#Vitarkka: At the time of independence India had a population of some 300 million people which today has grown to 1.4 billion. That is  1.1 billion people in a matter of 70 plus years. At this rate in every 10 years we will be adding a few hundred million people and soon enough we will become a two billion population. The amount of food we need to produce with these number of people will escalate and it is about time children learnt new techniques of how to grow crops since our people think that it is their divine duty to keep producing more children irrespective of whether the resources are limited or not.

This is one skill all schools should start incorporating into their curriculum to ensure that every child learns from a very young age as to how to grow their very own food.

In recent events we have learnt from a country like Venezuela that the economy can go south quickly with corruption, mismanagement of resources and bad governance and the people were not geared to take care of themselves and as a result of this over a million have migrated to Neighbouring Columbia. On the contrary, if the people of a nation are equipped with the skills necessary for their survival, despite bad government regulations, restrictions and strictures, the people may regain some of their dignity by surviving through difficult times without depending on governmental institutions and infrastructure.

In contrast to many deprived people of the world who are living in abject poverty like Congo, Mozambique,Uganda, Uzbekistan or disenfranchised people like Yemenis, the people of the very well developed countries are wasting a ton of resources. With the increase in prosperity, we seeing this trend in our cities and towns too. But, this world is a volatile place and considering how fortunes can change without notice and overnight, it is imperative that children learn basic survival skill with the foremost being how to cultivate their own food

Today, every home can become an agriculture hub with small terraces and open spaces which can be converted into vegetable/fruit gardens and really small areas can be used to cultivate essential vegetables using technology such as Hydropony and techniques such as vertical gardening. A few have already recognised this need and have started putting their balconies to good use to grow pesticide free vegetables and fruits. Parents need to wake up fast and push their schools and government to make agriculture an essential part of every child’s curriculum.

Raj Kaushik – Vitarkka

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