Anganwadis in Tiruvarur will soon have attached kitchen gardens. The objective is to reduce malnutrition among children in the age group of 0-6 years by providing fresh vegetables grown in the kitchen garden. A project submitted by M. Chandrasekaran, District Collector, has been accepted and approved by the Central government to take up 200 anganwadis as a pilot project in the district. There are a total of 1,098 anganwadis in the district. The project cost is Rs. 21.20 lakh.

The Collector who made the successful presentation in Delhi told The Hindu that there are 45,301 children in the age group of 0-3 in the anganwadis in Tiruvarur district. There are 35,966 children in the age group of three to six. Among the children in the age group of 0-3 years, 25,294 are normal children and the rest don’t have the weight equivalent to their age and need nutritional support. Among the children in the age group of three to six, 19,467 are normal and the rest don’t have the weight equivalent to their age and need nutritional support.

“Indications of malnourishment are being underweight, susceptibility to diseases, poor psychological growth and so forth. This may be due to either non availability of nutritive vegetables or lesser availability of fresh vegetables. High market price of vegetables may also be the reason for not taking them. The project aims at fighting malnutrition by providing a balanced and nutritional diet in the early stages of growth for development and an active life. Kitchen gardens will be raised in 200 anganwadis in the district initially. The anganwadis have one cent of land for doing so around them”, the Collector said.

Papaya, greens, okra, brinjal, raddish, cluster beans, tomato and banana will be cultivated in the garden, said the Collector.

Anganwadi workers will be trained in laying the garden, cultivation of vegetables and fruits. Training will also be given on the preparation of land, nursery, sowing seeds, preparation of organic manure and bio pesticides, irrigation and seed extraction for the future. Krishi Vigyan Kendra at Needamangalam, the Horticulture and agriculture departments will provide the necessary training, the collector said.