HYDERABAD: Children in urban areas know little about cows, sheep, goats, ducks, hens or pulses, rice, maize, corn crops. They have only seen those in pictures. Children are curious to know how seeds germinate into plants, how a corn is produced or how do animal farm look like. To beat the skewed method of learning about nature and to give a first hand experience, an ‘Active Farm School’was set up on the campus of Engineering Staff college of India (ESCI), Gachibowli three months ago.
The school is spread across 3.5 acres of land, beside a lake where 65 kinds of food and commercial crops are grown on a small patch of land. Cows, buffaloes, sheep, goat and other farm animals are also there. The visitors to the farm are mostly school children.
Children are taught how to sow seeds, how butter is separated from raw milk, preparing bread, how to make figurines out of paper etc. and they are also given opportunity to plough the lands, sowing seeds and doing other farm activities. “Our mission is to educate children through hands-on experience. It is an active education process. Everybody should know how food is grown, produced, so that they can understand nature,” said Vamshi, the chief education officer of Active Farm School. We also teach children to pay gratitude to farmers, he said.
Speaking about the school, Vamshi said that he used to operate the school at Gopanapally village. “Dr U Chandrasekhar, the director of ESCI, spotted us and asked to operate the school on the campus,” Vamshi said. Dr Chandrasekhar said, “I always wanted to do something beside the lake on the sprawling campus. So I asked Vamshi to operate the school on the campus.”
Besides school children, families and individuals visit the farm school frequently. Till date, 3500 people have visited the school. They charge `150 to `250 for school children and `300 for individuals as entry fee. For more details visit website: www.activefarmschool.com