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Scientific Awareness

Promoting Scientific Awareness: Bridging the Gap during the Annular Solar Eclipse

On the remarkable day of 26th December 2019, Kerala bore witness to a rare phenomenon - an annular solar eclipse. While mainstream society actively engaged in various programs to marvel at this celestial event, it became evident that a significant section of the population, including Scheduled Tribes and Scheduled Castes, were not actively involved in such activities. To bridge this gap and promote scientific awareness among these communities, Totem Resource Centre took a proactive approach by conducting a series of programs related to the Solar Eclipse in tribal hamlets.

Education and Empowerment: Illuminating the Eclipse

Through specialized classes on the Annular Solar Eclipse and hands-on training in the production of observation instruments, members of the tribal communities were equipped to view the eclipse with confidence and understanding. A dedicated team of trained resource persons from Totem conducted approximately 95 observation programs at various tribal hamlets. At these events, observers had the rare opportunity to witness the awe-inspiring "ring of fire" that characterizes this unique solar phenomenon.

Fostering Science Temper: A Unique Learning Opportunity

The eclipse watch parties and associated educational sessions became a remarkable platform for igniting the flame of scientific curiosity among the tribal communities. Participants, both young and old, engaged enthusiastically, eager to learn and seek answers to their questions related to the Solar Eclipse. Moreover, the program served as an essential step in dispelling superstitions and myths surrounding eclipses, which have long been associated with fear and misconceptions.

Embracing Knowledge, Dismissing Fear

Traditionally, solar eclipses have been feared and perceived as ominous occurrences in society. Misconceptions, such as the belief that eclipses pose a danger to pregnant women and their unborn children, still persist today. By fostering scientific awareness, Totem Resource Centre aimed to dispel such unfounded fears and empower the community with accurate information.

Unifying Experience with Snacks and Shared Knowledge

The program not only provided an enriching learning experience but also offered a sense of unity and camaraderie among participants. As members gathered together to view the solar eclipse, they also shared snacks and insights, further strengthening the bond within the community.Through our commitment to promoting scientific awareness, we endeavored to turn a rare astronomical event into a transformative and enlightening experience for all, inspiring curiosity and breaking down barriers between scientific knowledge and the tribal communities.

Together, let us embrace the wonders of the universe and continue our journey towards a more enlightened and empowered society.

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