Chennai, July 4: At a time when the nation is facing a huge farm crisis with the rapid rise in farmer suicide rates, schools in Chennai, Tamil Nadu will teach their students to grow vegetables and bring back the lost glory of farming.
According to a report by The Times of India, a self-help group (SHG) will train students in 100 corporation schools in Chennai to grow vegetables in their own gardens.
The members of the SHG are a part of the National Urban Livelihood Mission, who in turn have been trained in terrace gardening. The SHG members will involve both students and teachers in training them to grow vegetables and become self-sufficient.
"The members of the SHG will train nearly 40 students who are a part of the eco clubs and the national green corps. These children will be provided with seeds and pots for 25 plants. They will grow the plants either in pots in terraces of the schools or in a small patch of land available inside the school premises," deputy commissioner, education, Mageswari Ravikumar told the English daily.
The main motive behind the whole exercise is to inculcate the importance of farming and responsibility among the children, said a teacher, who is a part of the entire process.
Once the vegetables will be harvested they will be used in the school kitchens. The excess harvest will be sold in the market. By selling the vegetables in the market, the students will also earn the economics behind agriculture.
The officials involved in training students and teachers in farming said that they hope that once the project will be successful, many students might be motivated to take up farming as their profession in the future.
"Farming has become non-viable. With shrinking land holding, water crisis and limited profit margins for farmers, many are leaving farming and migrating to cities and towns to do odd jobs. A farmer who is trained in making the best use of his available resources and latest technology can do wonders with farming," said a teacher.
Farming, which was once considered as a noble profession, is losing its shine. Thanks to the initiative of Chennai schools attempts are being made to bring back the lost glory of agriculture.