Patna. 1 March: As part of the Celebration of the Spring season, Tarumitra students inducted a fairy tree house on a Kamroop tree (Ficus retusa) in their Bio-reserve in Digha. Tiny tots from Notre Dame Montessori and high schoolers from S.R Vidyapeeth and Adarsh Bal Vidyalaya along with their teachers climbed up the tree house built by students from Assam and Bihar
Adding to the excitement of the children, Chief Guest on the occasion, Ms Glenda Gaulstan, Principal, St. Dominic Savio’s High School and Guest of Honour, Sr. Mary Namrata SND, Headmistress, Notre Dame Academy cut the ribbon and blessed the tree house.
A fairy tree at the Bioreserve? That is a long story. Last many years children claim to be seeing fairies on the Ficus retusa! One of the native North Americans, a venerable woman from the Mashantaket Pico people who visited us a few years back told the children that the tree was “filled with beings!” and she clarified to them that the Beings are good spirits like angels and fairies..
When the students congregated in the hall yesterday, there was excitement and eagerness to climb up the tree to spend sometime in the tree house! They arrived in small groups and occupied chairs in the hall and waited for the Chief guest to arrive.
It was an extraordinary day at the Tarumitra Bio-reserve of rare and vanishing trees. With the spring season in full bloom, a new tree house (fairy home) was inducted amidst the presence of students, educationists, well wishers and above all children of Patna schools.
Students from Assam and Bihar worked hard for more than a month for making the second tree house of Tarumitra in its premises. Software engineer and the chief architect of the tree house, Shashidarshan opined “This tree house is a step towards students especially, children befriending nature more closely.” Built on the rare Kamroop tree, this tree-house nestels approximately 20 feet high, having washroom too in its lay out. “The house will be powered by solar energy!” said Akshay from Assam who labored with bamboos to make the dream come true.
Why so much ado about a tree house?
The Fairy house, Pari mahal, has been in the consciousness of the visiting students ever since it was told to them that fairies lived on the tree!
“This tree house is a step towards visualizing a simpler and greener lifestyle with a close bonding with tree-friends ” said the resident organic farmer and educationist Ms Margaret Molomoo from Darjeeling. “Our aim of igniting the young minds with a sense of reverence and respect for Mother Earth gets solidity on the tree house” she added.
It may be mentioned that veteran environmental activist Sr. Sarita Manavalan SCN planted the tree just 20 years back.
Devopriya Dutta who co-ordinates schools’ participation in ecological activities argued that human beings always want to go back to nature. “That’s why we prefer to go for a picnic to a forest floor on a holiday rather than to a Mall for shopping. All of us have deep bonds with Nature and every rendezvous with the Earth is a tryst we have with our long nature-connected past.”
Paramjeet Kaur, a specialist on timber products said, “Bamboos can last up to 100 years or more if treated well. It is recyclable in many ways and has multipurpose usages. The idea behind tree house is also to promote bamboo architecture and making it a part of our daily lives.”
The program was followed by organic feast and refreshment straight from the Tarumitra organic farm. Present also were Principals and teachers from various schools along with Fr. Bobby Vadakkel from Bangalore.
Earlier a Delegation of Social workers, teachers and Parliamentarians from Switzerland visited the site and expressed their satisfaction over the experiments in Environmental Education imparted at Tarumitra. A Member of Parliament, Catherine Hubacher who climbed up the tree commented that the place was certainly fit for the fairies!
Cathering Hubacher, a parliamentarian from Switzerland inspected the tree and whispered to us, “Looks like it is fit for the fairies!