KERALA

Students target a paddy bounty

Nature’s classes: NSS volunteers of Providence Women’s College in the city preparing a field for organic farming.

Nature’s classes: NSS volunteers of Providence Women’s College in the city preparing a field for organic farming.  

Staff Reporter

NSS members of Providence College will harvest crop from 5.5 acres next month

KOZHIKODE: The National Service Scheme (NSS) girl volunteers are sweating it out in the fields, clearing the land to sow seeds of vegetables to be harvested next Vishu. In the nearby 5.5-acre paddy fields, the fruit of their labour is nicely shaping to be harvested in January. These 115 girls of NSS unit of Providence Women’s College, Kozhikode, have contributed handsomely to the efforts by the people of Ward 7 of Kozhikode Corporation (Kannadikkal ward), to turn the ward into one where only organic farming is practised.

The college with the motto “In thy light we see light” has been inculcating gospel values in students so that they contribute to the transformation of the world. The college NSS unit had adopted Vengeri village as part of its village adoption programme for the last six years.

It was a unique experience to many of these girls who had never stepped into a paddy field. “Most of our students are not experienced in farming,” says Sushmitha, NSS programme officer of the College. Ashmitha and Prema, other programme officers of the college, are supervising the students.

Bathed in mud

“At first, they were reluctant to enter the marshy paddy field. But once they were ankle deep in mud, they work enthusiastically and step out of the field bathed in mud,” recalls Habeeba, secretary, NSS. Anju P., NSS volunteer, agrees. “It was a great experience,” she says. The girls are now at a seven-day camp in the area preparing the ground for cultivating vegetables the organic way.

Councillor K.C. Anilkumar says that a survey in the area showed that many people had deadly diseases in cancer. “After finding that chemicals used in agriculture did the harm, we decided to switch to organic farming,” he says.

Promise to poetess

“The selfless service of these girls is much appreciated by the local people,” says Babu Parambath and Parapally Sivanandan Nair, secretary and president of the committee for organic vegetable farming in Ward 7.

The girls are excited about the harvest festival. Poetess Sugathakumari had asked them to serve her porridge from the rice cultivated from the field. They are waiting to fulfil the poetess’ wish by January end.

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