Thursday, August 23, 2012
Phase IV of Project Jatropha-with pictures!
Pictured above are Bala and international volunteers (from England) planting Jatropha seedlings in the rural school mentioned in my previous blog post (this school is located 30 minutes away from Pondicherry, which is in the state of Tamil Nadu). The Jatropha seedlings were purchased with funds provided by Dr. Anuradha Rajput, who is the General Manager for the Bangalore ICON Laboratories. These photos are from Phase IV of Project Jatropha-where we are expanding to rural schools (in this, in the school Bala was working with), advocating fruit gardens and Jatropha planting. We've found out that the youth are particularly responsive to these efforts-many of them have rarely seen fruit in their lifetimes, and they particularly love the opportunity to grow plants (that are not tobacco) for non-business purposes. Wherever we've planted and given fruit plants to youth, they've maintained excellent care of the plants and show great enthusiasm. It's always heartening to see a kid stand next to a plant they have taken responsibility for and gesture to show how much the plant has grown in a certain amount of time. This is why we're also seeing if Jatropha can be incorporated into our efforts-hopefully, the kids will have equal enthusiasm for taking care of Jatropha! The Jatropha is primarily being grown as a hedge crop again (this also helps protect the fruit plants from being eaten by roaming cows and goats), but if everything goes well, we hope to have the kids sell the Jatropha seeds they collect. Again, that's a long term goal and it remains to be seen if everything will work out, but we're hopeful!