They [students] had brought their pocket money to buy the saplings which they planned to plant in and around their home so that they could educate their elders about the importance of growing trees.

Learning goes beyond memorizing facts and figures; only when one’s knowledge translates into a deeper insight into life can we say that true learning has happened. Cuddalore School administrator, Ms. Pushpa, shares an incident to highlight the learning that Isha Vidhya students have imbibed.

Project GreenHands (PGH) is an environmental project where local communities actively participate in planting and taking care of saplings till they are old enough to survive on their own – thus helping to reverse the deforestation that is rapidly taking place across India. Some Isha Vidhya schools have PGH nurseries where students plant seedlings as part of their environmental study class. The students love this practical aspect of the class, especially when they see the seeds germinating and growing into tender saplings.

The school management reaches out to the community, encouraging people to gift saplings to friends, families and colleagues on festive occasions. Through the concerted effort of the school staff and awareness drives by students, Cuddalore school was able to sell 3,000 saplings to clubs, forums and community groups at a very nominal cost. Ms. Pushpa shared the good news with the students during a morning assembly and congratulated them for their spirit and enthusiasm. She also revealed that only 845 saplings were left unsold.

The next day many students went to her office to purchase 3 or 4 saplings each. On being asked why they wanted to purchase the saplings, the students said they wanted to ensure that all existing saplings in their school nursery were sold before the end of the term. They had brought their pocket money to buy the saplings which they planned to plant in and around their home so that they could educate their elders about the importance of growing trees.

What the students did not know was that saplings were available free of cost for Isha Vidhya school students. But they were willing to shell out their meager pocket money to spread the word about the urgent need to plant trees – not just by giving lectures but by actually getting into action.  Kudos to the students for allowing their learning to mature into inspired action, and to the teachers for imparting the lesson so effectively!

Editor’s Note: Isha Vidhya’s nine rural schools offer education to 5200 children, 2708 of whom are on full scholarships, thanks to generous donors. We need to construct 34 classrooms urgently within 6 months to accommodate the students for the next academic year. Your donation will help Isha Vidhya offer a bright future to underprivileged children like Ajay, who will otherwise languish behind.