Thursday, September 29, 2011


Lyra Pinto 
MATUNGA, SEPTEMBER 29, 2011: Don Bosco Development Society’s GreenLine, an environmental endeavor, hosted a workshop for schools participating in the Green Schools Campaign, on Organic Farming on September 28, 2011. This workshop was conducted by Urban Leaves, an organization with expert understanding of how even the smallest places can be used for the propagation of a new garden. The event was attended by fifteen teachers and fifty five students, from fourteen different schools.
The event began at 10 A.M. and continued for three hours. The resource team from Urban Leaves included Ms. Purvita Kapadia, Mr. Harshal Deshmukh and Mr. Julius Rego. Fr. Savio Silveira, director of Don Bosco Development Society introduced the resource team to the participants, and also gave the resource team a glimpse of the objectives, work and the successes of the Green Schools Campaign. Following this, Ms. Kapadia explained about the organization, and then began explaining the finer details of the work they carried out. When this was done, and as the presentation carried out, a movie clip on the community farming projects in the city of Mumbai was shown. Amazement and awe was seen on all of the students’ and teachers’ faces, as they saw hundreds of vegetables growing organically in small spaces all over the city.  Following this a short movie called She’s Alive…Planet Earth by Vivek Chauhan was also screened.
Ms. Kapadia told the participants, how Amrut-Mitti, a very fertile, chemical-free soil was prepared by mixing organic waste with red soil and Amrit Jal. This Amrut-Mitti, according to Ms. Kapadia could be used to start plantations anywhere and everywhere, as it was nutrient rich, and could be used on any surface, at any height. Mr. Rego then showed a number of different plants that had been grown in Amrut-Mitti. Besides that, he also spoke on the importance of co-existence among all elements in nature, and this was resonated through his collection of living caterpillars and butterflies. He also showed an interesting collection of tomato, chili, and curry leaf and lemon plants. He also showed how canna plants could be used to recycle wastewater.
The students and teachers seemed very keen in beginning gardens in their schools. Some of the schools with lesser campus space said that they would look into the option of terrace gardens. Ms. Sarita Tiwari, from St. Dominic Savio High School, Andheri said that the students would not only work on their own garden, but would be looking to take the gardens to their buildings and homes. All in all, with fourteen new gardens coming up in the city, here’s to a growing green cover, which will hopefully encourage others to start their own garden projects too.

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