Adharshila Learning Centre is situated in a tribal village in Madhya Pradesh, India. It is a place for learning, a children's space, an experiment in education, a stepping stone, an anti school? We are trying to figure out and still discovering after over a decade.....
Adharshila is a place to experiment your ideas in education.
It’s amazing how little things can bring so much joy. Three months ago we brought a thick rope, usually used in the area for tying bullocks. It was doubled and hung from a tilted branch of a tree about 10 feet high. No there was no tyre at the bottom. Last time we had a tyre, the children were banging into the tree trunk. This time it was only for climbing and doing gymnastic type exercises. They loved it. Withing three days the children had tried at least ten different types of things. Climbing up. Spreading the rope with legs and rotating. Two children making designs. Heads down on the rope.
Suresh heads down
For a month I kept on shouting, not to use it as a swing. Finally we discovered a swing game. Two teams one on each side run, catch the rope and leave it at the end of the swing to see who goes farthest. One boy stands in the middle to stablize the rope. Somebody gave him a name, just like that a new word was coined in the bareli language – ubravniyo – someone who stops. Today I saw some very elegant landings. After a few days, points were added to the game. Farther you go you get more points. Points. Something to fight and shout for. Hey was this point thing necessary? Competition? What will the purist say ? immidiately, without any prompting one boy from each team stands near the other team’s landing place to check if they are counting the points correctly. A little competition doesn’t matter I tell myself.
Only problem is that the rope tree is just outside our house and the noise is unbearable. The kids are incorrigible. They come back everytime they are shooed away in exactly fifteen minutes.
Two hoots to the slick, designer made, eco friendly, child friendly, over cautiously made swings… just simple rope made of jute. Joy is so simple. Such little cost for such big joys.
Another thing is that there is risk in this game. One might hurt while jumping, there are other trees nearby. Someone might come in between. Children are learning to take and judge and handle risks. Isnt this part of growing up. Arnt we overcautious with our kids these days. We are scared so cant help being overcautious ! Many children just watch for a few days then try on their own.
Any way the rope is a great success. I heard Lokesh has already got his face scratched as he fell down once, though he was a star jumper. Overconfident.