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Day 17: School kids chanting, creativity flowing and a road overshadowing Hollywood Boulevard

As always, I request everyone to please donate to Fairtrade India , as the walk is nearing its finishing stages.

Nearly 380 kms covered on foot, and approximately 600 kms covered on wheels in reaching all the institutions, businesses, schools and other points of interest in the areas we crossed.

I woke up early as I tend to do, treated myself to a tiny glass of local chai, which is always been my morning fuel throughout my adult life , a habit that has lovingly earned me the title “Tea-Zan” ( like Tarzan) from my two sons.

A very loud siren was going off in the nearby local factory, but it did not seem to bother Natesa Iyer, in any way, as he was in a blissful mood in his abode. Following on from the 15km climb, we had crossed into Kerala state, and a further 30km from here, we would be at a place called , “The Silent Valley”.

The road itself was unique, as various famous names littered the pavement to the right hand side, from the affectionately named “bird man”, Salim Ali, the first indian ornithologist to conduct systematic bird surveys across India to various high profile schools, ashrams and training centers in Kerala.

We went, firstly, to an Irula village, where we talked with many children. I felt that this was an established place, with a local school being set up with the help of T.N.Krishnan, enabling great creativity among the children. We could feel this creativity with every sentence spoken by the kids.

Our final stop took us to the Dayananda Ashram School, where 40 boys schooled. We performed, and narrated a story to the kids, which eventually led to the kids joining us and we chanted for fair trade and climate justice.

As Day 17 comes to an end, a sense of excitement and anxious descends upon me. We are only three days away from our destination!

Pushpanath Krishnamurthy,
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