Madhab Das, the headmaster of Madhavdev LP School in Laluk under Bihpuria Educational Block in Lakhimpur district is growing vegetables on the backyard of the building which are now ready for picking.

Das, a keen enthusiast in creating an atmosphere of sustainable development in school premises and to provide nutritional care for the students in Mid-Day Meal Scheme, has been developing the kitchen garden in his school from the beginning of the summer session.

His efforts are now playing a key role in providing the much needed nutritional care of his students along with taking care of their mental health during Covid19 pandemic.

“I was given the idea of growing vegetables in school backyard during my training course in DIET-Lakhimpur. And after joining this school, I have started this kitchen garden with the help of school management committee, mother’s unit and local villagers,” says Das.

Presently, his school kitchen garden has various beans, cucumbers, snake gourd, ladies fingers, pumpkins, brinjals, corn and various ferns and herbs, all grown organically which provide important nutritional intakes to the MDMs.

School garden
Madhab Das

The fresh vegetables grown in Madhavdev LP School are included in the MDMS rations distributed among the students during the current Covid19 restrictions.

This provides a much needed help to the Covid19-hit families of the students of this school.

Madhavdev LP School is one among the 49,994 schools in Assam with School Nutritional Garden under MDMS.

Several other schools in Lakhimpur district have been successfully implementing the School Nutritional Garden under MDMS since its inception in 2019.

The PNGB Girls High School and Panindra Vidyalaya in North Lakhimpur town, No. 1 Pachim Laluk LP School in Laluk, Bor Elengi High School in Bihpuria, Jyoti Sandhani ME School in Narayanpur are some examples of School Nutritional Garden under MDMS in Lakhimpur district.

Besides growing the vegetables on the backyard ground of the schools, the SNG-MDMS is also growing the same on boxes and pots within the buildings.

Launched in 2019 the SNG in MDMS has the objective of addressing malnutrition and micro-nutrient deficiencies among school going children in the country by consuming freshly grown vegetables.

Besides providing the children the first-hand experience with nature and gardening, the SNG in MDMS aims to supplement the cognitive ability of the students with an early idea for livelihood opportunities and self-sufficiency.

Many concerned citizens of the district are of the view that various indigenous plants and trees like Azar, Sonaru, Shimalu should also be planted in school premises to sustain the local ecology of the environment.

Recent felling of Shimalu trees in the premise of North Lakhimpur Govt. HS School in North Lakhimpur has also been resented by public here.

The old fruit trees like mango, jackfruit, tamarind that still stand tall inside the premise of that school should be preserved, opined the public here.

Farhana Ahmed

Farhana Ahmed is Northeast Now Correspondent in North Lakhimpur. She can be reached at: farhana.ahmed777@gmail.com