A history teacher from Jnana Prabodhini Navanagar Vidyalaya has come up with a unique campaign to help students of Classes VII to IX understand war tactics, diplomacy and the valour of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj by organising a tour of forts linked to the Maratha warrior king.
The teacher, Shivraj Pimpude, said as part of the DurgaJaagar campaign, the plan was to visit 29 forts in Pune district within 10 months. Trekking was never the sole intention of this campaign, the teacher added. Over a period of 10 months, 40 school students visited these forts.
“It was an attempt to acquaint students with history, to encourage them to hone their skills, provide them an opportunity for group work, enable them to learn from experts, let them enjoy nature and give them a chance be daring,” Pimpude said.
The campaign got a good response as 72 students enrolled for it and out of them, 40 visited all the 29 forts successfully. The campaign was divided into two schedules, beginning in April 2019 and ending in January 2020.
Of the 40 participants, 14 were girls and 26 were boys. Out of the 29 treks, 24 were conducted on Sundays or on school holidays. During the campaign, students were exposed to different types of training sessions.
There were 12 such training sessions throughout the year, covering topics such as components of forts, introduction to biodiversity, forts in Pune district, introduction to trekking equipment, travelogue writing, recitation of literature on Shivaji, working in a group, leadership and photography, among others.
Students attended school through the week, went for a trek on Sunday and were back to school on Monday again. This helped students in building stamina as they completed the Rajmachi trek of 16 km in one day.
The Rajgad-Torana twin trek of 30 km was completed in two days. Experts Nilesh Gavade and. Raghuraj Erande from Forts Service Commission, Chinchwad, guided the campaign.
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