Prakash Deep School for Underprivileged Children




Step 1 FEEL

Prakash Deep runs six free Schools for Underprivileged Children-five of which are in close proximity to the slums in Faridabad. Most of our children belonging to the marginalised community went through the additional problem of food scarcity during COVID 19. Their parents had lost their jobs and there were no reserves to fall back upon. Impact of Climate Change was the subject 8th graders had been working on since the schools reopened in August 2021. That Climate change not only leads to disasters like wide spread fires, floods, famines, droughts and disease the world over but at their personal level they realised first hand that it also affects air quality, drinking water, shelter, health and food supply. DFC Rain Forest Challenge presented an opportunity/ platform to critically examine and to seek a solution to solving the immediate problem of food security at their personal level. The biggest cause of deforestation leading to Climate Change is conversion of forest land for agriculture. The problem chosen to work on was food scarcity faced by the poor on account of Climate Change caused by wide spread deforestation.


In their first interaction within the group, the team of students selected to to take up the challenge came up with the following solutions:- Start awareness sessions about climate change for parents. Show them how to reduce wastage of food and increase food production. Take different skills to the slum to earn more to meet demand . Make them aware of government subsidies. Regularly donate rations to them. Grow Your Own Food . Show them how to become entrepreneurs. Seeing the immediate problem of Shortage of Food , Grow Your Own Food theme was adopted.

Step 3DO

At this stage some conditions had to be laid down by the co-ordinator -which were as follows- The solution that we wanted must be doable; it should be innovative-marking a shift from currently used practices it should use minimal resources; It should be a part of the solution to preserve the healthy eco system by reducing the carbon footprint; it should give the slum dwellers access to healthy food items at minimum cost; it should move them towards self reliance; it should lead them to a start up to add to their income. The process involved every student bringing one empty Atta /Rice/Cement/Sand or Pedigree bag-- Stitch the bags into different sizes to be used as portable pots with handles; Fill them up with soil enriched with organic compost, coco peat, sand and mulch; Plant vegetables like potatoes/ onions, spinach, grains-- whatever was seasonal into those bags.

The result surpassed our imagination- Students learnt to recycle unused bags; They learnt to mix the right ingredients in proper proportion into the soil; They learnt what Organic Food meant and why it was healthy; They learnt to plant the necessary food items into portable bags which could be placed even on roof tops or near their own huts or kitchens without occupying much space. They saw the seeds sprouting and turning into healthy plants in front of their own eyes; Their involvement with the Project was total- they enjoyed the process of implementing it.


Mr. Jagota, who is an environmentalist and a Rotarian was impressed with the concept. He placed an order for 50 bags with a promise for more, with us. These, he said would be sold to the Rotarians. He also promised to help our children plant an urban forest (on the lines of Miyawaki Forest- a Japanese concept) in the open space in Senior Citizens' Centre in Sector 21- A Faridabad. Mr. Alok

We faced no challenge. It was exciting at every step of implementation. Children who were not in the team also felt involved which was very encouraging.


Zero hunger

Step 4 SHARE

We made a video presentation of the project to share with our contacts on You Tube and Facebook. We shared the actual onsite progress at different stages of plant growth with our students in school. Children made videos and clicked images at every stage to share with as many of their friends and contacts as possible. The response was enthusiastic- children particularly were excited. We have five other schools which are run under the trees- where a plantation drive was undertaken so that every child could plant a sapling.