Andhra Pradesh

Natural farming strikes roots in Ashram schools

Students of an ashram school in Vizianagaram district with the cauliflowers grown in their kitchen garden.

Students of an ashram school in Vizianagaram district with the cauliflowers grown in their kitchen garden.   | Photo Credit: arrangedbyK_SRINIVASARAO

Parvathipuram ITDA Project Officer’s efforts catch the Chief Minister’s eye

Nature is always mankind’s best friend, particularly children. The attachment with plants at an early age makes them understand the importance of greenery and its beneficial effects.

Although children living in cities have little chance of playing under trees and growing plants due to constraint of space, those studying in tribal areas get ample opportunities.

Noveal initiative

Keeping this in mind, Integrated Tribal Development Agency-Parvathipuram has started encouraging children studying in 44 Ashram schools located in Parvatipuram, Kurupam, Gumma Lakshmipuram, Salur, Makkuva and other mandals to develop kitchen gardens utilising the concept of Zero Based Natural Farming (ZBNF).

Vegetables such as tomato, cabbage, cauliflower, lady’s finger, radish, ridge gourd, and beetroot are being cultivated on a large scale as part of the novel initiative.

Twin benefits

The results are visible: now children are able to grasp the practical and theoretical aspects of the biology subject easily, and more importantly, mess charges have come down much to the relief of hostel administrators.

“Fertilizers and pesticides are not used in the cultivation of vegetables, and hostellers already reaping the health benefits,” ITDA Project Officer G. Lakshmi Sha, whose brainchild the idea is, told The Hindu.

“Now they understand the importance of retaining soil fertility and reduction of production cost while developing kitchen gardens,” said Mr. Lakshmi Sha. The Andhra Pradesh Human Resources Development Institute of Bapatla recently invited him to conduct special training classes all over the State.

Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu, who was impressed with the concept and other initiatives, presented Mr. Sha a medal at the State-level Independence Day celebrations held in Srikakulam.

Taking a cue from ITDA-Parvathipuram, Social Welfare Department’s Deputy Director Suneel Rajkumar has directed all the hostel wardens to develop kitchen gardens with the help of the Forest and Horticulture Departments.

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Printable version | May 25, 2020 2:31:40 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/natural-farming-strikes-roots-in-ashram-schools/article24719746.ece

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