40 children and 15 volunteers made a trip to Kolad for a 5-day monsoon camp in June, 2015. The intention was to enable them to re-connect to their roots through farming, nature trails, animal bonding and adventure sports.
Even though the children are already living in the SGNP forest, we sensed among them a disconnection to their own roots and ways. The disconnection to their land, their environment, especially farming. Farming used to be an integral part of the life of their ancestors, but changes in economic, civil and political scenarios led to its decline and eventual halt as a practice of sustenance.
We decided that it would be lovely if we could rekindle that bond with the earth and the soil in our children and their connection with the rich wildlife that they are surrounded by. So we ventured into Kolad. The trip was a perfect balance between learning new things and expressing the wild spirit of the jungle that each child carried within. Diving into the Kundalika river, kayaking, playing with non-venomous frogs and snakes, dancing in the rain and collecting beautiful stones, farming rice and cooking traditional Maharashtrian food….it was such a delight! The children did not want to come back home. The kids returned with a lot of renewed confidence in their traditional wisdom and appreciation for their local environment