School students take lessons in composting, rainwater harvesting

TEACHING: Indra Kumar of Home Exnora explains terrace top farming to a group of students at his house in Shankar Nagar, Pammal on Wednesday.

TEACHING: Indra Kumar of Home Exnora explains terrace top farming to a group of students at his house in Shankar Nagar, Pammal on Wednesday.   | Photo Credit: — Photo: A.Muralitharan

Special Correspondent

TAMBARAM: Taking a break from their routine , a group of students took lessons in home composting, how to minimise the volume of garbage generated in houses, rainwater harvesting and using sewage for gardening after treating them with enzymes.

As part of the World Earth Day, students of Holy Queen Matriculation School in Nagalkeni, Chromepet, visited the house of Indra Kumar in Shankar Nagar, Pammal. The house of Mr. Kumar of Home Exnora has now become a prominent landmark in this region as it offers complete solutions to day-to-day problems faced by people living in small independent houses and apartment complexes.

During the nearly two hours that the students and a couple of staff of the school spent at his house, they learnt about the basics of solid waste management and how it could be effectively handled to bring down global warming. They were also briefed on how it was possible to recycle every bit of kitchen waste or sewage generated in each house.

Mr. Kumar converts garden and kitchen waste into manure through organic composting using earthworms. A vegetarian, he accepts fish, poultry and meat waste generated in houses nearby. While fish waste is allowed to soak in a mixture of jaggery before it becomes manure that is used for coconut trees, bones from the meat waste are dried, crushed and used as manure.

He made a demonstration of introducing bio-enzymes inside the septic tank and drew a bucket of treated water from a filtration pit attached to it. Devoid of any foul smell, this water was then poured in the garden without any harmful effects to the vegetation or environment.

The students were later taken to the terrace where Mr. Kumar has grown several dozen varieties of herbal plants in addition to successfully cultivating and harvesting many vegetables, including tomato, brinjal and greens. Students were convinced that it was possible for every house to stop throwing refuse outside their house or discharge sewage into the streets.

At the end of the presentation, R. Kandhavelu, vice-chairman of Pammal Municipality and president of Roof Top Terrace Farming Exnora distributed saplings of herbal and flowering plants to the students.

In Chennai, Exnora International conducted events to mark the day.

A total of 100 saplings were planted at Integral Coach Factory Colony, a programme in which ICF General Manager M.S. Jayanth took part. “We have identified scope for 2,000 trees in the area. We will plant them in subsequent phases,” Exnora International founder M. B. Nirmal said.

Exnora International also conducted sapling tree plantation programme across the city.

Bamboo saplings were distributed at nine areas including K.K. Nagar, Teynampet, T. Nagar, Nungambakkam, Villivakkam and Velachery.

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