Fangchu was amazed to know that without plants, no life can exist on the planet! When he questioned his favourite teacher, Mrs. Yadav, on how plants support life, she was pleased to answer that plants purify the air by breathing in carbon dioxide and exhaling pure oxygen. They also purify the soil and even water. Apart from purifying Nature, plants also provide food to millions of different species including us, human beings, which makes us strong and helps us grow.
Fangchu’s excitement knew no bounds. His mind was throbbing with ideas, that he was eager to get back home and discuss with Ma all that he learnt on plants. Once school was over, he quickly rode his cycle back home. Tweego’s loud bark greeted him as he rushed through the gate and picked up his little sister, Kia. On the dining table, his Ma listened patiently to his teachings at school while Fangchu gulped his milk.
“Ma, Kia, Mrs. Yadav taught us about plants today and the wonderful things they do. Could we head to our garden as I wish to tell you all that we were taught today?”
Ma, Kia and Tweego followed Fangchu as he took them to the Rose plant that he had planted over two weeks ago. The plant had grown atleast a foot taller and was swaying in the breeze.
Kia exclaimed, “Bhaiya, the rose plant looks so fresh. Did it just wake up from its sleep?”
Ma replied, “No Kia. Plants look fresh when you take good care of them. Because you have been watering the plant regularly, they look happy and content with your love.”
Fangchu added, “Kia, when you water the plant, the roots absorbs the nutrients in the soil and is taken to the leaves through the stem. The stem is like our water pipes. It carries water and nutrients from the roots to the soil. Haina Ma?”
“Yes beta. Kia, Fangchu do you know what the leaves do and why there are so many leaves and only few stems?”
Both Fangchu and Kia looked at each other and shook their heads. Tweego barked. Ma looked at Tweego with a huge smile and said, “You surprise me again my enlightened dog! Kids, the purpose of leaves is to ‘harvest’ sunlight. It’s only when the sun shines, these leaves are able to make food. They absorb Carbon Dioxide from tiny openings in the underside of the leaf and create glucose or food. This process is also known as photosynthesis. “
Fangchu interrupted, “Ma, Mrs. Yadav mentioned that during this process of photosynthesis, plants release oxygen and water. It is this oxygen that sustains life on the planet.”
Kia, clapped with large open eyes. She knew her brother was right. Fangchu smiled and held her hand. He pointed his fingers to the leaves of the Rose plant and said, “Kia, Ma. Because they create food and purify the air, there are more leaves than stems. And the plant grows leaves in a certain sequence so that it can get maximum sunlight. Ma, what happens to the water though? I can’t see it?”
Tweego barked and rushed to the corner of the garden where some saplings were kept. Fangchu looked puzzled when Tweego bought a packet containing a sapling in his mouth and dropped it near Ma’s feet.
Ma patted Tweego and asked Fangchu to quickly get an empty pot with some soil in it. “Kia beta, get me a small transparent polythene bag from the kitchen.” Kia toddled to the kitchen as she followed Tweego trying to catch his wagging tail. “Why does his Tail dance?” thought Kia.
Fangchu, Kia and Tweego returned with the various items. Ma, quickly put the sapling in the pot and covered it with soil. She now covered the pot with the polythene bag and said, “Fangchu, this will answer your question. Come back after 15 minutes and look at the bag. Tell me what you see.”