THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: On Tuesday, some 35 students belonging to several schools in the city would embark on a tour to nature’s lap at Neyyar, a few kilometres from here.
A first for all of them, it is also a first for the North Urban Resource Centre (URC) of the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) which is organising the ‘Vanayatra’ along with the Forest Department.
A couple of weeks ago, the students belonging to 75 schools under the North URC were quizzed on environment and forests. The winners were chosen and asked if they were interested in a journey to know more about forests.
Those who nodded ‘yes’ were roped in for the one-day tour, which will be flagged off by Pettah Councillor B Sruti at the North URC office on the compound of Pettah UPS on Tuesday morning.
‘’It’s an innovative programme by SSA and the first time a ‘vanayatra’ has been planned. The children are really excited. It is basically to give them more insights into the nature around them, about forests, the ecosystem and how conservation of forests balances our habitat and so on. We are being actively helped by the Forest officials,’’ said Suchitra, Block Programme Officer of SSA.
Students from classes V to VIII have been chosen for the forest drive to Neyyar, where a lion safari and a trip to the deer park also await them. The URC has booked a KSRTC bus for the purpose, which would carry the students from the city at 7.30 am.
Once in Neyyar Dam, the students would be handed over to the Forest Department, which has seemingly planned a scenic tour and some serious classes for the children.
The children are being accompanied by eight teachers. Food, refreshments and games too have been planned.
By 5.30 pm, the teachers would once again resume charge and pack the kids back home. ‘’We plan to conduct such short, useful, yet exciting, trips for children again,’’ said Suchitra.
The success of Tuesday’s trip could inspire SSA to carry out more ‘vanayatras’ in future too.