Kids in this anganwadi feast on homegrown veggies

The plants, small ponds with a model of a duck, at the Anganwadi premises in Manavalike, at Perabe in Puttur taluk.

An anganwadi, located in the remote village of Manavalike in Perabe of Puttur taluk, boasts of a nutrition garden with fruit, vegetable-bearing plants and a herbal garden on its premises.

Unlike in any anganwadi, the staple diet for these tiny tots are the fruits, like guava, papaya and sapota sourced from the garden. In addition, the 24 children in the anganwadi learn how to use solar-powered Tablets.

The children have become fluent with letters, numbers and a few rhymes in English as well. The project, taken up by Selco Foundation and with the motivation of Jana Shikshana Trust, has led to the installation of the solar panel to charge the Tablets.

Anganwadi worker Mohini said the Tablets are loaded with pre-school educational materials which help them learn quickly.

Under Mahatma Gandhi Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme, the work on developing a nutrition garden was taken up at the aganwadi.

Thirty-seven fruit-bearing plants, like guava, chikoo, mango, banana and jackfruit, are cultivated on the premises which supply regular fruits to the centre. In addition, a coffee plant also finds a place.

Vegetables, like drumstick, ridge gourd, basale, ivy gourd, brinjal and tomato, are also cultivated and are sourced for the preparation of afternoon meals at the centre. Even the parents regularly send vegetables to the centre for the consumption of students, Mohini said.

She said, “The community has been constantly supporting the development of the anganwadi centre. It was with the help of the parents that a small herbal garden is developed wherein children could identify the locally available medicinal plants like tulsi, doddaptre, brahmi, insulin plant, aloe vera, amritaballi, ginger, turmeric and others. There are nearly 11 types of chilli plants, like normal green chilly, button chilly, gandhari menasu and so on in the garden.”

The garden also has arecanut plants and a sugarcane plant. To give an impression of dairy farming to the children, there is a model of a cowshed with the models of a cow and a calf on a thatched roof shed.

Further, mini ponds with models of ducks are also seen on the premises of the anganwadi centre. There is a thatched roof shelter for the children to enjoy as a part of outdoor activities.
The authorities have also laid the foundation for construction of a workshed under MGNREGS, for the SHG members to carry out their activities.

Mohini said efforts are on to construct a compound wall for the anganwadi with the help of the villagers. An estimate has already been prepared, she added.

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Kids in this anganwadi feast on homegrown veggies

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