School Nutrition Gardens in Schools go up from 9% to 40% in one day

Shillong, May 13, 2024: The Directorate of School Education & Literacy (DSEL), Government of Meghalaya recently launched its first ever campaign on setting up of School Nutrition (Kitchen) Garden (SNG) by observing a bag-less day on 29th April, 2024 under the theme: ‘Kitchen Gardening & Plantation’. This initiative was aimed at ensuring 100% presence of SNGs in schools serving PM POSHAN Meals erstwhile Mid-Day Meal in the State. This scope is further explained by the Director, DSEL, Shri Swapnil Tembe, to have a positive impact on the supplementation of meals being served under the Scheme by improving the nutritional status of students and also to educate and culminate the ever thriving students a healthy, sustainable and mindful eating habit. Moreover, the practice of gardening teaches the students’ teamwork and also makes them aware about the horticulture prospects.

A month before the observation of this day, all schools were given directions to make preparations in respect of identification of space and resources. In the absence of space, which is the case in most of the urban schools, they were advised to use pots and planters. The SDSEOs were asked to collaborate with line departments to arrange logistics. In various districts, the Horticulture department and Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK) came forward to provide the seeds and saplings. In many other places, community participation was witnessed where the parents and guardians came together to make fences for the kitchen garden.

On the day of observation, the entire team of PM POSHAN went to different schools. Even the DCs, BDOs and SDSEOs joined the events in their respective places. It was a day which saw establishments of over 3000 SNGs in our schools. From around 9% of SNGs present during 2023, the figures have now increased to 40% and continues to grow every day. The department is committed to continue their efforts to achieve 100% coverage of SNGs in our schools and expressed gratitude to all the stakeholders who participated and played a key role to achieve this massive increase in SNGs.  

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