Monday, March 13, 2017

At the Sanjay Gandhi National Park

by Nissim Pingle director of the JCC, Mumbai India

"It was an early start to our day as we set out for the Sanjay Gandhi National Park one of the oldest heritage points, located in Borivali; a great choice by GPM-JDC intern Ruby Ezekiel. After breakfast the children took a ride around the park on the Mini Train also locally called the “Van Rani” meaning the 'Jungle Queen'. The kids then spent time playing the Song game “Antakshari”, and later enjoyed themselves by playing on the slides and swings. Next the children gathered together for sessions on hygiene and cleanliness where they learnt the right technique of washing hands and also tried it out themselves using the soaps and tissue papers that were provided to them. It was a lovely lunch experience as the children sat down on benches with trees shading their heads and a beautiful lake by their side. To complete the meal the kids were also given ice candies.

The second half of the program was high up in the Kanheri caves located at the heart of the Sanjay Gandhi National Park. These caves date back to the 1st Century BCE (more than 2000 years old), and are home to massive Buddhist stone sculptures. A wonderful hilltop view of the jungle and a troop of monkeys jumping over trees was a treat to their eyes. And watching the kids laugh with joy and clap to the monkey moves was the best gift a GPM-JDC volunteer can get. After a short tour around the caves they children left for home. We also gave them 2 soap packets each and a packet of berries to nibble on during their journey back to the Kalwa slum."

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