TIRUCHY: Akshayapatram is a mythical vessel which is inexhaustible, as you take food out of it, it is supposed to keep filling up. To encourage children to eat vegetables, Subbaiah Memorial School in Tiruchy has placed an akshayapatram on its premises, with the hope it is always full of vegetables.
The initiative was launched on Wednesday by the principal in the presence of students and parents. “Children do not eat vegetables. I have seen these kids always separate vegetables from the rice or sambar. However, in school, we ensure they eat vegetables. They are scared of us in school, so they eat it. At home, they do not listen to their parents. That is why I thought of incorporating more vegetables in their food to make them get the required nutrition. We are keeping two baskets in the school,” said principal KS Jeevandhan.
The idea is for children to bring whatever vegetables they have at home and keep them in the vessel. There is no force or compulsion, says the principal, it is purely voluntary. “I am happy if a child gets even a single bean or carrot. There are 150 children, imagine, one vegetable per child, it is a lot. We do not want them to spend any money. This way, they would also learn responsibility,” added the principal.
The school provides meals in the morning (sponsors) and midday meals under the government scheme. They hope to add these vegetables to their meals to ensure more nutritional value.
Parents welcomed this move as one of the major problems faced by children today is that they do not get the required nutrition. Block Education Officer Jayalakshmi said such initiatives were the need of the hour.
“We need to mould our thinking according to the times. We need such new initiatives. It is important for every child to be healthy. The best part about this is that every child will get good nutrition. Many children cannot afford to buy a variety of vegetables, this way, they will all get good food,” she said.