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March 08, 2007
We heard about Anu and Krishna through Asha. They are both Asha fellows and we learnt more about what they were doing on a conference call in which Krishna spoke. We were interested not only in their work in alternate education but also in their trying to lead a more organic life - Krishna had briefly mentioned solar panels and dry composting toilets and we wanted to learn more.
We had moved to India with an idea of spending time with a few grassroots efforts. Thulir happened almost suddenly. We had a bunch of weddings to attend and after a couple of weddings and a few trips to different urban spaces; we were starting to get restless. We then contacted Anu and Krishna to check if they would be willing to have us over for about 10 days. They quickly figured out where to put us up and in a few days we were traveling to Sittilingi.
Getting to Sittlingi
We started from Chennai at 4:00 am, so we could reach Sittilingi by 2:00pm. The plan was to get to Tiruvannamalai in time to catch the 10:30 a.m. bus that goes all the way to Sittilingi. The only other bus was at 3:30 p.m. so we had no intention of missing this bus J. We first went to Kottapatti (CMBT bus terminal) to catch the out-station bus (platform 6) and reached by 9:00 a.m. with plenty of time to spare for our connecting bus. We had iddli, dosa and coffee at Ashoka Hotel and reached Sittlingi by 2:00 p.m. We got of at the Tribal Health Center (called the Sittlingi Hospital stop). We mentioned Thulir and were led to the center of the hospital from where we were driven a few km to Tulir. Krishna was at the gate to greet us. Funny as it was, the call taxi to take us to Kottapatti cost us more than breakfast and the rest of the journey.