Students of Government Kallar Reclamation Higher Secondary School at Kamupillichaichatram, a remote village near Sempatti in Dindigul district, have not only brought laurels to their school but have also placed Dindigul district in the global map.

Four students, S. Nantha Kumar (X A), M. Jayaprakash (VIII B), T. Nivetha (VIII A) and K. Sabarirajan (IX A), have successfully transformed an idea — drawing village resource maps — of Reiner Juengst, Geography Professor, Germany, into reality.

A month

The experts from Gandhigram Rural Institute and Gandhigram Trust trained students of Stds. VIII to X. After a month-long training, students drew resource maps.

The geography professor chose four maps and got them published in the journal of University of Passau, Germany.

The map has all features such as number of houses, sheds, roads, power lines, wells, community hall, shop or tea stall, temple or church, agriculture lands and bus stop.

The chosen maps were taken to Germany and redrawn in the cartography section of Passau University. Photographs of the village, school children and their teacher were also printed along with the map on a poster which was used as a supplement to the university journal, Geographische Rundschau Marz 3 2011 issue.

Besides bouquets, students earned Rs.40,000 as the university gave the royalty offered by the publishers for the poster to the school for infrastructure development.

In the prize distribution function held recently, Mr. Juengst said: “I thought it might be a crazy idea. But the managing trustee M.R. Rajagopalan encouraged it as a wonderful idea. They had seen how illiterate people in villages drew a resource map of their village on the floor for its water shed programme in 2004.”

Then, GRI professor S. Narasimhan Trust coordinator S. Gunasekaran and school principal K. Rajan jointly taught procedures to students. Many drew good maps.

Later, Mr. Reiner came to India on July 10 and chose four best maps for the award. Winners and participants were honoured with prizes.