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| Last Updated:23/05/2019

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Government launches School Nursery Scheme to increase green cover; 10,000 schools will be covered in next three years

NEW DELHI: Seeking to bring students closer to nature and inculcate in them a sense of urgency to protect environment, the Union environment and forests ministry on Monday launched the 'School Nursery Yojana' which would involve children in raising saplings in nurseries created inside their school campuses.

Ten thousands schools will be covered across the country under the scheme in next three years. The selected schools will receive grant of Rs 25,000 in the first year and Rs 10,000 per year for the subsequent two years.

Under the scheme, students will sow seeds and grow saplings in the school nursery as part of practical exercise for Biology classes or as their extra-curricular activities.

The students will also carry out tree census in their school and the locality under this Yojana. One thousand schools will be covered under this scheme in the first year of its launch.

"It will be expanded to cover around 5,000 schools next year and to about 10, 000 schools in the third year', said the Union environment, forests and climate change minister Prakash Javadekar.

Addressing the students at the function to launch the scheme here at Talkatora Stadium, Javadekar said that there can be no better combination than that of students and trees.

"The School Nursery Yojana will enable schools to distribute saplings to students to plant in their homes and surrounding areas and create an army of young 'green warriors'. Through the Yojana, the ministry will support schools to provide all the essential facilities for raising of saplings for use of students and schools", said the minister.

A school Nursery will have a small space of a minimum of 100 sq meter for preparing beds for raising saplings and for nursery-related activities, including preparing, planting a mixture of good earth, soil and manure, filling earthen pots and storage of seeds.

Each School Nursery is expected to create a 1,000 saplings every year. The schools will be encouraged to take up composting, rain water harvesting and water recycling to inculcate best practices in young minds under this scheme.

Urging every student to plant a tree each, Javadekar said every school must earmark space to prepare a small nursery where the saplings could be planted.

He urged students to enjoy working with soil and seeds and also carrying a sapling for planting in their home, or neighborhood and nurture it.

The minister also presented a sapling and a packet of seeds to students from each school for planting.

Over 2,500 students from more than 60 participating schools received saplings of their choice from a wide range of species including medicinal plants at the occasion of the launch of the Yojana. Around 5, 000 saplings were distributed to school students on the occasion.

Addressing the gathering, environment and forest minister of Delhi, Asim Ahmed Khan said life can be sustained only through trees and we can control pollution only through trees.