In celebration of Wildlife Week, NNHS and Keystone conducted a 2 hour workshop for students of grade 6-8, from CSI school at their campus on 4th October, 2019, between 2 – 4 pm. The workshop was intended to develop a sense of awareness and understanding about the wildlife seen around, types of interaction with humans and causes for the same.
The program was launched with the screening of the movie, ‘Gaur in my garden’, which talks about the earliest sightings of Gaurs in Kotagiri town. Many of the students related to the movie very well as many of the clips were shot in familiar areas and close to the school, including the Keystone campus and nearby villages. The students were then quizzed on the movie about gaur behavior, interactions and impacts of interactions on either species (humans and gaurs).
From the movie, the students were led to explore other wild animals in their neighbourhood through a clue based quiz that introduced them to the behavior, food habits and physical characteristics of wild boars, bears and monkeys. The students then took turns, in groups to narrate personal experiences of seeing these animals, their perception of the animals and their reactions/ responses to them. While some indicated fear and resorting to aggressive actions like throwing stones at them, others indicated acceptance and staying away to let the animals pass from their line of sight.
After the discussion, the students were split into groups with each group indicating one species – bears, wild boars, gaurs, monkeys and humans. The students then performed a brief enactment of how the species behaved within its on group and how they interacted with humans. This made for a lot of fun and noise as the children imitated the various behaviours of animals but it also got them thinking about the serious nature of our interactions that could make a different between conflict and co-existence.
We left the students with a high note, to return with more – interesting activities and explorations about nature around us.