Published: 24th June 2019
These Karnataka schoolkids are on a mission to make the hills greener by planting 50,000 seed balls on the slopes
The Forest department provided seeds of tamarind, neem, soapnut and other rain-bearing trees
Little hands are working assiduously to create a green cover on the barren hills of Maakalibetta and Gederebetta in Chikkaballapur district. The children from government schools in Kallinayakanahalli village have prepared 50,000 seed balls that will be dispersed on the slopes of the hills with the help of the Forest department.
About 50 km from Bengaluru, Kallinayakanahalli village in Gouribidanur talk has two government schools — Lower Primary and Middle School, and the Government High School. Both are located on the same premises and have over 225 children studying there.
“Since last Monday, with the help of teachers and Forest department officials, these children were able to prepare around 50,000 seed balls. Coming from Maakali, Dyavaralli, Gunjuru, Chikkahosalli, Poojaaralli, Basavanapura, Juganahalli, Christian Colony and other areas, most of these children are from agricultural families,” C Ajappa, one of the school teachers, told The New Indian Express.
The Forest department provided seeds of tamarind, neem, soapnut and other rain-bearing trees. The officials even assisted in the preparation of the red soil and manure mixture to make the seed balls. The exercise started on June 16 and went on till June 20.
The students seemed to enjoy every bit of it. Yashpal of Class 8 said he had studied how seeds germinated into plants and then grew into trees. “Now that I am involved in the activity, I can easily remember it during the exams,” he says excitedly.
Latha, another student, says it is more fun when learning is outside the classroom. “We made seed balls ourselves and learned as we prepared them,’’ she says.
“IF these seed balls grow into plants and then trees, they will help bring good showers, which will help farmers,” student Latha said. Rana Prathap, who teaches in the high school, said that a couple of years ago, water expert K Narayana Swamy, who had visited the school, dreamt of making these hills green. He had also suggested making seed balls which could be sown on the hillocks. But he died three months ago, aged 80. “We are happy to work and try and make his dream come true,’’ Prathap said.
Ajay Kumar, who teaches the middle school through practical classes, said, “We can teach children better during such activities than in theory classes. These children will, in turn, tell their parents too.” Agriculture Minister N H Shivashankar Reddy, who is also Gouribidanur MLA, has appreciated the effort.
“It is practically impossible to plant saplings as it is a hillock. The seed balls are a good idea as they can grow into trees in the next few years. This will bring good rain to the district,” he said.