Freshly polished and decked up with flower garlands and ribbon, the brand-new, bright yellow Isha Vidhya School bus was shining in the sun as Isha Vidhya students, their parents, teachers and coordinators, Isha Home School kids, Ashram residents and brahmacharis flocked in the middle of the old Mahashivratri grounds, eagerly awaiting the chief guest. Finally, his car swept by, Sadhguru slipped out, greeted everyone and after a brief inaugural address, cut the ribbon, and – much to the delight of everyone present – took the driver’s seat, and the kids surely didn’t need to be asked twice to get on the bus for its maiden trip. The adults outside were clapping, the kids screaming happily while they made a few rounds on the field. With the concluding distribution of sweets, the bus was befittingly inaugurated, ready for its routine shuttle service between the remote home villages of the Isha Vidhya students and their school of Sandegounden Palayam, Coimbatore.
But what’s so special about a new school bus? As Sadhguru said, Isha Vidhya is probably the first rural school to have a bus of their own. Typically, rented buses are used to transport the children to and from school. Since these buses are small and cannot hold many children, they have to make extra trips each morning and afternoon to pick up and drop all the students. For our Isha Vidhya kids, this means the batch of students who are picked up first and dropped off second after school have a long day away from home, from 7:45 am to 4:45 pm, even though school only runs from 9 am to 3:20 pm.
This new bus is not only more convenient for the students and more reliable, saving two trips a day makes it an investment that pays in terms of money and the environment. Several donors who contributed to the Isha Vidhya funding last year made this possible.