October 8, 2010
It started with almost a sudden recall that the wildlife week is about to begin in a few days. At Kabini, as far as I remember we have never celebrated the week in any special way. So we had to take up the challenge and do something this year.
On the 30th of September, we were ready with a plan. And it was ambitious. The idea was to bring children from a particular school each day at 10 am. Thereafter, have a small session on understanding the forest, followed by the movie Nagarhole in Kannada. This was to be followed by a lunch and then a safari into the forest. The forest department wholeheartedly supported the idea and gave us permissions.
From the first till the completion of the week, we managed to bring an amazing 600 plus children, almost more than a hundred each day and have fun filled sessions. We covered the villages of Belthur, Karapura, Gundathur, Udboor, Magge and Mallali besides the tribal hadis in and around the camp.
It was a learning experience in an unique way. Besides the enthusiasm of the children which is apparent, it was quite clear that our staff had even greater fun. The gardeners volunteered, so did the naturalists, the electricians went for safaris with the kids and so did the housekeeping staff. It was fun and I am already looking forward to the next year, or maybe the next event where we can involve children again.