Siddipet: With the Collective effort of gritty teachers and students of Primary School Shakaram, they have successfully raised about 500 trees in 2.5 acres of chalky soil.
Since the 2.5 acres of land is chalky soil, the previous attempts to grow plants on the premises of the school proved futile. When Prasanth Kumar Varala was appointed as a teacher in 2011, Kumar also made repeated attempts to grow the trees, but he found no success until 2016.
Inspired by Telangana Ku Haritha Haram (TKHH), a brainchild of Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao, Kumar and his colleague Sripal Reddy had done some study on how to grow the plants in this non-fertile land. Under the guidance of experts, Kumar said that they used the cow dung and vermicompost to help the saplings survive for a couple of years. Though many people discouraged them saying that the survival of saplings was impossible in the non-fertile land, the headmaster said that he, his students and his colleague Sripal Reddy regularly used cow dung, and compost fertilizer to ensure their survival.
Saying that they had given 4 to 5 saplings for adoption to each and every student, the headmaster of the primary school said that the children would tie a Rakhi to each sapling on the day of Raksha Bandhan, promising to take care of them.
Out of the 550 saplings they planted in 2016, a surprising 440 saplings had survived. As it almost looked like a mini thick forest after three years, the teacher said that they were forced to remove some 40 trees last year as snakes made the school its habitation. Later, Kumar said that they have planted some 40 fruit-bearing plants in the same place. The school is now a home for 20 varieties of trees which include both fruit-bearing and shade-giving. When the school was open before the lockdown, the students used to grow a half dozen varieties of vegetables and leafy vegetables in an organic way which they used to use in mid-day meals.
Even during the summer and lockdown period, the teacher said he and his students used to visit the school regularly to ensure their survival by watering them and applying compost and cow dung. The school management had also built a vermicompost pit on the premises of the school.
The students have developed such an affection towards the saplings, Bunny,, who is studying 10th Class now, regularly visits the school even after passing out of the school five years ago. Bunny, who was among the students planting saplings, said it is their responsibility to protect them. Meanwhile, the strength in the school has also increased from 23 to 70 during the past five years.
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