After the permanent massive water deficiency of the past seven years, we have been blessed with enormous water masses in the last few weeks. We are happy about it, but there are also problems: the lower part of the school end is flooded. The classrooms 4, 5 and 6 as well as the guest house were affected. Some classes in the administration building had to be taught in the administration building temporarily.
View of classrooms 4 and 3 at the peak of the flood on 10th October 2017
Red bordered: Classroom 4, Guest house, classrooms 5 and 6 (from left to right)
The Anantapur District is classified as a dry area, the second driest district in India. 2010, shortly after we bought the school area for a cheap price (about 1 euro per square meter), it was moderately flooded. Every seven years floods would come, they said to us. The classrooms on the lower part of the area (4, 5 and 6) were given a higher foundation, for not to become flooded. Now, in 2017, however, the lake has only reached its peak - higher than in 2010; the water level is 2 cm (!) below the level of classrooms for classes 4, 5 and 6.
The reservoir of Mudigubba - full to the upper edge
Land located directly beside a lake is classified as a protected zone - normally as government land. When we bought our land - from private - it was not registered as government land, [DC = Deputy Commissioner, the meaning is "dry land"], but as private land; the agricultural use was probably the reason ... Now we created our nature School on the former "agricultural land"; and therefore we have to bear the risk of flooding. There is no danger to life and limb, but the situation is still uncomfortable. The guesthouse is the most affected building; we call it "house in the lake," as it is entirely surrounded by water; the classrooms are being reused, although the 4, 5 and 6 class children had to wade through the water to reach their houses temporarily. As an "emergency access" to the affected houses, red soil was spattered, so that they can be reached at least with dry feet.
Headmaster Raja Sekhar in front of the guest house
It was a shock for us, when in the 2nd October week after violent rainfalls the water level suddenly rose very quickly. We were afraid that classrooms would be flooded ... Thank God that did not happen, since the level of the lake overflow is below the classroom floor level; but the first flood wave came very fast and was higher than expected by us ...
Watering Lady Suguna and our horses Tara and Herbie
But how does it go on? Nobody knows how the weather will develop in future ... Our beautiful garden plants in the lower part of the terrain are spoilt; and is it worthwhile to reapply them as we do not know when a flood is to be expected again? We also do not know whether the trees which will stand for weeks in the water will survive; some have already died ... Only in the next weeks and months will we be able to see which plants are defying the water. For us it is a difficult situation - although we are glad and relieved that we have escaped a larger malaise. Nevertheless, our mood is currently somewhat dampened.
View in 2010 on school ground and lake
A new video is online: "Shanti Ananda spreads the wings - A Nature Concept School in South India" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gHOBj6SsMeY. Specials of the school and the main ideas of pedagogy are presented: in the first part the school is introduced concerning history, architecture and pedagogy; in the second part sequences from everyday life are shown; in the third part, interviews with teachers and students can be found: The video has a length of 23 minutes and is interesting for newcomers who want to get known of us and for people who already know us. Klaus Chmiel recorded most of the sequences and created the overall video. I think it is very well done ... Thank you very much, Klaus!
Otherwise, the school year continues normally. Every month, we organize a project day, our popular "Nature Day": in July the theme was "Cat", in August "Butterflies" www.youtube.com/watch?v=4NoU668PbMc (Thanks, Klaus!), "monkeys" in September and "snakes" in October.
Snake Hill of the 7th Class
The children love their Nature Day; it offers the opportunity to deal with a topic of their choice - usually animals - in a deeper way. In October, the Diwali festival, the Festival of Light, was in the focus: classes 6 and 7 performed an impressive theatrical performance. The children want a festival without fireworks causing a lot of noise and, above all, putting animals in panic. Also in October there was a maintenance day; the school area was cleaned, bicycles were repaired, compost pits cared etc. Children and adults had a lot of fun.
Drama of the 6th and 7th grade to Diwali
Since few months Irena, a Russian teacher, is with us. She is interested in mathematics and is currently working in kindergarten and first grade. The children like her - she has many ideas and shakes up the school... Maybe she will guide teacher training next…
Irena in kinder garden
With 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 PragathiGrameena Bank
Account No. 19073080607