Adilabad: Nearly 500 students belonging to Telangana State Model School in Boath mandal headquarters are able to eat tasty yet nutritious organic food thrice a week. The credit goes to the concept of kitchen garden introduced by their principal Madhapuram Umesh Rao.
State-run hostels of the erstwhile Adilabad district are often figured in the news for providing contaminated food. Parents express concern about the food quality being served to their wards in these facilities. And, students of some government schools do not take mid-day meal reportedly due to tasteless dishes and skip classes.
But, 470 students of this TS Model School are savouring yummy and healthy food cooked with organic vegetables produced by them in the very backward of their institution. Vegetables such as tomato, brinjal, ladies finger, carrot, bottle guard, radish, spinach, coriander and methi leaves are grown in the kitchen garden using cow dung, cow urine and kitchen waste.
“When the institution was established three years ago, I mulled starting a kitchen garden to feed nutritious organic food to the students at least once a week. Now, we could provide the midday meal prepared with organic vegetables three times a week,” Umesh Rao told Telangana Today.
The principal said his objective was to reduce dropouts, feed homely food to pupils and thus improve their academic performance. He claimed that no pesticides were used for growing the vegetables. The students neither carry lunch boxes from homes nor miss classes as they are served a tasty meal in the afternoon.
According to Umesh, the students are involved in growing vegetables on a rotation basis every day for an hour. The garden is maintained in a piece of land in one of the corners of the institution. The fertile soil is helping the institution get a yield of 15 kg of tomatoes, carrot and bottle guard on alternate days. Staff of midday meal scheme extending their support in raising the crops, he added.
Umesh won an award from Collector D Divya on the last Republic Day for maintaining the kitchen garden. Importantly, the school could to tackle fluctuations in prices of vegetables in the market.