Sathya Priya is one of our enthusiastic Earth Ambassadors who is a final year humanities student at IIT Madras. She conducted her first program for children in Sathyamangalam and wrote a following reflection to us.
Post the session I felt a bit overwhelmed especially with the details kids shared. For instance, upon seeing tiny tit bits of plastic wrappers littered around the place and asking them how there is so much of plastic when they don't have easy access to packaged goods, a child replied that "people coming from down ( referring to city / town dwellers) leave them here though they come in cars and vehicles ..we don't have vehicles/ buses to give this back to them or put plastic in their place." The kids were totally perplexed about the documentary ‘Save Our Sholas’ that highlights the interconnect between Peninsular India and the Western Ghats. A couple of their parents narrated on the increasing water scarcity in the region. One remarkable thing to note was that none of the children in that village were indulged in child labour even when economic conditions were poor and the emphasis they laid in educating girl children.
All the children who attended the session were first generation learners. Thus being my first program. I felt I should have familiarised myself more with the children and known them more. I learnt a lot as a person especially my outlook about happiness and life has become more refined. I couldn't get a lot of reviews, but they were indeed happy about the whole session as the children rarely get such exposure. A couple of parents who had a sneak peak in between also added their views on their dependence on nature for everything. They also told about their subsistence livelihood. After the session along with the kids we went to a wild stream.. drinking water from it was one of the surreal moments of my life!"