By S.Annamalai | July 6, 2015
Madurai youth’s aim to green the city branches off into a movement to promote organic food
An initiative launched by Madurai youth to green the ancient city has now branched off into a movement to promote organic food. Maram Madurai and Organic Good, the twin efforts of a youth brigade, primarily made up of students, have seamlessly merged to become complementary. They are poised to change the way Madurai eats and treats its environment.
S. Alex Pandian, a final-year M.Sc. (Computer Science) student of Madurai Kamaraj University, can be seen leading a team of youngsters in bringing 15 acres of land at Kattamankottai, a village 12 km from Madurai, back to life. Wielding the farm implements along with him are K. Naveen, final-year M.Sc. (E-Media Communication) student of MKU; M. Madhan of Kadamalaikundu; K. Nagore Meeran of Bank Colony; and Vijayan Ayyasamy of Thumbaipatti. More students join them every day. All of them volunteer to work in the farm, which is being prepared to supply organic greens and vegetables to Madurai. The eldest among them is 34.
Third in a row
Kattamankottai farm is the third in a row being developed for organic farming by a bunch of enthusiastic youngsters, after T. Kunnathur and Sengulam. Two more farms are to be turned the organic way soon.
N. T. Prasanth Kumar, who gave up a lucrative overseas job as an expert in business intelligence, started Maram Madurai to restore the city’s green cover by planting traditional and non-traditional species. Its activities included tree surveys and procuring quality saplings, besides encouraging residents’ associations to nurture trees in 2013-14. This year, a series of organic food products, bearing the brand ‘Organic Good,’ is being marketed to primarily sustain the environment-friendly activities, explains Mr. Prasanth. The organisation does not get funds from any outside agency and is trying to sustain on its own.
At present, its only patron is the leading textile showroom, Pothy’s. Its Managing Director S. Murugesan funds its activities, besides providing space in his showrooms to showcase organic products, says Mr. Prasanth.
Organic Good has introduced a card system to maintain monthly supply of rice, millets and pulses; weekly supply of vegetables; and daily supply of greens to consumers. The card is in limited use now and it will be widely used once the production picks up. Efforts are on to form a network of nodal points at important locations such as Surya Nagar, K. K. Nagar and Palanganatham from where consumers can pick up organic food. Mr. Prasanth is confident of supplying organic food to about 2,000 households by September. Like Maram Madurai, which has taken roots elsewhere as Maram Paramakudi, Maram Perambalur, Maram Coimbatore and Maram Dharmapuri, Organic Good also hopes to expand its wings all over the State in the coming months.
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