Experiencing Aarohi – Open Learning Community – Summer 2017


Aarohi campus was alive with the spirit of joy, doing and togetherness. Thank you, all for participating forthe spirit of joy and doing you brought to the community. You matter to us.

What does OPEN LEARNING COMMUNITY mean at Aarohi?

  • OPEN to learning anything on this earth. All gossiping was out of the scope of this learning curriculum.
  • LEARNING – by doing, experiencing, failing, trying. Killing time by distracting was out of scope here.
  • COMMUNITY – From I to WE, from Illness of I to WEllness of WE – contributing, participating, helping, understanding and involving.

The clear message about Aarohi to each participant of all ages that “its a doing place and not a time pass place” helped in creating a learning environment. We did so much..sometheing was happening in each corner of the campus. The dream of learning community coming true.

FROM PEOPLE, WITH PEOPLE – The activities were not very different but what made difference was “I decide what I want to learn”. Each one was free to choose what one wanted to learn – Exploring painting, making a boat, cooking, making a map, reading books, listening to stories, theater, craft, carpentry, launching rocket, making drums, making a speaker, going to pond, night trek, wall painting…and so on. Few kids decided to make a boat. They used the various material, some known some unknown, One child who used a cardboard box, surprised us when he made it waterproof by putting tape at the bottom. The first reaction for the choice of material was ‘will this not get soiled in water?” But he was clear with his choices and he mesmerized us. We needed a stand to keep our slates…few took up the job and created various stands. They worked endlessly, they worked first time with tools, they worked with joy. Few kids got together and experimented with wash ink on bottles to make a lamp and calling it glass painting. One child started with an idea of making a boat using wood. Few liked the idea and wanted to make their own. They chose wood, tools, nails all by themselves. Few Explored tools for first time and were excited to use them for making, Trying with different wood pieces, different nails, hammering, removing nails, cutting, looking for their design visually while making, each one reviewing their model with others ideas by observing. One child could not find fevicol for sticking, and thus got an idea of making mud cement as glue to stick wood. Other child got inspired with this idea of mud glue – adding water, squashing, mixing, feeling, trying to stick, exploring consistency, rework on consistency, experimenting what all can stick and what material cannot stick, discussing, sharing all with sigh of curiosity and with a smile, supporting the team in supplying mud cement. One could see the dedication of children working, exploring, experimenting and working together in the hot sun with no distractions. Rain brought time to plant more trees. But the dedication and connecting with boys was joyful for many to practice and get trained for hours with Mrinalaini. Inspiration visited in many forms to Aarohi….two kids announced their interest in Cartography. They made this map in a day…no reminders, no follow ups, no excuses, no arguments. It was just their interest.

LEARNING AND LIVING – Rasam in menu leading to us announcing ‘rasam mela’. The children from various states brought recipes. They called up homes (constraint was no googling) and connected with parents and grandparents to get that home recipe. Buy your meal led to exploring carbohydrates and proteins in our food. Where does food come from – food audit created curiosity on where does the food comes from and how it is produced. We are what we eat”. While playing a game and feeling thirsty, does it effects concentration? When does hungry it affects emotions? When satisfied with the meal, does it bring peace? Spicy food makes hot or sweaty, oily food makes or lethargic, When hot weather, don’t feel like eating or eating spicy food. What does the meaning of knowing carbohydrates, protein, and other food categories? And we all have different tastes. Made a menu for self with specific needs. Also revisited group’s menu to bring the balance. Nearby Pond made space for many to break their barriers – tree climbing, swimming in the pond, playing with clay and testing self-made raft.

COMMUNITY – Campus care to maintain campus, brought an opportunity to try out the various task – mopping, sweeping, washing toilets, watering trees, collecting plastic, cleaning drains, cleaning books, cleaning courtyards and sorting resources. More than 150 tree seed plantation brought a sense of achievement and one expressed ‘first time in my life I planted a tree”. Mrinalini’s presence at campus brought energy in Parkour practice. For many, this was a new term, and they thought can we jump and play stunts. This became an attraction


DOING – Inspiration visited Aarohi with engrossing work…one child made a huge difference with his involvement and eagerness to do. He inspired many. He started with making boats to float in the play pool. Moved on to making a raft with Bamboo and empty cans. Few more joined. He did not come asking for any material or tools. He searched all by self and figured out by self. He did not watch any videos, did not sketch any drawing…he moved ahead with his own instincts. I interacted with him for few minutes while he was playing with his cardboard boat in the play pool. I just said, “you can also make a raft and ride when you are going for outdoor”. Immediately, he ran towards mud house. Few more joined him. They made raft in a day, carried raft to one km to a nearby pond and tested it. The child also carried a big hammer to repair. Next day he made a drum and continued till he left. We saluted him!

ION AND FEEDBACK – Backbone of Aarohi, our reasons to grow and glow. Thank you all for your feedback and self learning journey!