| Organic farming in progress at Nazareth Hospital in Mokama. Picture by Nagendra Kumar Singh |
Tarumitra has tied up with Nazareth Hospital in Mokama for environment conservation through organic farming.
Members of the non-government organisation (NGO) have undertaken a project of organic farming at the hospital, around 100km east of Patna. The hospital, run by a Christian missionary organisation, has around 35 acres of empty land. At present, Tarumitra has started organic farming on one acre.
The NGO has been working for environment conservation in and around Patna for quite a few years now. So, the hospital contacted it to start organic farming on the campus so that the patients could be served food made of the produce.
Sources said herbal farming would be taken up on the remaining 34 acres. Sister Latika, the administrator of Nazareth Hospital, said the health hub plans to develop herbal medicines from the plants.
Father Robert Athickal, the founder and director of Tarumitra, said: “In May, we planted a special kind of grass called ghaicha that helps fix the nitrogen level in the soil on around one acre of the hospital. Soon, we will sow bouna mansuri, a rare variety of rice. In another acre, we have planted some herbal plants. We have decided to plant around 75 types of herbal saplings, including Sita-Ashok, ashwagandha, aloe vera and lemon grass.”
Some Tarumitra members are present at the site to plant the saplings while others are visiting Mokama off and on to oversee the project.
Sister Latika said: “Through this project, we want to send a message to the people that they should also undertake organic farming.”
Athickal said: “Nazareth Hospital has decided to serve organic food to its patients. The hospital is emotionally connected to the people, as a majority of them have been born there. It is now working on new initiatives to become more people-friendly. The hospital would start herbal treatment soon. Father Melomoo, an ayurvedic doctor at Nazareth, would provide herbal treatment at the hospital. He has the expertise to treat chronic diseases with herbal medicines. Organic farming is another people-friendly initiative of this hospital. The organic food would help the patients stay fit.”
Sister Latika agreed. “Now, we mostly have pesticide-laced food, which is very harmful for us. Here at the Nazareth Hospital, we plan to provide holistic treatment to our patients via organic and herbal methods. Tarumitra would provide the herbal saplings.”
This isn’t the first place where Tarumitra has taken up organic farming apart from its own campus.
“At Tarumitra, we farm organic products on 10 acres of land. In Kerala, too, we had taken up an organic farming project on around 22 acres. Nazareth Hospital is although our biggest project yet.”