Monthly camps for students : Managing a family

There were monthly camps when we ran a school for the drop outs during 1995-98. Every camp had a theme. Here the theme was managing a family budget. Students were made into groups and each group made their own ‘houses’. They had to prepare a budget for the three days’ camp and plan accordingly. They were given credit in their account for small projects they completed. This credit was exchanged for food articles from our small grocery shop in the campus. Everything was labelled in English to help the students communicate with the American volunteer who was in charge of the shop during the camp. A great way to learn the value of work and practice a language.

A Camp to discuss education

camp-on-educationA camp on education, parents, teachers and others who are interested in education were invited to discuss alternative education and free schools. Some of the people who took part went on to create other alternative education centers.

Other lessons on a camp

During one of the monthly camps the students went on a trip to Northern Attappady to learn about drought, where it is very hot, dry and baron. The landscape showed how human can make desert out of a rain forest. Here they stopped to observe a limestone kiln used for creating lime wash.

Co-operation, a currency for ever

The school utilizes the opportunity to teach the students about cooperative projects within a community by helping to build the neighbors house, practicing a multitude of skills learnt in classes in exchange for a tasty meal. What seen on the photo is the students getting a geometry class while planning their neighbours house.

Creating their lessons

Physics put into action by the students using practical skills and teamwork during a self directed project to make a big seesaw. Alternative education gave children who struggle with academic learning a chance to shine with projects like these.

Blacksmithy is where the innovation is

During 1995-1998 Sarang ran a school with 50 students. Their technology lessons started in the blacksmithy of the school. Traditional blacksmithy was used not only for making the usual farming tools and house utensils, but also for prototypes of a new windmill design and other inventions made by the students.

Swimming lessons

Many students learnt how to swim in this check dam, they also put their building skills to use creating a raft to play on. Activities that are fun and engaging were always encouraged. Kerala is a state with 44 rivers. However, drowning is taking away hundreds of lives every year and it is increasing, young people being the majority of the victims. At Sarang, swimming is a compulsory subject as it is a very important life saving skill one should have.

Drums of the same beat


Music is a very effective way to channelise the teen hormones. These serious looking boys are enjoying a drumming session. The drums being very energy demanding and powerful, it helps them relieve the extra energy and build focus.