Delhi gardener utilises Covid lockdown period, beautifies unused school land as kitchen garden


Express News Service

NEW DELHI: Premises of Sarvodaya Kanya Vidyalaya school under the Delhi government in Naraina, till last year, looked like any other school. But now, it is also home to a variety of flowers and vegetables, courtesy its maali (gardener) Jagdish.

Utilising the lockdown period, Jagdish has transformed a piece of unused land inside the school into a kitchen garden in the past nine months.

The kitchen garden which is spread across 4,500 square feet is now filled with seasonal vegetables like carrot, radish, spinach, green chillies, mustard and is also having a variety of flowers including rose. 

“I had just started working on planting flower saplings last year when it was announced that the schools will be closed down due to lockdown. I have a knack for horticulture, I love growing plants and vegetables, taking care of them. Last year, it was tough for all of us, very challenging indeed but I was determined to make the most out of it. And the best way to keep myself occupied and happy was horticulture,” Jagdish (50) stated.

Jagdish has been associated with the school for a long time now. When the lockdown was announced, he was also deputed in the Delhi government’s duty of distribution of ration.

“Yet I would manage to take out time and visit the school to look after the farming. I enjoy doing horticulture and no matter how much tired I used to be, I was determined to continue what I had started. Being attached to the school for a long I had decided to give it a fresh look. Initially I had a plan of only  frowing flowering plants but as the lockdown happened and and schools remained shut for  a long period of time, it gave me a chance to begin vegetation as well,” he said.

May be small in quantity but it feels good to see hard work showing results, asserted Jagdish.   

“Atleast I could contribute something good to the school in these few months,” said Jagdish, who has been a gardener for past 20 years.”

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