Holy Queens: A success story in agriculture
“We sowed paddy in the school yard, harvested it and made ‘payasam’ for the last Onam”, remembers principal Liji Varghese of Holy Queens UP School at Rajakumari in Idukki. He is the proud owner of the best principal award under the state agricultural department, this year.
With a strength of 492, the Holy Queens school has prepared a beautiful agricultural yard. The school reminds us that student not only has to know about the studies and syllabus but should have a pleasant rapport with nature and agriculture.
The school is cultivating 78 different items including vegetables and crops. The initiative is with the association of Nedunkandam agriculture assistant director and Rajakumari agriculture officer. The principal comes to the school even on holidays to take care of the agriculture.
Liji says that the school has enough area for cultivation. The Parents and Teachers Association (PTA) which is a group of 94 members including teachers and farmers are in full corporation, he asserts.
This year, the school is an active participant of the ‘Onathinu oru muram pachakari’ project with 500 seeds being distributed among the students. 2.5 acre of land is prepared together with rain shelter methods, he continues.
In the first phase, the school had cultivated cabbage and tomato and in the second phase Mali chilli was cultivated. The students show much interest removing the weeds and preparing the land as much as for cultivation.
The seeds are brought from the Hybrid nursery in Idukki. Many varieties like oats that was brought from Australia is cultivated at the school.
"It is very easy to cultivate, just like paddy. The harvesting can be done in the fourth month. Since the processing of oats is not a common scene in India many people from far and near had come to witness it to the school," Liji claims.