Field Report – Impact of Vegetable Garden
I must admit there are days where it seems that we are not doing enough to help change a culture that accepts the killing of 2 to 3.5 million girl babies each year as “normal.”
Then I receive a field report from Rajendran – one of our key partners and a good friend. He and his dedicated staff are on the front line each day. They hear the stories. They witness the subtle changes that has caused this village to stop killing their daughters.In February (2011) we installed a drip irrigation test garden on the school property. We wanted to see if we could introduce a new way of farming. To grow a few vegetables during a time a year (no rain) where no one was farming.
Most days the school children would only get a small portion of low quality rice and just enough curry to cover its bad taste. They would then choke down a cup of “salty” water.
Here are their stories of a new found hope. A vision for a better tomorrow.
Testimony by the cook Pandiammal:
I am working in the school for past 20 years. I have never cooked food for the children with this much vegetables. Many years back, correspondent (Late) Subburayar used to provide one free meal in a year to the villagers. Only on that day I have seen vegetables in the food. But now we are cooking the meal with lot of vegetables. Children are eagerly eating the meal. Previously everyone in the village used to scold us for providing substandard food, now they have stopped scolding us.
Assistant cook Pappa:
The government is giving only 32 cents every day to buy spices, wood and vegetables. It is not possible to cook good meal with this amount. Therefore we were forced to cook substandard food for the children even though we don’t want to do. Now because of your service to the school we are able to provide good food to the children.
Maripandi – student (class V)
Before I never used to eat rice more because the food won’t be tasty, and there will not be vegetables in the curry. Now because of the garden, plenty of vegetables are there in our meal. So the meal is tasty and I am eating fully, therefore when I am not hungry anymore. I have good strength to play games after school.
Azhakarsami – student (Class IV)
Previously we used drink dirty water from the open tank and eat unhealthy food, so I used to be sick often. Sometimes there will not be any water, and then we used to go to the neighboring village to wash our plates and drink water. Now because of you we have clean water and good food. Thank you.
Navetha –Student (Class III)
I am eating the noon meal so much now because they are putting lot of vegetables in our meal. My mother is asking me to bring some vegetables from the garden, as it has so much.
Ramar – head master, Kethuvarpatti school:
Previously whenever we had function in the school, since we don’t have electricity in our school, we used take from neighbor’s motor room. They used to scold us for this. Now through your project, we have electricity in our school. You have lightened our life. The kitchen building, garden and bore has immensely helped our children. Thank you so much for what you do.