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Lucknow couple teaches village kids healthy farm practices

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By Vivek Tripathi
Lucknow, June 5 (Ajit Weekly News) The increasing pollution is harming the basic elements — earth, water, sky and air — that are essential for human existence. Governments around the world are trying to check this. Many organisations and individuals are also involved in this campaign. One such eco-loving couple is Anish and Ashita, who have started a campaign to make the environment and agriculture healthy with the help of children.

Anish and Ashita run a school named ‘The Good Harvest’ in Paschim village of Unnao district, adjacent to Uttar Pradesh’s capital Lucknow. Anish said that he has been running this school with his wife since 2016. In this, the children of the village are taught about the healthy methods of agriculture. Most of the children studying in this school are girls. Anish said, “At present, students of classes one to five are taught in this school. Of these, 60-70 children are taught free of cost. Children are taught all subjects, but special emphasis is given on environment protection and agriculture.”

He added, “The class V children in our school know how to grow mushrooms. We tell the children about the whole process from selecting the seed to transporting the crop to the market, children know this whole process.”

Anish does natural farming on two acres of land in his school and also teaches it to the children. He said that with this their dependence on the market has ended, because they grow vegetables throughout the year and also sell some of them.

“We left our jobs in Delhi and started this work. Initially only six children came. Later more children joined. Now the number is increasing. This has increased awareness among people about adopting modern agricultural techniques and has also stopped migration,” Anish said. “Our aim is to make people aware about environmental protection and pure food. That is why we have started an agriculture based school, to make the change a reality,” he added.

“Training is provided from time to time by agricultural scientists to impart complete information about seeds, fertilizers and water to the children. We try to teach all the aspects of agriculture to young children through play and games. We pay more attention to three things – care for earth, care for people, fair for share.” Anish gets full support in this work from his wife Ashita, who has been a teacher earlier.

Ashita said that apart from climate friendly agriculture, children are also taught about tree planting, inter-cropping and low cost farming, soil conservation and plastic-free farming. Most of the agriculture work is done by women, so we have focused on the girl child in the school.

“In our school, along with studies, a lot of attention is given to practicals, which makes things easy to understand,” school students Aanchal, Kajal and Meenu said. “This school is very good. Here children are being given free education in agriculture,” Shivshankar of Paschim village stated.

Mahesh Kumar Yadav, head of Jabraila Paschim village, said, “People are made aware about this school, apart from this, whatever cooperation is possible is given.

On the cost of running the school, Anish said that it is taken care of by financial support from some people and the sale of vegetables and grains. Ashita added, “We have not received any government grant so far, but if we get it, it will help in taking this work forward strongly.”

–Ajit Weekly News

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