Monday, May 17, 2010

Banyan tree update

In 2008, the KISCO fundraising and marketing team and Principal, Geoff Fisher considered installing a donor recognition sculpture to honor graduating students whose parents donate their security deposits to KIS for projects and development initiatives. It was decided that a Banyan Tree would be an appropriate choice. The Banyan Tree is an important symbol; it is the National Tree of India, to some it is considered sacred and represents eternal life. Some call it the “wish fulfilling divine tree”. We think the sending down of roots and the ever-expanding branches of the Banyan Tree is reflective of the growth of KIS students. The Banyan Tree was therefore chosen to become the vehicle for displaying the generosity of KIS graduates and their families.

Once the idea was decided, we tapped into the talents of KIS alumni & current staff, Barbara Block, who conceptualized and rendered a beautiful Banyan Tree, which we based the final sculpture on. With the assistance of another KIS alumni & former staff Ann & Bruce Peck we refined the design and located the artisans of Shri Rajan Industry in Swamimalai.

Befitting of the 100 + year old history of Kodaikanal International School, Shri Rajan Industry is a Bronze sculpting school whose technique is the same hereditary process, dating back 4500 years to the Chola King period, called lost wax process. Fifteen artisans of Swamimalai spent 28 days carefully crafting a gorgeous brass Banyan Tree, which they brought by lorry to Kodaikanal on 14 May. The sculpture has been installed on the stone wall at the entrance to Alumni Hall.

For many years it has been a tradition at KIS for parents to contribute their security deposit to assist KIS in its charitable initiatives. To maintain the KIS mission, the KIS Excellence in Education Scholarship Fund has been established. All of the security deposit contributions made by the parents of graduating students will be invested in this fund, allowing the scholarship to grow and assist future generations of KIS students.

In appreciation for the generosity of parents and to leave a legacy of the students’ contribution to the KIS community, those families who make a donation of Rs 30,000 or more will have their child’s name engraved upon a brass leaf of the Banyan Tree, and will forever be a part of the KIS landscape.

Judy Redder

Foundation Officer