Farming Horticulture

School started “Horticulture Therapy” to help special children in Koonammavu

School started Horticulture Therapy to help special children in Koonammavu

School started “Horticulture Therapy” to help special children in Koonammavu

Students at Chavara Special School in Koonammavu are used to having a busy schedule every day. As soon as the morning assembly is over, they rush to take care of the plants and vegetables they planted at school. They always water the plants, put manure on them, and do everything else that needs to be done to make sure the plants live.

The hens, ducks, goats, and rabbits keep trying to get their attention, too. Then, in the evening, they do it all over again. Also Read | 75 years old agri laborer woman donated land worth crore for village school.

The Kottuvalli Krishi Bhavan helped the school start horticulture therapy last year after the school realized that it could help children with cognitive and mental disorders like cerebral palsy and autism get better.

‘It all started when one of our teachers grew a small number of flowers and vegetables to keep her students interested. The outcome was clear because it caught their attention. ‘That’s when we decided to do it on a larger area of six acres next to our campus,’ said Sister Deena Grace, the school’s vice-principal, and a special educator.

Under the supervision of school staff and Krishi Bhavan staff, students were encouraged to start farming. Not only did their cognitive skills improve, but the vegetables and flowers also brought in about 25,000.

‘The vegetables were also eaten for lunch. It was very clear that they were happy to see the results of their hard work. Sr. Grace said that learning through real-life experiences not only helped them with their memory and ability to focus but also helped them get stronger and better at coordinating their body movements.

Therapeutic effects on health

Assistant Agriculture Officer at Vadakkekara Krishi Bhavan, S.K. Shinu, said that the project showed how farming can help people feel better. During his time in Kottuvalli, he was a big part of bringing the project to the school.

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‘There’s no doubt that horticulture therapy will be used more in the coming days. It can be helpful for both young and old people, especially those with health problems who might live alone. ‘They might feel better if they did some farming and enjoyed the fruits of their labor,’ he said.