When you are starting a work, think whether it bring happiness in the face of poor.
******* Mahatma Gandhi
Back Ground: In olden days every household use to grow vegetable in their backyard. Due to urbanization, the situation has been changed a lot. Even though there is ample choice to grow the vegetable plants, people do not prefer to grow vegetables for various reasons.
The spiraling price rise of vegetable due to extended rains in the December, 2010 has made the some of the vegetables Rupees 50 per kilogram. It was expected that it would reach 80 Rupees per kilogram during the summer. It would increase the poverty in terms of nutritional intake, as every urban person has to take 2100 kilo calories per a day.
During the oral inquiry in meetings, Self Help Group members in November, 2009, 10% to 20% use to answer that they are taking 2 curries in a day in meals. In January, 2011 the situation is entirely different and middle class has also shifted to single curry in a day. Already 47% Indians are suffering from the Anemia, though the poverty stood at about 30%.If the same situation of low vegetable intake continues, the Anemia rate goes up. It would raise all the deceases and particularly I.M.R and M.M.R.
For the sustainable towns, the production from that town should be 25%, from surrounding areas 50% and 25% shall be imported from long distances. But the situation in most of the urban areas including the Suryapet is altogether different. Not even 10% is produced in the town, only 25% comes from surrounding areas, remaining has to be imported from much distance. This is causing heavy transportation charges and many mediators. Thus, it is cause of spiraling prices and pollution.
Suryapet municipality has planted about 60,000 plants in last 14 months, including 13000 nutritional plants and 15,000 medicinal plants.
After rainy season, Suryapet Municipality has to take up medicinal plants. In continuation to the efforts and to make the town greener, it is to take up Kitchen garden, to make it an integrated activity and for the benefit of the town people.
Choosing the vegetables:
The meeting of horticulture officer, seed distributor and core staff is convened to select the vegetables to be propagated. Basing on the advantages of process, yield, nutritional value, suitability, etc., the following is chosen:
The climbers use to give more yields. Hence, 3) climbers namely gourd, bitter gourd, and beera are chosen. The gourd has ability to decrease the obesity by acting on the fat and by decreasing the hunger. The calorific value of the vegetable is also less.
The bitter gourd has many medicinal values including the prevention and mitigation of diabetes.The beera has very good
In order to increase Iron content amongst the poor one leafy vegetable by name (thota koora in telugu) is selected.
There is no need of much pain in sowing or we need much space, we can directly plants the seeds and tie a wire or rope to reach the climbers on to the top of their house. The requirement of space to propagate the climbers is only 3 sq. yds only.
Sustainability of Bitter gourd is for about one year and thota koora is for more than 2 years.The hybrid variety of seeds is chosen and average yield starting period is 6 weeks.
Meeting of SLF leaders are convened and discussed in elaborate about nutritional deficiency and spiraling price rise. The only remedy is only kitchen gardens. It was also informed that Govt. or municipality would be providing seed kits at 50 % subsidy.
Consequently, the meeting of Resource persons is also convened to motivate them to work as anchor persons. All the concepts are elucidated. It was ensured that some how the seed kits would be made available at 10/- only
Subsequently, the joint meeting of staff and seed distributors is convened. The price of seed kit is fixed at 20/- and it shall be supplied to the poor at 10/- either by collecting the subsidy from the philanthropists or drawing it from the Govt. 5 Grs. Each of 4 varieties of seeds would be provided and one variety of leafy vegetable would be 50 Grs. The staff is imparted the concept and importance of Kitchen gardens to the poor. It was also requested to make the initiative success.The total initial requirement is fixed at 5,000 kits. The total amount required for seed kits is Rs. 50,000/-
To enhance, more subsidies to people, philanthropic persons, NGOs, unions are also invited and requested for their contribution in men and material for implementation and supervision. Municipality has also resolved to supply the Vermi compost at 50% subsidy to these vegetable growers.
There is presence of ward officers in Suryapet municipality. The responsibility of heading the task would be given to these officers, starting from motivating to take up the kitchen gardens to disbursement of seeds and bio-fertilizer. The resource person is the real head to head the project. She motivates the poor SHG Women and elucidates the advantages of the kitchen gardens to take it up.She also monitors the process of rearing.
The total town and activity areas would be divided in to 50 clusters consisting of 100 houses for the administrative convenience. The responsibility is given to concerned person for all the activities.
Advantage of Kitchen Gardens:
1. Improves the income and reduce the poverty of poor house holds.
2. Fresh and nutritious food is available and improves health. It also reduces the load on the fridges, as there is no need of storing the vegetables.
3. Climbers provide cool atmosphere in the house and reduces energy charges.
4. If every body takes up vegetable plantation, more food is produced and food is assured making it easily available and cheaper.
5. It also contributes to curtailing the Global Warming.
6. Fresh air would be available in surroundings.
7. Leafy vegetables can solve the problem of anemia and other nutritional problems.
8. Water harvesting use to take place and all the advantages of Greenery also realize with it.
9. Kitchen Gardens have a greater say in increasing per-capita income, average life expectancy. It decreases Infant Mortality, Mother Mortality Rate and improves health indices.
10. Other poor people can be provided food from excessive produce and it paves way for dependent life, which gives immense pleasure.
11. Need not go out side to buy the vegetables and it saves the valuable time and fuel.
.Achieving Millennium Development Goals
• Reduce the poverty and hunger of poor house holds.
• Improves the income and reduce the ill health, there by contribute for the primary education of poor people.
• As the women under the network of SHGs grow the kitchen gardens and they have greater say in the home and they are empowered.
• As the availability of nutritious food increases to women and children, the IMR and MMR reduce.
• Similar with maternal health.
• As the nutrition increases, the immunity power also increases.