Students of St. Thomas school to launch ‘Onappoovu’ project. As a first step to this project, the students organised a ‘krishi sabha’ recently to decide on the methods of field work, which will begin today

This Onam, when the prices of various varieties of flowers are likely to shoot up, the students of St. Thomas Central School, Mukkolakkal, will decorate the floral carpets to be made at their school with marigolds and other flowers cultivated by them.

After their success with vegetable cultivation, the students of the school are readying to take up flower cultivation under a project named ‘Onappoovu.’ A group of 50 students will dedicate their free hours for the project.

The project is co-ordinated by Agri-friends Krishi Samskarika Vedi, a forum of farmers and agri-enthusiasts in the city.

The students would be guided R. Raveendran, a farmers who had made it to the Limca Book of Records for cultivating a massive 275 kg African yam.

As many as 5,000 seedlings of African marigolds were brought from the Agricultural University, Mannuthy, Thrissur. Seedlings and saplings of locally grown flowers, collected from the houses of students and their neighbourhood, will also be cultivated along with the marigolds in a 20-cent plot inside the school compound.

“We have collected seeds and saplings of flowers such as jasmine, hibiscus, Leucas or ‘thumba’ and rose,” said P. Harikumar, teacher in charge of the project.

Sowing of marigold seeds has to be done with care and the students will be guided by Mr. Raveendran. When the saplings are two-weeks-old, they will be distributed to students who bring plastic pots so that they can grow them at their homes. This means on the day of Onam celebrations, students will be carrying self-cultivated flowers to be added to their flower carpet in school.

“This project can become a success only if there is the support of parents. Many are reluctant to send their children to work in the fields. Let the children learn about soil, plants and environment along with other subjects,” said Mr. Raveendran.

The project is aimed at creating awareness among the students of the different species of flowers that are found in our surroundings, said S. Jayakumar, coordinator, Agri-friends.