Chiguru – an initiative from Cleanup Turahalli – started as a casual conversation with the team. It was about looking for a way to connect with the children of the neighborhood around Turahalli Forest. One of the volunteers Bindu, came up with the idea and helped us put the things together, and even thought of the name.
Chiguru – a germinating shoot, and typically prominent in Mango trees during the spring season, is an interactive program with neighboring children that brings them closer to nature.
More than the program itself, its the overwhelming response by the children and their curiosity which is the driving force. For the past one month, every morning at 6:30 AM, enthusiastic children – overcoming any sleepiness and the cold – assemble at the gate of the Tree Park – looking forward to that morning’s activities!
Though Turahalli Tree park is still not completely developed, this piece of land offers so much to satisfy and keep the curiosity alive in the children. The number of children in the Chiguru group has only been steadily increasing. Even without any advertising, more and more of them are coming every day to join the group. This itself shows how much children want to be with nature.
Not to forget, its those lovely parents who understand and who have taken up the responsibility of dropping the children in the morning, whether its cold or dark, just shows that there’s hope in people valuing nature in their lives.
For adventure – compared to the Turahalli Forest, the Tree Park does not have the variety of boulders, the most favorite activity for children. But it never limited the children of the Chiguru group from exploring and understanding nature. The trees in the Tree Park, which are around as old as the children of the Chiguru group, growing together, will surely create long lasting memories in the children.
Whether observing the trees, their shapes, their leaves, the flowers, or the seasonal changes in them, the birds, the variety of birds (either directly or with binoculars). Many children observe the birds very closely – their color, specialities, uniqueness, behavior – this cannot just be a few days or few weekends of learning. Watching birds alone is a full time hobby which the Tree Park offers. So far our expert bird enthusiasts have recorded more than sixty species of birds in the Tree Park, many of them the children have seen. These children are more than lucky to have this opportunity to have these birds in their surroundings.
Creativity is open ended and eco-friendly at the Tree Park. Fallen leaves, seeds, stones, patterns of trees or the patterns in nature, anything and everything can trigger their creative aspects. Its up to us to discover new ways of discovering it. The Tree Park offers a little adventurous opportunities also for the children. These are good enough to challenge, motivate and learn multiple skills. They learn individually, as well as a group. (And more adventurous again is yet to be created).
Games, which are an integral part of a child’s life, played with the natural materials, also brings in a better connection with nature. This even sensitizes them towards nature.
Multiple nature based games are played at the Tree Park – these games connecting, teaching, and encouraging children to use their sense organs. To name only a few that we have played: balancing, smelling, shape of leaves, building a nest… just a few… and many more can be created.
Our daily visits to the Tree Park create stories.
Any space like the Tree Park with live activities happening, is also a space where new stories are unfolding. Our just one hour visit to the Tree Park, unfolds so many stories every day.
Having this precious space – which has more scope for development, can only be a treasure trove of learning. The basis of learning is to respect nature. Listen to, understand and to be sensitive, learn how to nurture it, learn how to protect it, can be learnt in this space. This not only nourishes the mind and body, but also helps us to respect and learn about such spaces.
This respect can also help them see how we treat our forests as well.
Thanks to many volunteers who are regularly coming and sharing their knowledge and love towards nature.
Any non-commercial activities around nature can only bring love and bonding!!!