Grant Recipient: Class of 2013
Major: Biology, Science in Society
Experience: Independent Project, Perm culture, Agro forestry and Sustainability
Sarang Hills is the home of the founders of the Sarang School. It is located near a small town Gorlikadau, in the southern state Kerala. Father and Mother (as they are known to the students) began in 1983 to restore the forest on the hill and thus repair the ecological damage that has been brought about due to erosion, forest fire, and lack of proper education concerning the ecosystem. By strategically planting bamboo plants within the area the forest has returned and with it the wild life. This was extremely important because within Kerala there are 27 rivers, and each river becomes little more than a trickle during the dry season. Thus, the work here has managed to maintain the local river during the dry season by restoring the forest, and thus replenishing the ground water. I am currently learning more about the ecology of the region, the local history and response to these changes, and the political consequences of this nature. I am currently helping construct a house, working in the gardens, and documenting the wild flora and fauna. Because this is a school, there are students that both board and commute to the school. I've been learning more about the philosophy behind the teaching here at Sarang, and have begun to formulate a better understanding of what education means to me personally. I feel that the life style and message that the school represents is one of incredible value for those who are willing to explore it.