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Five families that gave up city life for the rural dream


TheNewsMinute reports: About a half-hour distance from the Tiruvannamalai government bus depot lies the Marudam Farm School in Kanathampoondi…  It was in 2009 that the idea for the farm school was born when Govinda and his wife Leela came here for an afforestation project. It was then the couple dreamt of building a sustainable community.

A village in Tamil Nadu’s Tiruvannamalai has become home to a sustainable community.

Pheba Mathew, The News Minute

Have you ever dreamt of a life far from the madding crowd?  Five families and a few youngsters chose to give up the heady pleasures of city life to sit in nature’s lap.

About a half-hour distance from the Tiruvannamalai government bus depot lies the Marudam Farm School in Kanathampoondi.  While approaching the farm on a dirt-ridden road, one is greeted by the green of banana, mango and coconut trees, mud houses with roofs made of country tiles and the Arunchalaa hills in the distance.

It is in this setting that five families live and run an alternative school for children.

VIEW: Original story with photographs on The News Minute website

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“Marudam (farmland in Tamil) was born out of a need to provide a space for ‘learning by doing’, academics, nature and ‘unstructured time’,” says Venkataraman. He believes that an education system that constantly tells children what to think, dampens their curiosity and love for learning… The school follows a principle of democratic learning. The class size is small, only 4-10, to ensure the facilitators well understand the interests of the children. Once that is identified, they run with it, no matter how unrealistic it may appear.

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