Drought – Geo Spirit Meet – Chempak Hills
On leadership for 50 children a GEO Spirit meet was facilitated for two days. The children from 8 and 9th classes participated in it. There were girls and boys. It was in year 2009, there was drought due to delayed monsoon rains. Role of a leader is mainly is mainly in the times of a crisis. The farmers in parts of Telangana State were suffering from the impact of drought. The sown seed has not germinated much and the saplings were drying. The standing crops have wilted or dried in the fields.
There was a request from the Aurobindo International School to facilitate a Geo Spirit meet for their children at Champak Hills, near Jangaon, Warangal District, Telangana State. Considering the severe drought situation, I have chosen drought as the theme for the Geo Spirit meet.
Before going to the field, explained children about the prevailing drought and asked them to refer to media and books for understanding the drought. There were asked to prepare posters / collages on drought in groups.
The field visit was planned at Chempak Hills and surrounding areas covering some of the severe drought affected villages. Few teachers have accompanied the students. The children were asked to go in groups and visit the villages to interact with the farmers on the situation of drought and its impact.
By discussion with the villagers children learned some interesting things. The birds could sense drought ahead and the weaver birds have their nests hanging low in the open wells. During drought situation the open wells don’t get filled full, therefore the nests are built low. These birds build their nests in open wells on the hanging trees for security from predators.
The standing crops are dried and have turned brown. The sorghum plants turn poisonous with accumulation of cyanide. Therefore the farmers don’t allow their animals to eat them.
There are indication of water marks in the water tanks, where if water level indicates drought situation. The farmers’ hardships during the drought have been understood by the children.