Wednesday, August 5, 2009


We are not used to planning anything special on annual day as a matter of fact we have never done this. Recently i was checking my website status and found that is registered on 30th july 2003. That is when i thought we are old and needed to do something. So suddenly I got a thought of taking some under privilege children to Jungle lodges – Bannurghatta Nature camp and give some awareness to them about nature. About which i have been talking ever since we started and never done anything.
So for the first time this year we budgeted 15k towards this and decided to take some 25 odd children with 4-5 staff. We spoke to dream a dream initially who came back us with 25 children, 4 teachers and 10 volunteers, which we found little odd. In the mean time i visited Sumangali Seva Ashram with help of my pilot friend ravi, in 5 minutes the president set up a meeting with warden of school and confirmed 27 children and 2 teachers will accompany and they will take care of the transportation. We fixed the day as 1st aug since it was a Saturday and children can take off from school.
On 1st august we, complete staff of holiday mantra i.e. Shashi, Hema, Abraham and his Wife, Ram Prasad, Shama Rao and we were also accompanied by my dad and my 3 year old niece Shraya and good friends Mr. Manjunath and Mr. Narasimaha Murthy arrived at JLR Bannerughatta NC at about 12.30. Children had already arrived at the camp and were checked in and we having lunch. We too had a good lunch and shraya had lost completely to surroundings.
Children left for safari later in the afternoon and we too followed them. As usual we were all thrilled in safari and shraya had a ball looking live at all the carnivores animals. After the safari my dad,hema,Abraham + his wife,manjunath and narasimha murthy left to Bangalore.
Myself, shamarao and ram returned back to camp with children, in the mean time children had also see the zoo and were exchanging jokes, that they have fixed appointment with animals for the night.
After tea and biscuits and milk and biscuits for children, thanks to shama rao and ram we kept children busy with some nice memory games which was fun. At about 6.45 it started to pour and rained cats and dogs for about an hour and our (children’s) camp fire dreams were shatters but we showed them some wildlife movie to keep them busy.
At dinner table i met Kalyan Varma renounce photographer and wildlife activist and was all praise to us for giving children this holiday, so quickly i seized the opportunity and asked him can he give a small slide show and small talk about conservation. Which was my initial thought before the program to invite someone good, which i did not pursue? Kalyan was more than happy to do it the next day after breakfast.
We sighed off the day with dinner.
I was woken up in the morning by calls of barking dear and prayers of children at 6 and 6.30 we all had tea and the program was to go for a nature walk, i was not feeling well and feeling feverish. I told all that i am not coming but i could not hold myself and joined the group after litter thought that i would have not missed if i had a client and now this children i do not want to give a miss.
Nature walk was really good experience where i to kept learning so many new things. Sincere thanks to k m of jlr.
After breakfast it was time for kalyan’s slide show. The conference room in jlr is posh and nice, children were thrilled to be seated like big men. We started at 10.20 and kalyan explained his in ability to explain in kannada and i stood in to translate where ever he was stuck. The slide show was just fantastic and it was a pleasure for me to too. Pictures were too good and had then cam talk about conservation by taking tea as base.
I will go little in details about this conservation talk, because it touched me and would also have touched all the children.
Tea – What do we need to make it? Tea leaves, Milk, Water, Sugar.
Tea Leaves – where do we grow, in high altitude above 4000ft and were earlier there were rainforest and now surely we making tea forest without any animals and variety of species of plants. Animals are caged to small patches of shoal forest, which also has a short life.
Milk – comes from cows from Villages where there is no fodder for it and are left in forest to graze. There are about 1.5 laks cows are left to graze in bandipur forest alone every single day.
Water- We are not near water body’s and we build dams and submerge forest to an unprecedented extent.
Sugar – Sugar cane is grown in the fringes of the forest and there is constant man animal conflict.
So the problem is that we are too many people need great awareness in using our natural recourses. All this was told by kalyan with few little kannada words he knew and with lots of breathtaking pictures and was really and wonderful experience. Sincere thanks to kalyan varma for this beautiful slide show which was educative and an eye opener.
At the end it was an overwhelming experience when a child came on stage and spoke a few words about the complete experience.
My sincere thanks to all clients to make this happen, without them it was not possible.
My sincere thanks all the staff of Holiday Mantra
My sincere thanks to children of sumagali seva ashrama.
This experience has made me to work harder so that i can give it back more to society at large.
To see more pictures in movie check this link