Telangana

Kitchen garden comes handy for midday meals

The kitchen garden developed on the premises of Mandal Parishad Upper Primary School at Nancharpally village in Siddipet.

The kitchen garden developed on the premises of Mandal Parishad Upper Primary School at Nancharpally village in Siddipet. | Photo Credit: MOHD ARIF

A government school near Siddipet has become self-sufficient in meeting the grocery requirement and at the same time supply nutrient vegetables to students as part of the midday meal programme.

The students of Mandal Parishad Upper Primary School at Nancharpally village in Siddipet (urban) were trained to cultivate vegetables with organic manure in the vegetable garden spread over three guntas on the school premises. The same vegetables serve the 166 children of the school for their lunch at a time when COVID-19 pandemic has adversely impacted the midday meal system in the schools. Some of the midday meal suppliers in the district have reprotedly reduced the vegetable ratio due to various reasons, including higher costs and non-availability.

This had forced the five teachers of the institution to look for other alternatives. They thought of using the available place on the school premises. With the help of panchayat officials they cleaned the premises and started growing vegetables. The village panchayat has been supplying the organic manure needed for the school.

A committee with 12 students as members was formed to supervise the cultivation of vegetables. The students arrive in the morning one hour before commencement of school and spend another hour in the evening after school hours. They water the plants, remove weeds and bushes growing here and there and pluck the vegetables. Now the vegetables grown in the school are sufficient enough to meet the requirements of midday meal in the school. During their vacant time teachers are paying additional interest to the kitchen garden.

The vegetables being grown on the school premises included brinjal, bitter gourd, ridge gourd, pumpkin, broad beans, fenugreek leaves, tomato and coriander. “Some of our students had developed malnutrition related problems and we thought of addressing the issue. Initially we were more involved in developing it. But later, students themselves started showning interest on growing vegetables and they are now sparing their time in the morning and evening for this purpose. Some of the white marks, indication of malnutrition, developed in some students have also vanished after we started supplying fresh vegetables,” school headmaster B. Padmavathi told The Hindu .

Taking notice of some villagers plucking vegetables from the garden and damaging part of it, the village panchyat has announced that a penalty of ₹ 10,000 will be imposed on those who enter the kitchen garden and pluck the vegetables.


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Printable version | Feb 13, 2022 7:10:43 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/telangana/kitchen-garden-comes-handy-for-midday-meals/article38275858.ece