People have been trying a lot of things to cope with the difficult times in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The students of Devaswom Board Higher Secondary School (DBHSS), Cheriyanad, are finding solace in planting saplings of fruit-bearing trees. Around 600 students from class V to class 10 of the school have so far planted 3,000 saplings on the premises of their houses as part of a drive titled Haritham Harithabham, launched by the school recently. They plan to plant 10,000 saplings before the reopening of schools.
G. Radhakrishnan, a teacher and convener of National Green Corps, DBHSS, says the plantation drive is helping students enjoy their environs apart from increasing the green cover. “Students are spending a lot of time on internet because of online classes. For them, planting and tending to saplings is a way to relax. When the initiative was launched, we urged them to plant two saplings each. Some planted five or more. A few students who lacked space at their houses planted saplings at their relatives’ homes. Such is the response to the drive,” says Mr. Radhakrishnan.
Guidance from school
While school authorities provide the guidance with the help of a retired agriculture officer, the students should find the saplings. After planting saplings, students share photographs on the school WhatsApp groups. “I planted four saplings of jackfruit, mango, rambutan and coconut last week. I hope to nurture them into trees with the support of my family,” says, Nandana S., a class 10 student of DBHSS.
The school authorities are keen to ensure that the drive is not just about planting and posing for photograph. “We have urged the students to grow the plants organically and protect them with tree guards. Once the school is reopened, teachers will visit the houses of students. All students who participated in the drive will be given certificates. Students who nurtured the plants well will be given cash awards,” says Mr. Radhakrishnan.