It is of utmost importance to imbibe best practices in children at a very young age. In a world where sustainability, global warming, pollution index, plastic waste and environment are discussed every day, children must be made conscious of the right choices. But before that, it’s important they understand the challenges and the impacts of an unsustainable life? Once they have a better understanding of this, they will know what steps to take in the right direction.
Students from Modern High School, Kolkata got an insight into the way of life in Auroville. They were observant and took back valuable lessons on sustainability.
Here’s a quick glance into the 6 days workshop:
The children discovered how a community like Auroville can coexist with nature, that there are men and women who are driven by service to humanity rather than service to themselves, that money isn’t the primary motivation whileservice to the community matters. Everyone that they interacted with was cheerful and full of purpose. The students noticed the difference from the world they had known so far.
At the end of such workshops we conduct a “closing circle” where each can share about their experience,here are some wonderful thoughts we got to hear:
One student shared that: “Everyone in Auroville has an identity, everyones’ doing good work. People from different cultures have come together to create a magical world. Everyone we met has a story to tell. And the stories are impactful and inspirational.
We also observed how people here focus on their well being, be it physical, emotional or mental.”
Another was more in awe of nature, stating “ I have never seen a community so green, so peaceful and so quiet.”
We asked them what would they do differently once they go back home or what they already do to make a difference?
Here are some of their answers:
“I have stopped using the air conditioner. I’m aware of its contribution to global warming and I didn’t want to continue adding more carbon.”
“I have stopped throwing thrash out of the car and now educate others not to do so. I never realized the harm I was causing the planet.”
“I have stopped using my car for anything that’s within 3 kms of my house. I walk to go shopping or to my workouts.”
“I have started using a cloth bag but also reduced the use of non-degradable products.”
“I have started planting medicinal plants at home, especially aloe vera as it helps to clean the air at home. “
The one response that touched me, and yet made me question the world we live in is when the student said: “The sky full of stars from the terrace of my guest house”. Something that is so common to us at Auroville is far from the reality for this student.
Moments like these are what make us wonder and reassess what we are giving to the next generation? A sky full of stars or a world so toxic where they have difficulty breathing?
Auroville was an exceptional tour for these students and given the choice they may have stayed back here. They saw a culture which is different from the outside world; created for the people and by the people for a greater purpose.