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Monday, November 5, 2007

Monthly update from Adharshila

A Traveller

Narendra Patil, going on his bike from Leh to Bangalore, dropped in. He’s an old friend from the Attha days. The children were more interested in his heavy Royal Enfeild bike rather than his talk. He stayed with us for 4 days. Most of the time we were discussing our lives in the past 18 years. We met after 18 years – or so !!! He also showed children how to juggle with three balls.

And Two Volunteers

Mahalaxmi and MBA from Symbiosis, Pune and Sameer and Electrical Engineer from the USA reached the same day. While Laxmi is a teaching enthusiast, Sameer seems to be looking for answers to deeper questions related to education and life in general. Right now they are helping in teaching English, Math, teacher training and curriculum development. Sameer is learning to cook and works on the organic farm. Laxmi is learning weaving and also works on the farm.

A Trip to an Organic Farm

Jayashree with 8 children, and Badri bhai, went to see the farm of Mr. Sharma in Maharashtra, who has recently received the President’s Award for high yield through organic farming techniques. The team came back inspired and immediately set to work on the farm. We learnt to see levels and make contours. Sharma produces about 3 tonne vegetables on an acre, in the full year – which is a lot, to say the least. We will be happy if we get a ton.

Watering the Trees

The whole Centre is busy watering the trees and vegetable plots. Remember our resolve of planting and nurturing trees to make our mess fuel self reliant.


The fun days are over. As soon as people have started threshing and preparing their fields for the winter crop, the voltage has dropped to candlelight levels. Those who remember their school physics can appreciate the measurement of light in candles only when they have visited Adharshila in this season. We are desperately running after people to get a DP installed. We realised that inspite of thousands of hits that one gets of searching ‘alternative energy’ and Govt. depts. And NGO’s and elite institutions like IITs there is no viable alternative as yet to the State Electricity Board which relies on Dams, Nuclear Plants and the like. So what is to be done –Alternative Life style lovers ? Any body who has great ideas except saying why do you need electricity, is welcome to help.

The children are busy preparing for an Astronomy Olympiad held at the district level.
One group is doing a project to find out the ill effects of the loss of bio diversity, in agriculture.