Millennium Post

Students make fertilizers from meal leftovers

Kolkata: A primary school in remote Sagar block in South 24-Parganas has set a precedence in creating greenery and curbing pollution.

The students of Chowranghee Primary school are using the leftover food of mid day meal and other waste products and converting them into organic fertilizers and they are using it for growing trees on the school campus.

The students have also been able to store excess water of deep tubewell by preventing it from flowing outside the school and have successfully cultivated seven rare varieties of food grains. This project of cultivation of foodgrains is being supervised by noted environmentalist Amalesh Mishra.

"We are giving special emphasis to environmental studies and are imparting lessons to our students on the conservation of greenery. We are using waste to convert them into organic fertilisers. We are also storing drinking water that is wasted," said Tapas Mondal, headmaster of Chowranghee Primary School.

The school, at present, has 156 students and six teachers. Midday meal is provided to the students of these schools on a daily basis as per norms of the Ministry of Human Resource Development.

The vegetable waste and the leftovers of food are being stored by the students themselves. "We have three separate waste bins. A red bin is used for dumping of waste paper, pen, pencil and similar educational equipment. A yellow bin is being used for storing vegetable waste and food waste while a green one is being used for plastic waste. The plastic waste is being recycled for making greetings cards," Mondal said.

The rice starch is being mixed with cow dung collected from some adjacent houses in the neigbourhood. Then earthworms are released into the mixture.

In three months, it is converted into fertilisers. This is being used for growing plants that have medicinal value such as basak, tulsi and kalmegh. The entire work is being done by the students and teachers of the school.

The school has come up with a reservoir for storing rainwater and tubewell water, which is usually wasted. This water is being used for cultivation of seven rare food grain varieties such as Mugai, Chapakusi, Gosba, Hangra, Taldi to name a few.

However, none of these food grains are being sold commercially. In future, the school has plans to encourage local residents to adopt similar practices.

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