Children in this Nagaland school grow their own organic vegetables for mid-day meals
To bring organic produce to every plate, the K Khel Government Middle School (GMS) in Viswema, Kohima, Nagaland, has been encouraging its students to grow vegetables in its premises since 2011.
These vegetables are later used for cooking mid-day meals for over 60 students in the school.
Talking to NDTV on the introduction of organic farming, headmistress Keneisenu Vitsu said,
“Farming and gardening are an integral part of our curriculum. We decided to teach organic farming to the students to inculcate in them the skill and knowledge of agriculture. We keep one day in a month dedicated to teaching activities related to gardening and agriculture.”
Children working on the ground for cultivating plants (Image: The Better India)
The vegetables grown include lemon, garlic, potato, cabbage, onion, pumpkin, and pomegranate. Some of them also include indigenous plants, such as Naga Dal and other staples found and grown only in the state. On an average, the school can produce 300 kg.
To begin with, the students from class I to class VIII select a plot of land, which is then cleaned and levelled for cultivating vegetables on it. Besides, the students are taught about making organic manure from kitchen waste and uprooted weeds.
The School premise (Image: The Better India)
The seeds are sown according to the season in the region, and once the seeds are sown the children visit after their classes to water, de-weed and add green manure to the plants. The students have also taken the initiative to construct bamboo-fences to keep the animals at bay.
According to The Better India, the school also has a provision for environmental practices. For instance, one can find bamboo bins on the village roadside kept by the school, encouraging the inhabitants to use them adequately.
(Edited by Rekha Balakrishnan)