Students of Kendriya Vidyalaya here have scripted a success story in their experiments with nature. Four years ago, the school's Eco Club initiated a range of nature-friendly activities such as solid waste management, rain water harvesting, and paper-bag production from used charts. Slowly, the efforts branched out to other areas including agriculture.

“The club wants to instil love for nature and soil in the young minds. These would-be doctors or engineers should get a taste of nature so that they can view life from a closer range,” says club convenor T. Gopalan, an eco activist.

A lesson on crop production in a Class VIII textbook gave the students a theoretical clue about agriculture, and the ninety-member club team was quick to work on the practical. They toiled hard on a five-cent wasteland of the school and converted it into a lush vegetable garden. The students till the land, sow the seeds, weed, water, add manure, and even keep the pests at bay. Their harvest includes wing beans, cucurbits, chilli, long bean, tapioca, yam, colocasia, turmeric, and ginger. Since the idea is to farm in harmony with nature, chemicals have no role to play in the process.

The harvest is distributed among members by draw of lots, says Mr. Gopalan adding that the club has grown 18 kg of tapioca, 6 kg of yam and 2 kg of wing beans. The club also organises field trips to plastic recycling units and mangroves at regular intervals. The membership of the club has grown steadily under the guidance of principal K.P. Velayudhan.

‘Experiments' on a 5-cent wasteland at Kendriya Vidyalaya bring rich yield.