The students of Class 8 of Sir Sivaswami Kalalaya were taken on a field trip on Aug. 8 as part of the environmental education program. We were taken in the morning to view an exhibition titled ‘The Nilgiris under attack’, conducted by C.P.R. Environmental Education Centre.
We were shown charts about the Nilgiris which are the mountain ranges that connect the western and Eastern Ghats. Charts were put up, which gave information about many things such as the sacred plants of nilgiris, sacred animals, the flora and fauna, the rivers found there, rocks and soil types, sacred hills of nilgiris, etc. A member from the centre explained the information contained in these charts to the students.
The models exhibited included huts used by the Todas (a tribe in the Nilgiris whose population comes to around 1480 [according to the 2001 census] and who were once the rulers of all other tribes), coconut shell ladles and a cattle bell used by the Irula tribe, whose population comes to around 8714 [according to the 2001 census], a wooden twig used to hold the porridge pot used by the Todas, buffalo horn symbol ( of cane) which is sacred to the Todas, strong bamboo vessel used by the Todas, and a household vessel made of bamboo used by the Kurumbas whose population comes to around 10353 [according to the 2001 census].
The other tribes found here are Kotas (1985) and Paniyas (5541) [according to the 2001 census].
A ‘tat-moog’ was also displayed. This is a traditional arrangement; the bottom pot is called ‘tat’, which is used for storing milk and the top ‘moog’, is used for storing buttermilk.
Then another member of the centre came and told us to follow the ‘No Plastic’ rule in the Nilgiris when we go visiting. We were told to care for the environment by doing simple things such as finding a dustbin to dispose of chocolate wrappers instead of throwing it away on the road. The members asked us to carry this message back home.
Those who are interested may visit the exhibition from July 29 to August 14 between 10:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.