Sunday, August 29, 2010

Painting 'us' as the rain

I didn't want the kids to paint random things on the tank. One of the objectives of doing this was for them to have a 'space' for themselves on the tank, for them to feel the connect with the rainwater so that they would treat it like 'theirs' and drink it and help maintain it as well (though I hear it doesn't really need too much maintenance once its fully built). So, the previous day, I had handed out sheets to them and told them to imagine that they were rain. So the theme was "If I was rain, what would I do?" They had to think about it and come back with a drawing which they would paint on the tank the next day. The responses varied from falling into peoples mouths to going into rainwater harvesting tanks to becoming honey and falling on the flowers.

Translation of what is written above:

If I were rain,
I'd be life to plants.
I would rain on flowers,
By drops; sitting on them.
I pour from the sky and hide at the bottom of buckets and pots.

I am rain.
I don't have any colour, shape or smell.

If I am rain,
I'd come dancing from the sky.
Drop by drop, I fall from the sky,
laughing as I come to the earth

- Sushma

Translation of what is written above:

If I were rain,
I would jump from the sky and join the wells, seas and other water bodies.
If I were rain,
I'd be a lot of help to the people.

If I were a rain drop,
You can see me only during the rainy season.
Now it is summer!
So you can only see me in the tanks.

- Manjula

Aim: To bring about a feeling of connect and ownership for their water tanks and water

To get the community interested in what the students are working on by doing something novel that attracts their attention

To get the larger school community involved and feel a sense of ownership for something they are part of and have to maintain

Activity: All the students in school could come together with interested teachers and parents to just paint their water tank. An act like this allows them to personalise their plain, boring looking tank and also make them feel like it is a part of them, their work. Working together, with the community might give the community a feeling of joint ownership. They all can come together and help each other maintain the tanks that are going to provide them with clean water to drink.

Lokesh laying his foundation in chalk! Then they went over it using the paints.

Their own rainwater harvesting system

Sushma is falling as rain into containers that can hold her.

All done with Gopal falling down as honey!

Manjula getting drenched in the rain

We even got the principal to come and paint his rain! The next day, people in the neighbouring village asked me if I had painted the tank and mentioned that they had seen it as they were passing by the school. I felt so happy! I told them that it was all done by the students and they appreciated it. The students even marked their sectors with their initials and showed their 8th and 10th standard friends what they had drawn. They kept re-visiting their art work through the day.

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