SAIIER 2019:Payanam cycle trips
|Payanam cycle trips|
Payanam is a service-oriented project run by youth of Auroville, for Auroville and the bio-region in coordination with youth from the bio-region. It is supported by SAIIER and Auroville Botanical Gardens.
The main objective is to give the kids a more conscious education. Education should be a platform for knowledge of the region and then culture, nature, technology, agriculture and resources. We travel to the destination in nature and maintain the harmony. We avoid plastics and leave no/minimum waste behind, and this is part of what the kids learn.
Through these trips children develop stamina, will power, and explore the leadership quality in them. They practice team work, adapt to changing conditions (weather) and experience a new adventure. Any children who wish to participate in the Payanam trips get approval from their school principal and a letter from their parents.
Before each trip the children are briefed with simple road rules and instructed to follow the leader in a line. All the trips go through the village roads (avoiding Highways) explaining historical temples/monuments, culture, resources and heritage of the bio-region.
Perumukkal is a small village in Tindivanam municipality, Villuppuram district. There is a beautiful temple situated at the top of the Perumukkal Hill. The deity of the temple is known as Thiruvanmikai Eswaramudayar as well as Perumukkal Udayar in Tamil. The donations made by the Chola, Pandya, Sambuvaraya and Vijayanagara rulers have been recorded in more than 60 inscriptions found on the rocks. There is a cave found on the western hillock, called ‘seetha cave’.
Devathanapettai is a remote mountain village between Gingee and Tiruvannamalai. It is a beautiful trecking area with nice hard walk about 4.5 km, around 2 to 3 hours of climbing. The place has still not become touristic so there is no question of proper road or stairs. It has a small building on top of the hill, and 3 small ponds which the local people use for drinking and cooking.
This year Payanam was honoured by the Chief Education Officer of Villupuram District, K. Munnusamy, for organizing our programs. We received a plaque with inscription: “We sincerely appreciate the kind gesture of approval and the sincerity and attitude shown in implementing the project ‘Cycle Field Trip’ for the school students of Auroville Bio-region.”