Ask Why ?
When was the last time you asked a question ?
When was the last time you wondered why ?
Why is the earth round ?
Is it spinning like a top ?
Is the universe floating ?
Why do bees have hexagonal hives ?
Why do bears hibernate ?
At Agastya, "you are encouraged to ask questions "
If necessity is the mother of Invention,
Curiosity is the father.
In the 172 acres of pristine land, amidst the quiet lush greenery , there exists a place of learning.
It is here that sparks are created,
Aah, to Aha to Ha-Ha .
One spark can create a raging fire.
If you could dream of a place, where learning is fun, interactive and full of Wow moments that start a thought train in your mind then come to Agastya Foundation, Kuppam.
Astronomy, Physics, Math, Chemistry and Ecology , you name it.
There exists a lab for it here.
Now if you are wondering ,
"So what , big deal ?"
Here is your jaw drop moment.
This facility is accessible to the government school students in and around Kuppam for free.
Daily 700 to 1000 kids from 4th to 10th standard come here to visit the labs and learn the why's , what's and how's of science.
In seemingly simple, cost effective experiments , science in all its glory makes its way into India's backbone. The Rural kids in Govt schools.
Not just one visit, every kid gets 4-6 visits every year to labs there.
Wait the magic does not end here; Special mobile labs visit schools that are beyond 30 kms from the foundation mother lode.
Mobile labs carrying all scientific equipment, brought to the doorstep of the kids.
Not just that, the programme here also extends to teaching the teachers, these simple experiments that can transform the kids learning experience.
Every village has a Vasantha office that ensures that the sparks got at the labs are not lost to the winds but instead rage on.
Sounds like fantasy?
Well pinch yourself , it is very real.
From first hand experience, I can tell you that I was blown away to find this place in the quiet lap of nature,
Providing an opportunity to thousands of kids to learn science, watch their eyes slowly turn from surprise to enjoyment to understanding .
I was at one point jealous of these kids,
Experiments to understand concepts,
Good food, nature bounty every where and an endless possibility of asking questions.
For someone who is passionate about Education in Rural India.
This is a pilgrimage you need to take.
They are even helping you by making math interesting.
I can hear your groan already. Math and Interesting ?
But yes, the Math park or Ramanujam park that shall shortly call itself home in this temple of learning shall make math a lot more interesting than formulae and red marks on answer scripts.
The staff there are young, humble , passionate and driven in the quest to bring the joy of learning and inculcating the habit of questioning why how and what,
Much like one of the co-founders of Agastya , Ramji Raghavan; with whom we got to interact personally.
"Ask and ye shall find."
This is almost true here.
Well I don't think words can do justice to this place.
One needs to come here and fill oneself with an experience of a lifetime.
I heard somewhere,
" in the temple of learning, all are equal"
I urge you to visit one time and find yourself in Awe.