Learning from Organic Roots

The world has given us enough resources and supplies to survive on, but still major parts of the world barely makes end meet and can make up for daily nutritious meals. As a developing country, India’s emerging economy still cannot satisfy empty stomach and quality of food. Even if there is food, the quality of the food remains under heavy clouds of doubt.

Bihar having a low nutrition rate and a record underweight children, has taken up an engaging and motivational initiative to grow organic vegetables in schools, in order to have a healthy mid-day meal at hand. In a pilot project set in 100 schools of Purnea district of Bihar, the schoolkids were learned to grow organic vegetables vying to the project ‘poshan vatikas or nutrition gardens.

The state government recently announced to expand the project to 4,000 schools and Central has agreed to provide funds for it. The schools will be provided with Rs. 5,000 for purchasing tools, seeds and saplings, which will be for the 75 kinds of fruits and vegetable. When the nutrition garden will be ready, the same will help the kids to indulge in a healthy mid-day meal.

Bihar currently has 44 per cent of children under five to be underweight, 15.2 per cent are severely underweight and 20.8 per cent wasted, revealed in the National Family Health Survey-4. With this poor ratio at hand, the government is depending on this project to provide nutritious food to the younger generations.

Vegetables like ladiesfinger, pumpkinsnenua (sponge gourd), tomatoes, brinjals, green chilies and radish have been raging throughout the pilot sessions. The State government is also looking forward to expand the project to first 20,000 schools, out of the 72,000 primary and middle government-run schools of entire Bihar.

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