Distinctive: 4K ‘nutrition gardens’ to come up in government schools
Srinagar: In a significant development, the J&K school education department is all set up establish nutrition gardens in over 4000 government-run schools during the financial year 2019-20.
As of now, the department has established these gardens in 201 schools out of total 23121 schools across state.
“The establishment of nutrition gardens in another 15 schools is in-progress. These gardens will be set up in another 4136 Schools during 2019-20 in convergence with Agriculture, Horticulture department of the state,” reads an official document.
The issue of establishment of nutrition gardens was also raised in the recent Project Approval Board (PAB) meeting convened by secretary literacy and education in Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) last month.
“The MHRD also approved setting up of school nutrition gardens for 4136 schools,” reads the document.
As per the official document, the J&K government has been entrusted to develop school nutrition gardens in all the schools wherein plants can also be grown in small containers, cans, jars, discarded earthen pots, ceramic sinks, food tins wherever land is not available.
“During the meeting, the department was asked to grow whole vegetables, fruits whose all parts viz. stem (banana, bottle guard, pumpkin), leaves (coriander, mint, spinach), flowers (pumpkin flower, morringa) can be consumed,” the official document reads.
The MHRD has also agreed to provide financial assistance as per the sharing pattern of the State.
“J&K government will submit proposal subsequently and submit the information relating to status of school nutrition gardens on quarterly basis,” the document reads.
The MHRD has asked the school education department to rope in Krishi Vigyan Kendras (KVK), horticulture department and state rural development department for this purpose,” the document reads.
In the PAB meeting, the MHRD has however expressed concern over conduct of school health programme in educational institutions.
“Rastriya Bal Swasthya Karyakram, Weekly Iron and Folic Supplement, National Deworming Day should be observed in convergence with other Ministries,” the document reads.
As per official figures, out of 941554 children, only 756336 children have been screened for Health checkup under Rashtriya Bal Swasthaya Karyakram (RBSK).
“Apart from this only 440137 (47%) children have been distributed Iron and Folic acid tables under weekly Iron and Folic acid Supplementation programme (WIFS). Only 496327 (53 percent) children have been distributed De-worming tablets on national de-worming day (NDD),” the official document reads.
Meanwhile, the state government has assured the MHRD that the matter will be coordinated with state health department to ensure 100 percent children health checkup twice a year with better coverage under WIFS and NDD.