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Guru Dakshina makes a school go green in Rajasthan

Anil Sharma| Sikar (Rajasthan) 28 Jul 2011, Vol 2 Issue 29

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The Indian tradition of 'guru dakshina' is having a green impact in a small pocket in Rajasthan. A government school in the state practises a unique tradition of making their students plant trees in the premises as a payback to their teachers before they pass out.

Hardayal Government Upper Primary School in Sikar town, some 100 km from state capital Jaipur, has been doing this since 2006. As a result, the school has about 800 trees at present, including small plants.

"Till 2006, there were only a couple of trees in the school. The then principal, Mahaveer Prasad Sain, was an environmentalist and started the guru dakshina tradition," said Parmeshawari Devi, the current principal of the school.

The guru dakshina tradition of repaying one's teacher after completion of formal education has thus given a conspicuous green look to the surroundings of this school. The school requests every student who passes class eight to seek transfer certificates only after planting at least one tree, she said.

"We do not force students to do so. It is solely on their choice. But it is really good to know that a majority of students are following this religiously," she said.

In the previous academic year, 33 trees were planted, Parmeshawari Devi said.

"I planted two plants - one of Amla (Indian gooseberry) and other of Raat ki Raani (Cestrum Nocturnum) as guru dakshina. I really love to see them growing. Once I leave this school, my juniors will start to look after it and I will also try to visit the school occasionally to see my plants," said Ajay Rastogi, a student.

"Most of them plant at least two. It is also necessary for the student to hand over the responsibility of caring for the specific tree to some junior student," said Parmeshawari Devi.

"To ensure that the tree is being properly taken care of, the students visit the school from time to time to supervise the progress," she said.

"Now almost each part of the school has a tree," she said. - IANS
 

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