PATNA: In a first of its kind initiative, the education department has developed ‘Organic Kitchen-Gardens’ (OKGs) in the premises of over 4,000 out of 70,000 government primary and middle schools in Bihar. This has been done to meet the requirement of fresh green vegetables to be served for the midday meals.
The vegetables are cultivated in organic ways by teachers and other staff of school in these OKGs, and are served in the midday meals. The concept of OKGs was first launched as a pilot project in 100 primary and middle schools of Purnia district in 2016.
“Buoyed over the success of this in Purnia’s schools, the organic kitchen-gardens have already been made functional in the premises of nearly 4,000 primary and middle schools in Bihar till date,” deputy director, Midday meal scheme of education department, Jeevendra Jha told this newspaper.
As many as 75 varieties of fresh green vegetables including pumpkin, potatoes, onion, brinjal, radish and others are now being cultivated in pure organic ways to be served in the midday meals to pupils.
“Work is in progress to develop this type of organic kitchen-garden in 16,000 other schools out of total 70,000 primary and middle schools in the state in next few months,” Jha said, adding that each school is being provided Rs 5,000 for developing this on the part of the education department.
In Purnia district, 700 schools have been covered under this scheme and vegetables in every season are supplied to the midday meals. He said Sitamarhi district after Purnia, has also fared well in developing and running such type of kitchen gardens for the midday meals.
Fresh every week
On average, 20 to 35 kg of vegetables are cultivated weekly from these gardens and are served with the midday meals.