This was my 9th CTC trip 2days trip.Cuckoo MOVEMENT(Located at puliyanoor near Singarapetai).We started at 5:15 a.m and reached the DLF office and picked up 3 people. We went further little far and picked 1 person at theArumbakam Metro railway. After sometime we crossed the forts of kings and queens located in Gingee and everybody drank tea there.We crossed places like Tiruvanamalai and Singara Peteai and reached the school.
Our breakfast was Ragi pooridge.After our breakfast we went to a vast field. We planted many crops and they were like hibiscus and ect.
There were 2 Emos in that vast plain surfaced area. After some time I was walking here and there for sticks to keep beside the plants for safety and took some rest. Then we came to our huts and ate our lunch. Our lunch was ... I fed quater of my lunch to the chickens living in the huge yard.After a while the organizer told that to take a refreshment bath in stream and went to huts.The water was so cool there and the water was fresh. After our lunch we saw the activities done by the chidren living there and some
took a short nap. At the evening time went for a walk nearby in a tea shop and drank aswell as ate. We took some food to the people whodid not come for a walk. Then it was like 6:00, 6:30 few people went for a running and others sat simple listening stories.The after everybody returned we all went inside the big tent and introduced ourselves and ate out dinner, that is upuma and went tosleep. zzz. Next day morning we planned to wake up at 5:00 and go on a trek on the mountains. But unfortunately no one got up at 5:00. Theneveryone woke up at 6:00 or 7:00, brushed our teeth, some off them did a little work in the farm like keeping support stones to the plants.
Then it was told that the breakfast will take some more time, so some went to the tea shop and drank tea and some ate guava and bun. Ihad a bun with me and I gave some of the bun to a dog who was there. After 5 mins the breakfast was ready and it was upuma and up to11:30 we did some work in the farm.
And at 11:30 it was told we should go for a small bath in the falls. We returnend around 12:30 andstarted packing for the return journey. Then we drank payasam which was very tasty. Then after some time we took group photos with thechildren living there.Then we started leaving for the journey.We said bye to the people living there and took some children for a short ride in the car andleft them in their homes. After some time we divided into two groups that is veg and non-veg. The veg went to a hotel for lunch and the non-veg went to an another hotel for their lunch. After our lunch we said bye and left. Then we travelled for a long distance andstopped in a place, and drank tea. ate some biscuits. We travelled for some more time and left all of them near KFC and left for home.The trip made me exciting, the tree plantation which gives air and the children art work was very beautiful.
After a very early start and a long journey, we drew closer to the Cuckoo school. I did not know much about what this movement was about, and why it was started, but I understood that it was a selfless initiative to provide some support to truly deserving children, and that was reason enough for me to get on board!
We were greeted a kilometer away from the school by Vignesh, a little boy on his way there. He was so enthralled by our vehicle and hoped we would give him a ride for the rest of the journey. It struck me again that the things we take for granted, like a ride in a car, are a fantasy for some children.
The Cuckoo school came into view, and what a peaceful scenery it was. The school is bordered by majestic hills. The huts looked very cozy – hats off to those who contributed to building them! The school is set in lush farmland. The contrasting colours of dark brown soil and fresh green plants are a site we do not see often in the city!
The people at Cuckoo were the most warm and welcoming; they ensured we felt comfortable and at-home. Our weekend would be an all-natural one, with fresh and healthy food, water and air.
With a ‘work while you work, play while you play’ attitude, we set to work as soon as we were done with our Ragi porridge breakfast. The entire agriculture process was new to me; I was surprised at how confident the volunteers from Ainthinai were in their work! I learnt several new things that day; thanks to you lovely people for patiently teaching me. Over the 2 days, we helped in processes like planting, support, mulching and bunding. It was so liberating to get our hands dirty in the fresh soil, with the sun shining above and the fresh oxygen in our lungs. A lot of physical effort was involved, such as squatting for long hours, carrying heavy rocks and shoveling out lots of soil – a reminder that A LOT of people do this kind of work daily for a living and my respect for them elevated so much more.
Aside from the plantation work, the volunteers from CTC spent a lot of quality time together, getting to know one another and laughing and joking with each other. Near the school was a stream where we could enjoy the cool water and appreciate nature’s most beautiful work. A weekend getaway from the city stress with some nice people definitely does us all some good. While we spent some time sharing our experiences, I was inspired by how passionate the volunteers were about different social causes. The world deserves to know the extent you go to make a difference!
I made a new friend that weekend, Jyotsna - a small girl with a huge heart and bundles of energy. She was super enthusiastic to help with all the work we had to do, and kept us all motivated to be on our feet. Now we know that age is definitely no barrier and the willingness to help is only from our heart.
I couldn’t help but notice that during our visit, we were always surrounded by children with huge smiles and excitement in their eyes. Our small gesture of visiting the school meant a lot to them; they were so happy to spend time with the people from Chennai. The children played with us, worked with us, asked so many questions, proudly told us about them and just felt special that we had come to visit them. A little bit of effort from us makes a huge impact in their lives and makes them feel appreciated. What I learnt from this experience is that these kids need to be constantly reminded that people care for them, and believe in them, and that is what I will strive to do henceforth.Thank you CTC Ainthinai for helping me think about how a little bit of time and effort translates into a significant impact on others!