In Maharashtra’s Wai town a school has given an artistic makeover to a dead ‘silver oak’ tree by transforming its stump into the shape of a pencil instead of uprooting it. Even though the educational institutions in Wai town of Satara are closed in the view of the rising COVID-19 cases, people living in the region are now visiting the Dravid High School just to see the new piece of art located at its entrance.
The secondary school in Wai, run by the Deccan Education Society, hired a carpenter recently to transform the stump of the tree into a six-feet-tall ‘pencil’, the logo of the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, a flagship programme of the central government for universal elementary education.
“We had an old silver oak tree which was dead for last several years and since it was at the entrance of the school, it was posing a danger to the school building as it could have fallen any time,” its principal Nagesh Mone told.
Mr Mone had initially called some woodcutters to uproot the dead tree and remove it from the place. “However, since the entire exercise was expensive, we decided to do something innovative,” said Mone. He then showed the tree to a carpenter, who was doing some work at the school, and asked if it could be given the shape of a pencil since its stump was straight.
“The carpenter took five to six days to give the shape of a pencil to the dead silver oak tree stump,” said Mr Mone.
It was a simple thought, but it was also a message for students and others to create something meaningful out of waste, Mr Mone said.
Mr Mone also said amid the coronavirus pandemic, they recently came out with small booklets for giving education to students in simple and practical ways. “Schools are closed, but parents of several students come to receive the mid-day meals (provided to students by government). We arranged small training sessions for the parents and trained them how to use these booklets by engaging their children at home,” Mr Mone said.
In 2018, when Mr Mone was the principal of the over 140-year-old New English School in Pune, he opened its gates for girls, making it a co-ed institution. The school was started by educationists and freedom fighters like Bal Gangadhar Tilak.