Amrita School of Arts and Sciences, Kochi celebrated the Harvest Festival on January 17, 2017, as part of their Amrita Values Programme (AVP) and Student Empowerment for Environmental Development (SEED). The event was formally inaugurated by Sri. P. K. Jayachandran, Bureau Chief, Mathrubhumi, and graced by Pujaneeya Swami Purnamritananda Puri, General Secretary, Mata Amritanandamayi Math. Dr. U.Krishnakumar, Director, Amrita School of Arts and Sciences, Kochi, delivered the felicitation speech.
The harvest was started under the supervision of Dr. Smitha, Scientist, ICAR Krishi Vijnana Kendra (KVK). The bountiful harvest included more than 200 kg ginger and 100 kg turmeric, in addition to a lot of bananas (Robusta) and many vegetables. The SEED volunteers distributed free chilly saplings and varieties of vegetable seeds to the college students. So far students have planted and cared for more than a dozen different vegetables in hundreds of grow bags on the field and on the terrace. For the first time, the SEED volunteers have also created a Biodiversity Register with more than 100 pages of data.
Vismaya Chandran, a student of B.Sc. Visual Media relates her experience "It is pleasing to see the different stages of growth of the saplings I planted. I watered and nurtured these plants. I feel proud that through this small step, I am being a part of the sustainable development efforts of our campus."
It is also worth noting that the campus has won the SEED District Level Commendation Award for organic farming and environmental initiatives consecutively for the years 2014, 2015 and 2016. Organic gardening is profitable and the organic produce from the gardens earned Rs.75,000 during the last year. This organic gardening effort on the campus has not only resulted a beautiful and rich garden and an abundance of organic produce, but it has also brought in a culture of sustainability among the student and the campus community.