I don’t think you’ll easily find a teenager living in a city like Mumbai who is willing to leave his/her comfortable house and live in a village for 2 days without the luxuries of an AC and Wi-Fi. But, if it is a part of their school curriculum, and is a social service trip, awarding each student with 48 hours of social work, they will report to school with groggy eyes and bags filled with food and clothes (and mosquito repellents), and so did I and my classmates. On the 20th of October, the girls from the ISC section of our school set off to go to Govardhan Eco Village. From the moment we stepped into the breathtaking village of Govardhan (pretty literally considering we had to walk about 2kms to get there) we were doing various types of activities. We were warmly welcomed by a monk who was our guide for the rest of our stay. Our first activity, amongst many, was to design our own Eco- village and crazy, unique, brilliant ideas were all put together. After presenting we were shown a model of an actual eco village and the importance of organic farming and soon after we were ready to do organic… Eating, and the lunch certainly filled our stomach and hearts. Post lunch, we took a tour around the Gowardhan Eco Village and learnt about their Green building projects and sewage treatment facilities too. After the tour, we went to the fields where fruits and vegetables were grown using eco friendly and organic methods and got a ‘hands-on’ experience while being involved in the process to make their manure. After an experience like that, truly nothing can s(t)ink your ship. To give us a breather and allow us to calm our minds before our journey continued, we had various students chant mantras, recite hymns and help us meditate. Unlike stereotypical bonfires, ours didn’t need even the bonfire aflame for too long, because our hearts were lit with excitement and fervour and it erupted via dance and song and we were accompanied by some of our teachers to, who frankly took over the dance floor! After a refreshing early morning Yoga session, and an exhausting game of Treasure hunt, we knew it was time to leave. The trip was a lot of fun yes, but also educational. Change begins with ourselves and this trip engrained in our minds the things we in the city with our A.C. and Wifi take for granted. Small things will lead to a great change, like the small step to widen our horizon and take a trip to an Eco- village has now changed us, be open, make a change.
– Srushti Ruparel, 11A