Asha Chennai organised an excursion for our teachers to Mysore from Dec 27th to 29th to have fun as well as gain exposure.
Here are the photos from the excursion.
Since last year (2018-19) we have started the practice of taking our teachers out for an excursion. This is a way for us to say Thank you to the teachers as well as provide them exposure to something broader. Our teachers have rarely travelled beyond the boundaries of Tamilnadu and travel to a new place gives them a certain perspective that we feel is very important.
This year we decided to have the excursion in December instead of May. This opens up more choices as May is uniformly hot in most of South India. Based on inputs from the teachers we decided to have a 3-day excursion to Mysore. While the exercise started with the Sangamam group in Thiruvallur, this year teachers from Poorna Vidhya, Manigal and Pearl also joined us. Further since this was a 3-day tour we were able to make arrangements to visit and learn from an NGO that Asha has been supporting for a number of years, Deenabandhu on one of the days. Like last time we allowed the teachers to bring their children. If the children are 5 and under, they will travel for free. Otherwise the teachers need to bear the expenses for the child.
The Poorna Vidhya and Manigal teachers travelled from Chennai by Cauvery express. The Sangamam teachers joined at Thiruvallur. After a breakfast we directly went to Kranji Lake Park. It was a nice park with a lake for boating. Many of the teachers went boating. There was also a nice play area and a Aviary inside the park. After seeing all these we went to the Youth Hostel in Saraswathipuram in Mysore where we had made arrangements to stay. The Pearl teachers also joined us there The accomodations were comfortable.
We then went to the Mysore zoo and then to the Brindavan gardens in the evening. Teachers and their children enjoyed both these places. The brindavan gardens with the light show in the evening was especially enjoyed even though the travel there took longer than expected.
The second day we went to Chamaraj Nagar an hour and a half from Mysore to visit Deenabandhu. Deenabandhu runs a home and a school in that area. But most importantly, in recent times, thanks to Asha support, they have begun focussing on improving how Science is taught in government schools in the area. They have a lab cum training centre where batches of govt teachers get trained. Sunil from Deenabandhu was our host and made our visit really enjoyable. The teachers got to make some low cost science demonstration kits of their own. They made a smoke chamber that can show the path of light and another spinning disk that shows Newton 7 colour combining into one experiment. Deenabandhu served us a wonderful lunch as well.
In the afternoon they quickly gave us a demo of a number of science experiments that they had set up. They showed us the workshop where they make these kits to demonstrate the science concepts. Then they finally took us to the science park. This is a nice play area but every thing there demonstrates a science concept. They have been setting up these parks at many places.
We then finally returned back to Mysore. Inside the bus was a typical excursion environment where there was good dancing, singing etc. Teachers got to know each other well in a relaxed environment. We allowed the teachers to roam around the Mysore palace area on their own. Teachers went to various places and then returned to the hostel at night for dinner and sleep.
On the final day, the teachers first went to Tipu Sultan’s palace near Srirangapattna. They had a little relaxed time at the grounds. Then they briefly dropped in at the Srirangapattna temple. As it was too crowded they decided to skip it. Then came to central Mysore to see Philomena’s cathedral. One of our teachers, Philomena, was named after the St. Philomena of this cathedral. Then the teachers went to the Mysore palace. There was also a flower show taking place there which they could see. The Pearl teachers at that point had to leave to catch their train. The rest of the teachers went to the temple at Chamundi Hills and finally caught the train back to Thiruvallur and Chennai.