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Damdama Lake Field Trip
Pathways Gurgaon

From this field trip, you all aren’t just learning but also gaining wisdom. – Mr. Rajeev
There is a big difference between learning in the classroom and learning out in the field. This field trip made everything discussed in class, evermore clear. Students of Grade 9B and C, departed school premises with their personal guide, Mr. Sunil for an educational trip to Damdama lake, the largest lake in the NCR region, slowly disappearing from the face of the Earth due to natural and human causes.

At the lake, we travelled around 4 kilometers down one of the lake’s canals. Mr. Sunil explained to us during our periodic stops, how the lake came to be what it is today. The first point he stated was “development has altered run off paths.” Development, form two story buildings to knee-high brick walls, have blocked water from rain, reaching the lake. He also mentioned how no one from government departments, to private companies or locals want to take the responsibility of the lake.

Without any maintenance, the lake is prone to depletion. The lake’s bed, has mostly grown grass, yet areas where water still reaches turned into dry soil (clay), with the lower levels being moist and the upper levels being dry. The clay particles swell up as they soak in water, and they crack as they dry out.

Afterwards, the students resided in a hotel for circle time, everyone was prepared with their questions formed in the joint classes. Students such as Rishaan Ghai took the initiative to translate our questions to Hindi for our guide. From this exercise, it was understood that the government, locals, and private companies are all responsible for the shrinkage of the lake; local communities carry out the de-silting of the lake; privatization of land around the lake has resulted in the destruction of the lake’s ecosystem and that the lake plays an integral role in the local’s life for farms, fields and animals. Mr. Sunil also mentioned that reduction in deforestation, banning of dumping materials into the lake, reduction in commercial activity around the lake and increase in awareness amongst people can help and save the Damdama lake.

The lake’s condition is an extremely sad one. Mrs. Romina mentioned how in 1994 when she came, people were hover boating. Now the only boat one can see is a broken orange color boat on the side of what used to be lake. As Mr. Sunil stated, we are the future generation. To learn about the steps that would lead us to a healthier environment, we would first need to know the steps that would help us kill the damaged environment. This field trip enlightened us on these steps and later in life, we will be able to implement these steps and live in a better protected world.

Samir Nouri, 9C
Sukkriti Nath, Co-Editor

Photo Credits: Mr Bharat Dholkhandi


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