In the rural areas of Jharkhand lies a district – Pakur, which is home to many tribes. Since the villages are located in remote areas, the problem of malnourishment in children has become fairly common and is a matter of deep concern.
Panmuni Tudu and her friends – Chuttar Hembram, Baidnath Hembram and Anil Marandi (students from class VII of UMS Baghapara, Amrapara Block, Pakur) felt extremely concerned as many of the children at their school fell victims to malnourishment as well. They decided to take an initiative to develop ‘Nutrition Garden’ at their school premises with the help of fellow students, Local Administration and the community members, to help eradicate the issue at the grass-root level.
The school’s ‘Nutrition Garden’ now helps in addressing the issue of malnutrition and micronutrient deficiencies by providing freshly grown vegetables, fit for consumption by school students and villagers. More so, the community members are not the only ones benefitting from the entire concept of the ‘Nutrition Garden’; the initiative works on multiple levels. As the garden is in the school premises, villagers can procure the vegetables locally. This also cuts down the need for food transportation, thus decreasing carbon emission from fossil fuels and reducing the production of greenhouse gases.
It has not been easy for the students to address the issue; one major obstacle faced by the group was the maintenance of the ‘Nutrition Garden’ during the school holidays when all the children are at home. However, the problem was managed by forming an Eco Club, which was not only limited to the students. The children, along with their parents and members from the community jointly took care of its maintenance.
This initiative triggered a wave of transformation and the students even bagged silver medallions in the prestigious ‘Pramerica Spirit of Community Award’. The team is happy that they are continuously working to nurture the garden and look forward to replicate this initiative in other schools as well.
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