2 ‘Akshara Kaithota’ unlike any other in DK

Pits dug up by women labourers for planting saplings for Akshara Kaithota at Government Government Higher Primary School at Kadumata in Kolnadu.

Dakshina Kannada Zilla Panchayat’s`Akshara Kaithota’ (kitchen garden) in Government Higher Primary School and High School in Kadumata in Kolnadu gram panchayat limits, is unlike other kitchen gardens in schools across the district developed under Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS).

Kolnadu gram panchayat member Indira told DH that 10 women and a male labourer had transformed unused and barren lands into gardens. They have planted coconut, mango, drumstick, gooseberry, sapota, banana, curry leaf, guava, papaya and banana saplings in both the gardens.

Women dug pits for planting coconut saplings and converted the unused land into gardens. MGNREGS Ombudsman Narasimha Mogera, who visited the site, praised efforts and also for adhering to the guidelines in creating the gardens.

Indira recollects that during a Mahila Jagruthi meeting, 10 women from economically poor background sought employment as rolling beedis was no longer lucrative.

“As these women did not have RTCs, it was decided to submit applications to Kolnadu gram panchayat seeking employment under MGNREGS,”  Indira said.

The Kolnadu gram panchayat responded positively and guaranteed employment to these women. “I had accompanied these women for one-week as they needed supervision at the work place,” Indira recalled.

Through the work on ‘Akshara Kaithota,’ 32 man-days were generated at Primary School and 36 man-days at High School, she said.

Protective guards, made from locally available thorny plants, were placed around each sapling to keep animals at bay. As many as 61 saplings were planted in primary school premises and nurtured with organic manure.

These saplings were collected from the nurseries of horticulture department. Organic manure had  been used to nurture the saplings. As schools have borewell, school authorities had promised to water the plants and ensure their survival. Once the saplings start bearing fruits, it will benefit the children in school, she added.

Former MGNREGs Ombudsman Sheena Shetty said: “These works taken up by women are model for others. In tune with the aspirations and guidelines of MGNREGS, not only employment was provided to women but assets were also created for the school.”

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2 ‘Akshara Kaithota’ unlike any other in DK

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