Meet Shikha Lubna, a student of Class 6 in the Bathery Assumption AUP School in Ambalavayal, a village in Wayanad district in Kerala. Popular for her green thumb, she has been practising organic farming in her own courtyard since she was in Class 1.
The 11-year-old grows over 30-odd types of fruits including fig, pulasan, durian, baraba, gooseberry, custard apple and sapota and most vegetables like Chinese cauliflower, bajji chilli, carrot, beetroot, cabbage, green chilli etc.
She also grows Palak spinach from Gulf, a unique vegetable, which is predominantly used to flavour chicken curry.
Even though Shikha, like most kids her age, spends a major part of her day at school, she dedicates a good amount of time towards her passion—she farms in the morning, evening and even on holidays.
While most of her produce suffices for the household, the young girl makes it a point to distribute any excess produce among her neighbours.
Strictly sticking to the natural method of farming, she tends her garden with bio manure made of cow dung, goat manure, coconut husk and wood shavings. To keep pests at bay, she uses red pepper solution and garlic solution.
She also makes an effort to reuse plastic bottles, raincoats, tyres etc., for farming.
Shikha dreams of completing her post-graduate degree in agriculture and becoming a world-famous agriculturist and social reformer when she grows up.
A part of the young girl’s vision to pursue a career in agriculture is also due to the relentless support her parents give her. Her father, Abdul Basheer, who owns a bakery, and mother, Nasriya have never been limiting factors in Shikha’s road to discovering her love for natural farming. Instead, they have contributed to boosting the girl’s passion for agriculture.
We hope youngsters like Shikha continue to inspire youngsters to take up natural farming and parents take a cue from Abdul and Nasriya and support their children in all their endeavours!
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