The aftermath of the walk

With hindsight now we can envisage the organization of the walk for next year.  We conjecture that the date will then be 11.11.11 which will fall on a Friday, which means that we will need to apply for permission for children to walk on a school day.  We will begin to orient ourselves towards next year in the coming weeks and post our perspective up here.  Comments and suggestions will be welcome.

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This walk represents a joyful celebration for the children, because it signifies that they are taking a stand on their future and the future of all sentient beings on Mother Earth.  Here are just some of the images we collected from this celebratory occasion:


A young actor shows some spunk on the bus ...


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Refills for refreshments were on call and much needed ...




Distribution of food was a pleasant task for volunteers.

The walkers rested in the shade when it became very hot:

Many children prepared costumes and scripts for small dramas and songs to entertain the resting walkers:

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Preparations of refreshments were underway early on 101010 ...

The children form a long column in readiness …

Traffic at the beginning was not busy:

But it became chaotic after some time and more police support would have been welcome:

However most of the walk was orderly and light hearted:

We had the trusty mobile clinic ready for any unlikely emergency:

Bullock carts accompanied us all the way, some with musicians and some with refreshments, and some for any tired walkers:

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The children of the Arunachala Village School are making use of the holidays following exams to create a piece of theatre that they will extend and elaborate on in future for presentation to our community; this is their special contribution towards the health of their future. The skit they are working on is a simple scenario in which a group of tribal people successfully defend a tree from being cut by developers.  The costume Department was in full swing: The results were spectacularly green: The actors exhibited a fine sense of onstage prescence: Still there are some days for polishing up the performance; when it is ready we can post the results for you.

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On the eighth evening we took the pradakshina route from the designated beginning of the proposed walk – the children’s park at The Forest Way, around the hill to Esanya Tank.  We needed to survey the proposed stops, considering the intervals between and noticing what each stopping place provided for what we have in mind.  First we trundled   through to the end of a Restawhile Park:

Then we had a discussion:

This continued along the site of the new pradakshina walk path until Kubera Lingam:

The evening glow and light rain was enchanting at the beautiful old Esaya Thirthum:

Although we were only on the perimeter of town the general confusion and raucous cacophony was so overwhelming it seemed impossible even to think of the children walking through town so we went to a relatively quiet place to eat, contemplate and prepare ourselves for the final stretch home.  Upon reflection we decided to take a look at the last leg after the disruptive roadworks presently in progress.

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Nurjahan and Seetha are watching the Power Point Presentation of to decide whether it is suitable for us to show to teachers so that they can be sure to understand why we are organizing the Arunachala Childrens Walk 101010.

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Evelien has come to research into the level of environmental awareness in local schools and Jaya has recently joined the Arunachala Kattu Siva Plantation; she is assisting Evelien in translation and introduction to school teachers and children; the two of them here are going through notes taken in class

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Preparation for Pradakshina – auspicious visitor

At an informal meeting on Thursday August 26 – between some of those planning the children’s walk around Arunachala – we were joined by Evelien de Hoop from Holland, an Oxford Research Scholar studying the depth of environmental awareness and understanding in local school children, whose presence is extremely timely as well as tremendously interesting and encouraging:

Here you see Arun from The Forest Way, Kumar from Sh@nti Children Project, Perumal from Sinam – the NGO that is hosting Evelien’s research here, and Apeetha from the Arunachala Kattu Siva Plantation.

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Messengers of encouragement

Two young messengers of encouragement came to the hill to initiate the implementation of our plans for the Arunachala Children’s Walk.  Tara and Atman are brother and sister of the Adiseshan family from California; they studied Home Schooling with their Mother, Mamata, and have both distinguished themselves internationally by winning various awards.  They are particularly interested in Biology and each have a voice that is inspiring to witness.  Here Tara is explaining to the students at the Arunachala Village School how the prevalence and variety of animal life in India is one of endearment for herself and her brother:

Tara encouraged the children to notice the lively world around them with loving respect.  She told them about the interesting projects she has worked on, searching for relief from animal diseases and afflictions.

Atman also spoke with relaxed eloquence about the need for us homo sapiens to begin truly respecting other forms of life.

The children were delighted with the talks and so were we, all of us.  Tara and Atman also came into town to speak with the children at the Sh@nti Children Project, speaking as they do very much as young members of the same human family, faced with global problems which can definitely be solved by community participation:

The visit of Tara and Atman occurred just at the time when we organizers of the Children’s Walk are embarking on the process of interacting with schools, teachers and students, so it seemed an auspicious visit and we were sorry to say Bon Voyage to these two remarkable young people.

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