Today’s children will shape the future path of our planet, but our current ‘education system’ is doing a good job of putting blinkers on children, focusing only on passing exams and training them to not think. The entire focus is on getting a ‘good’ job, and making a lot of money. To consume more and more and ‘develop’ to western standards, and to lead (arguably) unhappy lives.
Everyone loves to see tigers and elephants, but no one makes the connection between the animals, the forests they live in, the wider landscapes and ecosystems and human well being. And that over consumption and expanding human populations are taking over the entire planet.
It is rather paradoxical that India is home to more than half the worlds wild Asian elephants and tigers, and also more than one-fifth the world’s human beings. Even with a population density of more than 350 people per square km (and rising), we have been able to allow for a wide range of animals to share space with us. This is largely because of a long history of cultural tolerance to animals and nature, which is sadly being rapidly lost as more people get ‘educated’ and India ‘develops’.
We hope to try and make kids think about these connections before they get absorbed by the system. We have started ‘CAN Clubs’ (Children Act for Nature) in local schools, and arrange various trips into Mudumalai, along with a range of other activities for children. The primary aim is to ensure they have a good time, and also pick up something meaningful along the way.
Click here for M.C Badichi’s write up one one of the excursions into Mudumalai.
Children from Vidyodaya, a school for adivasi children.
From a 2 day camp at the \'peacock\' guest house in Kargudi, Mudumalai
Four teams, each challenging each other with traditional riddles
Children near the Ombetta lake, inside Mudumalai