A get-together organised by Agrifriends chalked out a plan to lend a hand to victims of flash floods in Uttarakhand

The ‘Pusthakatharattu’ programme organised by Agrifriends Krishi Samskarika Vedi at Press Club on Tuesday was an informal gathering where the participants pledged to lend a helping hand to the victims of flash floods in Uttarakhand, followed by a discussion on the need to turn to the soil.

The non-governmental organisation that has started a sort of a eco-revolution across the state, especially through its Krishipadam programme in schools, brought together officials, farmers, students, teachers, scientists, writers and public on a common platform.

The highlight of the event, held in connection with Reading Week celebrations, was the launch of ‘Mazhavelicham’ programme under which Agrifriends proposes to collect Rs. 1 from each student who is part of its Krishipadam programme. Representatives and teachers of various schools who took part in the event were quick to announce their cooperation. The pledge was taken by lighting a candle and gathering under a white umbrella signed by Chief Minister Oommen Chandy. “The money collected from the schools will be donated to the Chief Minister’s relief fund within the next two weeks,” said members of Agrifriends.

A discussion on the topic ‘Children and agriculture’ was also held against the backdrop of the release of the books, Pallikkoodathil Ninnum Paadathekku and Souhridakrishipadam, written by S. Jayakumar, programme co-ordinator of Agrifriends. Among those who spoke at the event were Abhijith V., a student of Government Boys’ High School, Neyyattinkara, who impressed with his survey on palm trees and won the Sastra Pratibha title at the fourth edition of Children’s Farm Science Congress held earlier this year, Gokul Krishna of Government Higher Secondary School, Mayyanad, who wrote a book on his father’s farming practices and Fathima Shahana S. S. of Holy Angels’ Higher Secondary School in the city. Students of Cotton Hill Girls’ Higher Secondary School, Jawahar Public School, teachers and well-wishers of Agrifriends took part in the discussion.

Earlier, inaugurating the event N. Vijayan, additional director, Department of Agriculture, said that the second phase of the comprehensive vegetable cultivation project which will be inaugurated on July 9 aims to produce at least five lakh tonnes of vegetables. Udayavarman, former director, Museum and Zoos, was honoured by the Krishipadam members at the event.