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NGO teaches children to grow healthy greens in 21 days

Communitree, a city-based NGO that creates man-made forests, has come up with a novel initiative to keep children engaged at home during the lockdown.

NGO teaches children to grow healthy greens in 21 days
Purvaja Durga and Charan Sai Y with their vendhaya keerai pots


They are teaching children how to grow chemical-free vendhaya keerai in 21 days on WhatsApp. Hafiz Khan from Communitree, says, “We are in the process of creating south India’s first largest man-made forest in Chennai. For this, we have been sensitising and engaging students with various volunteering, workshops and environmental discussions. During the summer season, we generally organise camps and take children for farm visits. But because of lockdown, children are not allowed to step outside. We all know that after a point, children easily get restless. While thinking of ways in which to keep children engaged, the idea of home farming came up. That’s how we started a project called ‘Become a little farmer’.”

More than 120 children have enrolled in this initiative. “We started the farming session with something simple and easy.  Children were asked to develop a mini vendhaya keerai farm in their house. Every day at 10.30 in the morning, children are asked to post the growth pictures of keerai they have started cultivating. Also, we organise daily sessions where we teach about qualities of a farmer,” he adds.

For Lavanya Hemasundar, mother of Purvaja Durga (4) and Charan Sai Y (8), Become a little farmer project has helped her to keep children busy at home. “I hail from a farming background and my children have always showed interest in farming activities. They are part of this online session organised by Communitree. Right from soaking the seeds to sprinkling the water, both my kids are actively participating in it. Generally, kids like to see plants growing immediately and vendhaya keerai takes only a few days to grow,” says Lavanya.

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