Kids at Organo – Meridian School

The school field trip or an excursion we normally term it as has a long history in our education system. For nearly decades, students have been packed into buses to visit cultural institutions, museums, theaters, zoos, and historical sites.
It is a well known fact that more-advantaged families may give such exposure to their children outside of school hours, but the underprivileged students are less likely to have these experiences if schools do not provide them.
Schools have realised that these experiences enrich students knowledge and therefore gladly endured the expense and disruption to their regular schedules.
When schools do organize field trips, they are increasingly choosing to take students on trips to reward them for working hard to improve their test scores rather than to provide cultural enrichment and the exposure they need to build a better future.
This shift from “enrichment” to “reward” field trips is reflected in an evolving generational change among schools which are extremely modernised in the current scenario.
However, we need to question if this paradigm shift does actually benefit the students? Are we imparting a holistic education to our kids? Are we guiding them in the right direction to build a better future for themselves and the generations next?
These are exactly the concerns we at Organo have raised and have come up with a wonderful concept of Rurban (rural+urban).
Rurbun refers to a geographic territory or a landscape which possesses the economic characteristics and lifestyles of an Urban area while retaining its essential Rural area features. Simply put – Rurban denotes best of both the worlds.
Kids from most of the reputed schools visit Organo to get a hands on experience of the concepts there.
Recently, kids from Meridian School visited Organo to get a comprehensive experience of the activities and discern various facets of urban and rural lives.
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These kids were taken around to get acquainted with different components and themes at Organo.
For example, they got a perspective of the rural concepts like:
Animal Husbandry: It’s a traditional goushala model and the cattle are let off the ropes to promote a natural habitat. Kids get a fair knowledge of how traditional healthy milking and cattle farming is done.
Pottery: Kids could get their hands on the pottery wheel to learn one of the oldest techniques of making ceramic or clay ware. They get familiar with the entire process of kneading, shaping and drying the clay.
Farming: The icing on the cake is the farming concept which the kids enjoy, dirtying their hands. Organo whips up the concept of growing your own food organically without the use of any pesticides.
Bio-pool: There is a large bio-pool at Organo the first of a kind in India. This includes many aquatic plants and different types of fish without any chemicals added, which can be in turn used for irrigation.
In additional kids got familiar with Urban concepts like:
Solar Power Panels: Kids are taught how Solar panels absorb the sunlight as a source of energy to generate electricity or heat.
Bio Gas: One of the important products generated from waste products is bio gas, a fuel gas made from biomass such as human waste, animal waste, food waste, grass, straw etc.
Waste Management: Students get to know how to manage wet waste, dry waste and animal waste and generate power from the bio gas plant.
Not just that, there are lot of other activities such as Painting, Essay writing, Elocution etc coupled with the outdoor and indoor games. These competitions are held under the supervision of 2 -3 judges and the winners get rewarded!
Here are some of the comments from the judges during a painting competition held at Organo where kids from Meridian School participated:
“She did a good ….the imagery and composition are very good. And the sense of using forms is commendable. She deserves encouragement and should be encouraged to continue painting.”
“He has captured the learning about what’s happening in the world and v/s what’s happening in sight Organo well. ” Says Madhu Reddy.
“Mershitha has articulated the essence of what’s happening around now and what’s ideally should be happening in a Very nice info graphical way.”
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Having said that, kids are also provided a discernment of protecting and conserving and recycling the natural resources like water, air, soil etc.
At Organo, kids are taught what life is outside and inside Organo. What are the dangers evolving due to pollution, technology advancement and a reckless human behavior.
Kids comprehend the importance of protecting the natural resources and environment for a better living.
Therefore, lets just not focus on our children to acquire skills from their education; we also want them to develop into civilized people who appreciate the breadth of human accomplishments. The school field trips are an important tool for meeting this goal.

Suneeta Reddy – A true animal lover at heart!

Suneeta who is a photographer by profession, goes around the farm clicking pictures randomly. One day she was very furious about the chicken being confined to a cage. She had noticed a chick getting stamped in the cage due to limited space and was almost on the verge of dying. Suneeta, immediately pulled the chick out and ensured its revived. She was also concerned that these chicken were not let out in the open until 9.00 am.
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Without a second thought Suneeta made calls to all the departments including the top management. Being an animal lover she was slightly irate for not having provided better facilities to these birds. She then ensured that a dairy is maintained and the security guard signs on it daily morning, when the chicken are let out of the cage. She made sure that the chicken were provided adequate water and grains in regular intervals.

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It was the same scenario with the fish as well. Although there were dedicated people to feed the fish they were not doing their job. Mahesh again insisted that this was monitored and provided a diary ensuring that the fish were fed at regular intervals. Now they are healthy and the pictures that she clicked of them looked much more better!

Sireesh – A convincing dog lover!

Some interesting developments and incidents transpired in the last three months at Organo. Stray dogs were part of the community when this was actually a private farmhouse. As time went by they multiplied and befriended lot of other stray dogs in the village. This went unnoticed due to the construction activity and the farming activity.
At that point in time, work was in progress and the community was almost vacant without any occupants. During the construction, these dogs were very active in protecting it. Owning the credit to these dogs we did not have any thefts at Organo.
These dogs were very agile, robust and slightly aggressive. They created a dwelling in the community and created a natural habitat for themselves.
Families from the urban society started moving in to the community after the work was completed. The security system was put in place to effectively protect the inhabitants and the entire premises along with these dogs was confined.

Though the strays were free to venture out of the community they never left as got acquainted with lot of people at Organo already.In the meantime more families started moving in and they were strangers to these dogs. New Naandians were growled and barked at which wasn’t a pleasant experience. But this was their natural instinct or behavior.
Now we had an issue to deal with and we had to schedule a forum discussion on this. Views were exchanged on whether to handover these dogs to organizations like Blue Cross or confine them throughout. We concluded that they were indeed part of the community and we should provide a small place to have a shelter.
These dogs were re-homed in the community and a shelter was built where they were tied up. Security guards were instructed to walk them regularly. They were provided food and were trained to mellow down and behave in a friendly manner.
Mr Madhu Reddy and Mr Sireesh were actively involved in achieving this. They took out time from their busy schedules to befriend these dogs and cared for them.

Especially Sireesh made an effort to take these dogs around whenever he was in town and visited Organo. He inquired about the well-being of the dogs and their diet. He convinced everybody that these dogs aren’t harmful and they are equally part of the Organo community.
The security take them along for night rounds and these dogs are free to move around in the community.

Mr & Mrs. Hari Thalapalli Join Naandi

We are elated to welcome a new Naandi family today. Adding strength to the cause of counter urbanisation is Mr.Hari Thalapalli’s family. Mr.Hari learnt the benefits of collaboration early. As an ex-Chief People Officer at Tech Mahindra and currently, as the CEO of Call Health, he’s built teams that transcend boundaries to work together for a common cause. As a homeowner at Organo’s Naandi community farm though, he’s once again part of something bigger. His passion for gardening and greenery make him a vocal and integral part of Naandi’s collective living project. His wife, Mrs. Sumeeta Hari is a Director at Deloitte Consulting and has vast experience in IT and Consulting domains. They have a daughter, Shruti and a son, Pratyush. Shruti works with Google and Pratyush is pursuing his Law degree at OP Jindal Global law school. Thank you for your support and belief in us. We are excited for what lies ahead for all of us at Naandi.
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Mr Mathan Ramaiah at Green Building Congress 2016

The 14th Edition of Green Building Congress 2016 was held from 6-8th October 2016 at Hotel Grand Hyatt Mumbai, India. The vision of this year’s council was to enable “Sustainable Built Environment for all ” and facilitate India to be one of the global leaders in sustainable built- environment by 2025. Mr.Mathan Ramaiah represented FHD Group in this year’s conference. Mr.Mathan took the members through the whole notion and concept behind Organo. Organo is India’s first self sustainable collective farming urban commune. Not only is it sustainably built but also lived each day by the community members.