On the 14th of June, a Saturday, the children of the Thalaiyattumund Municipal School and C.M.M School along with Nakul (Roopa’s son) and his friend Sonaal were all geared up for a trip to Kotagiri accompanied by Kalyani, Nivishna and Roopa from Siragugal. The trip was planned as a fun filled learning experience, wherein, the children were taken on a nostalgic trip through the history of the Nilgiris.
The trip commenced at 10.30 A.M. armed with a lot of snacks, packed lunch and an enthusiastic bunch of kids. As soon as the van started, Nivishna encouraged the girls to sing and dance and it was indeed a feast to the eyes as they danced in sync to the tunes of many Tamil songs.
After an hour’s drive, they reached the Sullivan’s Memorial which is being run by Mr.Dharmalingam Venugopal who has been in pursuit of the history of Nilgiris for many years. It was indeed a very informative and learning experience for both the children and the adults as Mr.Venugopal took them through the painstaking journey of compiling and documenting the discovery of the Nilgiris by John Sullivan and the consequent changes and developments brought about by him.
Mr.Venugopal being the very gracious host invited the teachers for a cup of tea at his house which was a welcome relief to them after the herculean task of entertaining a bunch of hyper active kids!!
Lunch was served soon after, on the lawn and the children enjoyed a tasty spread. After lunch Roopa emphasised the need to avoid littering and made sure that all the disposable plates and glasses were properly stowed in garbage bags and put in the bins nearby.
After a couple of minutes of rest, the trip resumed to a nearby water fall. All the children enjoyed trekking down to the water fall and splashing water at each other under the watchful eyes of the teachers. After a short trek along the road, the view of the cascading water was revealed to them which had them mesmerised. Nivishna explained to the children how a water fall is formed and how the flowing water shapes the rocks into terraces. She also explained to them that no two leaves nor flowers will be exactly the same as nature has made them all unique. She then asked the children to draw ten different leaves and ten different flowers as home work. The inquisitive children had a lot of doubts to clear which Nivishna did very patiently. All this while, the kids did not miss posing for the photographs; especially the girls!
After the trek, the children as well as the teachers were ready for a little bit of relaxation. So they decided to drop in at the Nehru Park in Kotagiri on their way back. The children welcomed the time to enjoy their snacks and to play in the park area.
After an eventful day they all started their journey back. It was indeed a trip filled with fun and learning that left the kids asking for more.
The Siragugal team hopes to take these underprivileged children on more such trips which will give them more exposure at the same time enhancing their knowledge about Nilgiris and the environment around them.
Contributed by Roopa