Monday, June 29, 2009

Advaita Garden, Nirvanavan Foundation, 2007

The photography is finished for the day, we sit and wait for our driver to return. To the side of the school, tea is being prepared with one complication however, milk is lacking. Being the end of the day, there is a good chance that a supply of milk will be walking by at any moment. Just then, a local herder and his animals walk by. The person preparing the tea runs to the road, has a very short conversation, then begins collecting the milk with the owner's permission. Just when he thinks he has enough, the supply runs out.

He then gets up and runs three to four animals forward to fill the metal container. He returns with a smile, adds the milk to the tea and serves it with everyone smiling. This image is made during our time waiting at Advaita Garden, the model school of the Nirvanavan Foundation. This small school serves the children of two villages who would otherwise lack access to a good education. As of today, the school has added another class and yet another teacher. The villagers have further made improvements by finishing the walls of the open area, placing a roof, building two new smaller classrooms distinct from the larger school building and constructing a beautiful cow shed, all with its own water supply and room for a caretaker. 

1 comment:

  1. The tea ceremony has been nicely told by Halim. However this is my daily experience. I have been living with the goat-herders since 20 years. They come to my abode to drink water and have a smoke while their animals drink water from the near-by water hole and relax under the trees. The goat-herders have been kind enough to supply milk for my tea. This is an oppurtunity for me to thank them for their kindness and generosity.

    The goat herders belong to the Gurjar tribe. The Gurjars used to be nomads. The Government has alloted them lands,they are now settlers. Thier villages are mostly located around the 'Sariska National Park and Tiger Reserve'. The Advaita Garden School is situated on the waste-lands near village Dadikar at the outskirts of the national park. We are developing this school as a model school which will also be a part of the 'Advaita Garden Children's Village. Thank you Halim.