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Social Service: Saguna Bagh

On a hot sultry early November morning, 75 excited  girls from the ISC Section took off for a visit to Saguna bagh, a farm nestled in Raigad, about 4 hours away from Mumbai as part of our SUPW project.

We started off at 7 am and reached 4 hours later to what seemed like a quaint, charming and quiet village. Thankfully, it wasn’t as primitive as I had envisaged earlier! The rooms were basic but no one was going to remain indoors, when glorious nature beckoned us outside for a hot breakfast along with a promise of a tour of the village, to he followed by a the demonstration of a special type of yoga called Malkhamb. This was followed by pulling the fish net and trying to get a worthy snap with a large fish in our hands.

We went back to the dorm, after a delicious meal(though an avid non-vegetarian, I must admit, that the meal tasted really “farm fresh”). It had been a hot day and after lunch we all retired for a much needed siesta.

After we woke up, we were shown a live snake show by a snake charmer. However, it was time for some actual work and that’s when we were introduced to threshing followed by tugging the udders of cows. A couple of unnaturally brave girls even went to drink the milk directly!

Very soon it was evening and it was time for the bonfire! That truly was the highlight of the entire trip with all of us dancing, singing and acting in performaces that we put up around the theme of women empowerment. Too soon, alas, we were told it was time to go to sleep. But the night was still young and we sat up until sunrise chatting and telling ghost stories until the exertions of the busy day finally took its toll and we fell asleep. It was not a surprise when none of us responded to the first wake up call. The second day promised even more fun with a visit to the local Adivasi school. The kids were well behaved, polite and very smart. We handed over the presents that we had carried to the children of the school, who graciously accepted them. We then toured the vocational training institute for women. The stories we heard opened our eyes to the daily lives of those who aren’t as privileged as us. The Principal and teachers in the school were truly inspirational.All too soon, we had to go back. After a quick lunch finished off with a much-needed gola, we boarded the buses again for our trip home.

It was a wonderful trip, made even more special because of our dear teachers, who remained protective about our safety and comfort but also let down their guard and showed us their fun-loving personas as well. Our journey home was spent dozing off and while we were all glad to be back home, our experience there has taught us lessons we will remember for the rest of our lives.

-Sanjana Gupta 11C

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