We were all excited for our first trip in Grade 11 to Gir in Gujarat. Our main motive of the entire trip was to make 2 huge nets to cover 2 wells which will help save lions. It was said by our guide that during night hunting lions used to fall in the well and die. Since the number of lions were already decreasing, covering the wells to save them was a necessity. We were very excited for the 3 day trip. It took us two days to cover the wells and a day for travelling. We had to do everything on your own, from cutting, welding and polishing metal bars and joining all of it to make huge neets. This was all done through an organisation named “Rural Pleasure”.
L2. Demonstrate that challenges have been undertaken, developing new skills.
I have never been so much into cutting and welding metals and I did not know how to do it. The professionals were there to instruct us and guide us throughout the two days. They taught us about each of the processes and even gave us tips on safety. We were provided with safety glasses, gloves and it was compulsory to wear shoes and preferable to wear full clothes. To most of us, the task looked simpler and easier, but when actually doing it, it was very difficult to control the machine and do as instructed. There were sparks coming out of the machine which made it difficult for us to focus on it as I always had a fear of hurting myself. But since, I knew that an instructor will be there to help me, I was able to manage to complete the task assigned quickly and efficiently, without hurting myself or anyone near me.
L5. Demonstrate the skills and recognize the benefits of working collaboratively.
We divided ourselves into 2 teams to make 2 nets to cover the well. This was our strategy so that we could finish the task quickly. We even decided to compete between the groups who would finish making the cover first. As a group, we had to be well coordinated and in sync to complete the task. We all communicated well and divided the task. Working together always has benefits as the work was divided and we had many sets of hands to finish the work soon. Along with that, the size of the cover was very large, which couldn’t have been made with only 2-3 people, it needed a big group of people which was only possible when we worked as a team.
L6. Demonstrate engagement with issues of global significance.
Decreasing number of Asiatic lions in the world was an issue of global significance and we were contributing to save them. It was said that every year 40 lions out of 523 lions fell into the well. 40 lions falling a year is a huge decrease in their number, which can lead to their existence and cause a disturbance in the food web as well as the ecosystems. Before making the covers, we were given a brief summary about the lions and the surrounding by an expert in the field. He helped us understand the reason of taking such an action and what all his organisation has done to protect the lions.
L7. Recognize and consider the ethics of choices and actions
We had to remain ethical at all times and made sure that we considered the safety of the lions first. So, we only used metals to make the well and not any non biodegradable items like plastics or harmful substances that could affect the lions. Along with that, we made sure that the covers do not hurt the lions from the edges, which were polished and made smooth.
Overall, it was a great experience. It gave me more knowledge about lions. We even went on a walk in the jungle at night to experience their world, which was very scary but we got used to it. We even got to know more about their culture as they called in locals to perform a special act that they always do. I learned new skills, which included wielding, cutting and polishing metals. It made us all feel good as we were able to do something nice for the lions. It brought me joy.
Video of the trip, made by one of my classmates: