Updated: Jul 30, 2021
Lenore Hetrick once very beautifully wrote, “Nature looked across the seas, she newly made; ‘now’, said Nature, life must have a place of cooling shade.”
And then, a tree was born.
Our children are just like that tree, of the future. And it is up to us, our responsibility, to ensure that they grow up into strong and grounded individuals who truly value the invaluable presence of nature in their lives.
In today’s hyperconnected and digitalised world, our children unfortunately are getting more connected with the ‘concept’ of nature than nature itself. Mobile games and computer simulated entertainment are replacing a walk in the park, flower emojis take the place of real flowers and animated birds and insects are the norm where the real ones stay locked up in zoos. Rapid urbanisation to accommodate burgeoning industrial, population, and housing growth his leading to entire mountains, forests, and even parks disappearing forever; replaced by mammoth housing societies and industrial complexes boasting planted grass that pass for ‘nature’.
Progress at the cost of nature is no progress at all and if our children grow up to believe that nature is something that is to be ‘seen’ by appointment during a school trip or a zoo visit, then we are raising our next generation in a very sorry state.
At Gajera Trust, all our 18 schools follow a nature-integrated learning pedagogy and are guided by the vision of One Happiness – which can be achieved by teaching our children not just to see or experience nature intermittently but be one with it.
Our mission has been to take every initiative possible in order to ensure that we all do our bit to drive a deeper, value-led appreciation and integration of nature in our lives.
With the undertaking of the plantation activities every month since 2019, we have been educating our students about the steps to be taken and the awareness to be spread. “Biodiversity in practice” was a subject of a webinar that was conducted in 2020, by Mr. Snehal Patel (Founder President Nature Club, Surat). He had built an eco-home for himself where there are no power, water, or sewer lines.
In his webinar at Gajera GlobalSchool, he showed the students how he had made his home environment-friendly and gave a house tour to them, explaining how he went with the idea, giving suggestions about how they can incorporate the same in their homes.
To bridge the gap, we have had an online Eco-bricks workshop by Ms. Lulua Hussain (MSc in Biochemistry), GreenEducator at the Gajera Global School (GGS). She showed the students and the staff members, how to mix different bio-degradable materials, put them together as bricks and use them to build the home of your dreams.
Continuing with the same spirit at Gajera Trust, we hosted another webinar on "Advancing well-being through sustainable education” by Mr. Peter Phillips and Dr. Nicolene Perez (University of South Africa) who have a Doctorate in ‘Early childhood education and training, with a Masters in ‘Psychology of Education’ from Open Flow Learning Centre Bali, Indonesia. They showed us how all our sustainable goals can be achieved even within a limited budget. They demonstrated how small creative acts in the kitchen, in the living room, and in the classroom can create a sustainable society where the coming generation do not have to worry about resources running out and the world plunging into apocalyptic darkness. Other activities include webinars on ‘Green Education’, the now-and- future of society with the environment by Dr. Hitesh Thummar and Mr. Pratik Thakore (Diploma in Electrical Engineering) and Dr. Paresh Shah (Surgeon, Endoscopist, Laparoscopist); another being a visit to the terrace food-forest with the learners at GGS. Interestingly, the Pal Branch of the Gajera Global School has Green Educators.
Apart from that, a very knowledgeable fest was based on organic fruit farming, to understand how they help the whole ecology thrive.
The entire campus participated in organic farming and terrace gardening to produce chemical-free fruits and vegetables to be consumed by the whole community and not just the learners and teachers because serving others is what we truly believe in.
Nevertheless, as students, members and parents, it is very important to understand the need to make mother nature our closest friend, and to spread the word regarding its protection, growth, and fulfilment.
We invite each one of you to join hands with us, to know more and grow more each day. Gajera Trust looks forward to collaborating with, working, and supporting you in this cause, and to make you a part of our family.
Let’s protect our tomorrow, our children, and our planet. Starting today.