This was mirchi week in Adharshila. After Jaya ordered a drastic cut in the red chilly in the daal and vegetable everybody was talking just about chilies or the lack of it. Chilly is the main spice and a favourite. So Jaya’s action couldn’t havee been taken lying down.
The older girls initiated a children’s meeting to canvass for more gun powder.
In the meeting Jaya put her point. She used all her persuation skills, and the facts that came out in the malnutrition survey conducted by the amazon group children last year. The survey, had shocked us when we found that even households with irrigation had malnutritioned children. The food habit survey had brought out the fact that very little veges or fruits were consumed. Mainly daal and in the lean season chilies were the favourite food.
More than half the children surveyed were found to be malnourished. Children were found to be eating mainly carbohydrates with chilies.
The older children understood the logic but chilly was part of a strong habit. Most of them agreed after she took the responsibility to get tasty food made without chilies. Finally they also made Jaya concede to put ten more chilies.
Well it’s five days now and every thing is fine. New things have happened in the mess. Like the fuel efficient, Sarai cooker, bought from AARTI, Pune was reactivated. Some other spices were added and Jaya took cooking classes of the older children who help in cooking.
As of now the matter seems to have ended.
Veena Lakra, doing her Masters in elementary education from Tata Institute of Social Science, Mumbai, is here for her placement. She is trying to understand the teaching methodology used in Adharshila for social science related topics.
Shailaja, an organic farmer stayed here fo about ten days and showed the children many new techniques of growing vegetables. Most of her time was spent in planting seed to develop a fence around the farm and the campus.
The fact that the children are leaving tomorrow for home for a short break has overshadowed everything else. This break is unique to Adharshila. The corn in the fields is ready to be eat. children are given a break at this time so that they can go home and have their fills of corn and other fruits mainly traditional varieties of cucumber and watermelons.
Meet you after the break.