Thursday 1 August 2019

“We developed life-saving skills; something that we would not have gained in our classrooms”

Akanksh Sanctis, a Silver Award participant, narrates his and his fellow participants' experience of an Adventurous Journey to Ramnagara, Karnataka, where they not only engaged in activities for personal growth but also became aware of life at a different place, outside their comfort zone.
On June 14, the participants of IAYP Silver Award left the campus of Sarala Birla Academy at the crack of dawn for a hidden campsite in Ramnagara, Karnataka. On reaching the ten-acre, huge campsite, we were instructed to divide ourselves into three groups that would continue to function in almost every activity that we undertook at the site. We engaged in activities like Burma bridge crossing, zip lining, rope climbing, pipelining, forming human pyramids and hitting the bull’s eye using a ring and tennis ball. Having pushed ourselves rigorously in these activities, we retired for the day in the tents that we had pitched near the site.
We commenced our next day pretty early as we were supposed to leave for a 16-kilometer trek. We had a wholesome breakfast, filled our water bottles, put on our caps along with protective clothes and started on a soon-to-be-tiring trek. During the trek, we passed through dense canopies of trees and thorny bushes that we really had to keep a look out for. We also passed a pristine lake and experienced an opportune moment of witnessing a wild hare hop downhill. After reaching the summit of the enormous hill, we relaxed for a while and continued our trek back to the campsite. The view atop the hill mesmerized almost all of us. Some of us even meditated in the calm and serene environment that it offered. The trek, though tiring, gave us amazing new experiences, such as witnessing the wild flora and fauna of the vicinity and also helped us learn life-saving skills that we would not have gained in our classrooms. Having drunk water that tasted rusty through a pump at a nearby village, we delved into understanding life in a village and how it differs from what we experience in towns and cities. That is when the vital importance of water conservation really dawned on us.
On the final day, we were taken to a nearby village where we were able to witness routine life in a rural area. We had the opportunity to visit a village member’s house and observe the way people lived in their relatively cool houses made of stones and mud. Seeing a deified ox was yet another interesting part of our visit. We also visited a silk producing establishment where we received an enthralling hands-on experience in the silk manufacturing process. After visiting the village, we headed back to the camp and prepared lunch together. We then boarded the bus to our school.
The experience taught us how to function in team-oriented environments and cultivating dependability. We developed new skills such as agility, concentration, efficiency and innovation. Primarily, it taught us to cherish the satisfaction that followed the efforts we put in various activities that were directed towards making us stronger, both physically and mentally.

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