sekhar teaches the students about the use of trees
This event inspired the topic of the July Nature Day: cleanliness and plantation. 75 trees waited for plantation. Last year 40 trees on the guest house line had died, they were going to be replaced. Furthermore the rare number of trees at the eastern boarder of the area was going to be increased.
Students‘ assembly around the trees to be planted
Plantation team with trees
Mixed teams were generated: students of all age groups with one or two adults formed one team. Altogether 11 teams eagerly started their work to arrange more plantation for the area. The rainy season is ideal for this purpose – but the rain gods did not yet give too much rain till now... That’s why we want to arrange a rain ceremony every Nature Day in future hoping the it will attract more rain...
The youngest Kinder garden students plant a tree
Two of the three boys who damaged the tree plant a new one
This action was as well necessary and deeply touching. It was a very useful and heart opening experience for the children to arrange more plantation in a big group together with all the other fellow students, teachers and school area employees. Some classes had planted trees before, but in this constellation as a community activity it was new. For the „bad boys“ who had damaged the tree in front of the gardener house it was a healing and uplifting experience. Personal relationships between trees and children generated - very welcome to all of us.
Recitation of the Gayatri-Mantram in the team as energy work for the tree
Tree song on the stage
After the plantation action the Nature Day was continued with dramas, songs, dances and picture exhibition. Tree songs were sung, dramas about plantation and cleanliness were presented by the students. A touching flower drama was shown; the flowers were complaining bitterly to be cut in a most cruel way under their heads regularly ... A small student showed his dancing skills to the public including School Doctor Mussal Reddy as well. He comes to our school since 2007 every month to check the health status of the students and to give medicine; and several times he introduced the school function by playing the drum.
The flowers come to speech with their issue
Certainly celebrations like this form a fundament for a new consciousness – a wholistic, ecological and – last, not least - spiritual consciousness allowing to all the inhabitants of Mother Earth to live together in peace and harmony and respect each other with their needs. Inhabitants of the Earth are not human beings only, but also animals and plants – like our beloved trees and flowers mentioned above.
Slogans with the topic „trees“
The slogans with the topic “trees” are very suitable obviously to widen our daily life consciousness and to open our hearts for the world of plants (Flora). How would Mother Earth look like without plants (her hairs) ? The human beings could not survive, and she would be empty - not able to give shelter to the creatures…
Picture „Clean and green village“
The children’s pictures „Clean and green village“ were especially touching for me. The trees have a face and a soul expressing vivid emotions. The trees are happy when their environment is neat and clean; and they are sadly crying when they are damaged. These pictures express an inner relationship between children and trees. By the way: trees are the only plants connecting sky and earth; they can grow as high that they seem to reach the sky... In old pictures the total world was painted as a huge tree. Sayings state the people of Africa as linked the roots, the people of the west with the trunk and the people of Asia with the branches...
Tree with playing children and animals as inhabitants
Picture of a tree story
Taj Mahal with trees
We want to do everything to build up, to support and to strengthen this precious relationship between trees and children on our area. Plantations and regular caring like watering, removing weeds and mulching are means to maintain this personal relationship (they are included in our time table); games and stories about trees and with trees complete these activities. Some trees might receive names as well... We hope strongly that this new generation gives more respect to their environment and to Mother Earth than their parents. I think and feel that it is very auspicious to be in midst of this process and to inspire it.
Completion of current interest (3.8.): On July 30th the Central Government in Delhi divided the State Andhra Pradesh into two parts according to the wish of Telangana. Heavy protests and rallies are the consequence in Rayalasseema because this part wanted unity... Four days in sequency the students got holidays by the D.E.O. (District Education Officer), Anantapur. Today is already August 3rd! And what will the students do within this free time? Many of them cooperate with angry and rageous adults who want to express their unhappiness hoping that the central government might change their decision: they block the roads, burn photos of Sonia Gandhi or grass puppets. In Puttaparthy Government School teachers went along with classes of students to burn a photo of Sonia Gandhi in the public! This is an education towards violence and hatred!
How to educate the students towards peace, love and dharma? Our headmaster Raja Sekhar arranged very wisely beneficial actions for our students: one day he inspired a rallye for peace in Mudigubba after explaining the history of the separation in Andhra Pradesh to all the students. Today the D.E.O. again announced a holiday; and Raja Sekhar inspired – for the sake of the freshly planted trees on the school area – name boards with students‘ names for some of these trees. The students mentioned on the boards are responsible for these trees. This action was an important step towards practical responsibility. This type of education is what we need today so urgently. How would our world look like if every child had the responsibility for one tree? Mother Earth would be very happy...
Name board team fixing the board
By the way: the fundaments for the first two class rooms are completed; these rooms (for LKG and UKG) planned as octagons will be built up quickly – after three months they might be ready for use. They will form the inner part of the spiral (or a snake rolling inside) – composed of octagon rooms – on the school area. The toilet block as well is nearly completed; at the beginning of the Academic Year the roof was not yet present.
The students – who normally don’t have free water access in their houses – enjoy to get water without any restriction and spent lots of this precious element for toilet needs and handwashing. Now we have to save water urgently. Like this it becomes compulsory for us to arrange a waste water recycling system. The waste water will be recycled (in three pits filled with stones, coal and sand) and can be used for watering our trees at the end - a meaningful usage of this most precious good in this draught area with irregular rain falls.
Like this step by step we come to a complete eco sustainable school area...
Thank you and with cordial greetings,
Yours, Helga Shanti Fründt
School Doctor Mussal Reddy in the entrance area of the administration building
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