H.S. Narasimha Kumar
The school grows vegetables for the
mid-day meal scheme
DAVANGERE: The higher primary school in Saladakatte village in Davangere district has achieved self-sufficiency as far as its vegetable requirement is concerned.
The schoolchildren themselves grow different kinds of vegetables on the school premises. The school is hardly in need of buying vegetables from outside for providing mid-day meals to schoolchildren every day.
The teachers have inculcated the habit of growing vegetables among the schoolchildren who have evinced great interest in the endeavour. They have grown varieties of vegetables in the schoolyard.
They include drumstick, beans, lady’s finger, cow beans, pumpkin, brinjal, radish, greens, spinach, mint, carrot, tomato.
The vegetables grown in an area of one acre around the school building fulfil the vegetable requirement of the school for the mid-day meal scheme.
The schoolchildren come to school one hour before school hours to water the plants. They assist the mid-day meal workers in plucking the vegetables. The schoolchildren water the plants in the evening too. Villagers often drop by at the school to give tips to children on growing vegetables in a scientific way. They also supply manure for the plants. Often, they join the children in removing weed and parthenium in the school yard.
As many as 108 children are studying in the school which has six teachers, including the head master. Inspired by the school, the Education Department recently introduced an intensive gardening scheme in all schools in the district by earmarking Rs. 35 lakh. It has asked the school administrations to adopt the Saladakatte school model and cultivate vegetables and flowers on their premises.
P. Nagarajappa, schoolmaster, said that apart from growing vegetables, the schoolchildren, with the help of villagers, have planted over 50 coconut plants, 400 teak and margosa plants on the school premises.
Mr. Nagarajappa said that he faced problems in procuring vegetables from a distant place and started growing vegetables in the schoolyard. Then, the other teachers thought of inculcating the habit of growing trees among children so that the children could be involved in afforestation.
Schoolchildren said that they were happy that their teachers had taught them how to grow plants, foster them and also protect them.