Jammu: To equip students with vocational knowledge and foster in them a sense of self reliance, first of its kind initiative – ‘Organic Mushroom Cultivation: An Eco-friendly Entrepreneurship’ was today launched here at Government Higher Secondary School Paloura by the Directorate of School Education Jammu.
The initiative, aimed at creating employment opportunities, was inaugurated by the Director School Education Jammu, Anuradha Gupta. She said that the Directorate keeps innovating and reinventing itself for the interest of the students and Organic Mushroom Cultivation was one such step towards empowering students and rural communities with entrepreneurial skills while inculcating in them a sense of responsibility towards the environment through waste recycling techniques.
At the inaugural function, a workshop was conducted by Dr. S.P. Pourush Shrikhandia, (Head Coordination Cell) in which he demonstrated the process of cultivating mushrooms organically without the use of any chemicals, and made the students and other stakeholders ware about the nutritional and medicinal benefits of mushrooms.
Laying emphasis on the economic aspect, Dr. Pourush said that the initiative could augment family income, specifically in rural areas, as mushrooms could be cultivated throughout the year, in summer as well as winter season. ” It is a low input- high output option as the entire process of cultivation requires only organic waste, making it a good cash crop option”, he added.
Anuradha Gupta said that it was an opportunity to ‘earn while you learn’ for the students and after passing out from the school they can build on the knowledge and use the experience thus gained to achieve greater heights in life.
She asked Chief Education Officers to coordinate with the Home Sciences students and teachers of the Directorate to come up with different kind of children friendly recipes so that the cultivated mushrooms can be used to augment the nutritional value of the food being provided to the students under Mid Day Meal scheme.
Chief Education Officer Jammu, Vijay Sharma informed the stakeholders that during the 2nd phase of the initiative, DSEJ will expand the project by involving the local community to create economic self sufficiency amongst the students, their families and the society in general.
Others present on the occasion were Mamta Sharma, Deputy Director Planning, DSEJ; Shveta Sharma, Member Coordination Cell DSEJ; Dr. Alka Sharma, Member Cultural Cell DSEJ, while Dr. Jagdish Raj Panotra, Head, Monitoring Cell presented the welcome address, Principal GHSS Paloura, Sunita Chadda delivered the formal vote of thanks and Gourav Bali provided the technical support.