Ambala: 'Nutrition gardens' help schools prepare nutritive mid-day meals : The Tribune India

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Ambala: 'Nutrition gardens' help schools prepare nutritive mid-day meals

15 types of veggies grown | No use of chemicals

Ambala: 'Nutrition gardens' help schools prepare nutritive mid-day meals

The move aims to increase the intake of vegetables among children.



Tribune News Service

Nitish Sharma

Ambala, November 14

The ‘nutrition gardens’ developed at Ambala government schools are turning out to be a good source of vegetable supplies for the mid-day meals being prepared for students.

In 391 govt schools

Of the total 768, the gardens have been developed in 391 government schools of the district so far. A grant of Rs 5,000 each was issued to 120 schools this year, but now the number of schools has increased to 391 and the remaining schools will get the grant in the coming session. Sudhir Kalra, district elementary education officer

The gardens are helping school heads in utilising the space and ensuring supplies of organic seasonal vegetables for the mid-day meal.

Khushpreet Singh, a Class VIII student of Government Model Sanskriti Senior Secondary School, Mohri Bhanokheri, is thrilled with the garden as the students, who earlier just got plain pranthas, are now getting vegetable pranthas in their meal.

Similarly, students Balram, Simran, Lovepreet, Ankit, Harshpreet and Gurjeet, said since their parents are involved in agriculture, they know how to take care of vegetables and thus, are able to extend a helping hand to their teachers.

Principal Rohit Ratan said, “We are growing about 15 types of vegetables, including brinjal, broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, carrot, capsicum, and 20 varieties of flowers in the school this year.” “The vegetables are grown without any chemicals or pesticides. Initially, the residents discouraged us and said that the land was not suitable for vegetables, but we managed to prepare it. Besides, the teachers and the students have been showing interest in the garden activities.”

Manbhawni Bhalla, Principal of Government Senior Secondary School, Thambar, said, “The aim is to increase the intake of vegetables among children and ensure that they are getting nutritious food. The project has helped us in teaching students about the vegetables and the process of growing these.”

“We have prepared a WhatsApp group and the school heads and principals have been sharing pictures of their schools’ produce in the group daily. We are hopeful that more schools will develop such gardens in the coming days,” District Elementary Education Officer Sudhir Kalra said.

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