The day began with a storytelling session. The twist was that the kids were the spectators as well as the storytellers! They were quite happy to narrate the stories that were put together yesterday. They also showed us the illustrations that they designed for their story. The theme was the same for everyone – Molly, the cow from Jersey Island’s visit to Rajasthan and Kerala.

Here are a few glimpses. One group stressed on Molly’s inability to navigate the deserts of Rajasthan. Another group talked about the scarcity of water in Rajasthan. They showed how Molly became confused by a mirage each time expecting it to be a source of water. Tired and exhausted, Molly was taken home by an old man who comforted her.

The pledge

The pledge

Molly found a friend in Rajasthan, the Gir cow but decided to go to Kerala due to the unbearable climatic conditions in Rajasthan. Another group’s story revolved around the cold nights that Molly had to spend in Rajasthan. One of the groups even prepared a neat booklet with their story and illustrations. It was such a delight! One child who had not been present for the session, the previous day, decided to tell us an extempore story.

Muriel had some exciting activity planned for the kids next. There was a slide show about bulls and cows specifically focusing on the differences between the European ones and the Indian ones. This was not only to inform them as to why imported animals cannot execute most of the tasks that the indigenous ones carry out efficiently, but also to point towards the exploitation of the gene pool by crossbreeding.

The children were curious. Was it really possible that the cows and bulls that we often encounter on the streets are not of Indian origin? They could not believe it really. Horns, humps, tails, and colours make all the difference, pointed out Muriel. Cross breeding confuses these demarcations at times. Imported cows produce more than 30 litres of milk unlike the indigenous ones, which produce much less. However, the former cannot produce so much of milk if the climatic conditions are vastly different from what they are used to.

The kids were also shown few game traditions in villages involving the bulls and the cows. The age-old plough cart method was environmentally ideal but modern day tractors have replaced them. Wouldn’t it be better to resort to older way? The children could not totally agree with the idea but they were happy to listen and learn nonetheless. A few posters about saving endangered species were shown to them. In the end they were asked to make posters – draw an Indian cow or bull and leave a message about their condition. Each group had 3 members. Each came up with colourful, meaningful and artistic posters.

 

By Sebanti Chatterjee

Bookaroo-DPL Kitabein Kuch Kehti Hain is supported by mycity4kids and DK India.

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