Initiating students into the Atlas Journey
This was the message sent to students when they began their journey with the Atlas
I received my first Atlas when I was in class 2. It changed my world.
I pored through the pages and visited the places with my fingers what I could not experience with my feet.
In that atlas, India had less states – Jharkhand, Uttarakhand or Chhattisgarh were not known. Nor were Meghalaya, Mizoram or Arunachal Pradesh. Assam was a much larger state. Sikkim was not part of India.
Thankfully, the rivers remain! With less water, and sometimes polluted maybe, but that is not seen in your atlas.
The world map was different too. Bangladesh was East Pakistan. The Soviet Union was a much larger nation than today’s Russia – and I had not heard of Lithuania, Azerbaijan or Kazakhstan. There were two Germanys. There was no Croatia, nor South Sudan. No Slovakia, Sarajevo or Belarus. Sri Lanka was Ceylon and Burkina Faso was Upper Volta. And there was Rhodesia. A lot more changes have happened since. We will discover these as we progress in our learning journey together.
I also realised Canada or Greenland looked much bigger in the world map than in the globe. We shall find out why.
You will see the maps show land and the maps show seas. Seas and rivers are shown in blue. The maps also show mountains and peaks, plateaus and hills. You would also see some lines criss-crossing the maps. The vertical lines are called longitude and the horizontal lines are latitude. These help us find out the location of a city or a country on the map.
Maps are exciting – and travelling through them is fun. We want to experience the fun together. We would begin by trying to find cities and rivers and lakes in the map. Do not try to google the answers, then you’d miss the fun. It’s like watching a movie, that is fun – reading about the movie in a screen is just getting information. सही उत्तर मिलना काफी नहीं है, अन्वेषण का उत्साह न हो, तो मज़ा कहाँ ?
This is an invitation to begin the journey, and experience the joy of discovery.
Kalyan Kumar Banerjee.