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India: Gardening for nutrition in bastis (slums)

Lady of a basti family holding her baby and showing the pumpkin she grew with pride.

“The mission of Urban Health Resource Centre is to bring about sustainable improvements in the health conditions of the urban poor by influencing policies and programmes and empowering the community.”

From their Facebook Page
Urban Health Resource Centre


Slum families usually have very small houses. Therefore, they find it nearly impossible to grow enough vegetables to yield ample fresh produce to use for nutritious meals. Along with nutrition, growing plants provides confidence and a sense for making their immediate world more beautiful and natural.

Caring for plants gives a sense of well being in a place where it is most desperately needed With soft, attentive motivation and gentle perseverance, UHRC’s social facilitators encouraged slum families to grow vegetables that would thrive in their respective houses.

Seeds and manure were provided, and after 4 years of stimulation (during 2016-2017), over 350 families gained the happiness and confidence that comes from growing one’s own beans, bottle gourds, round gourds, little gourds (torayi), tomatoes, and brinjals (eggplant or aubergines) on small plants. They used small spaces in the front and behind their houses, in waste buckets of paints and other broken containers.

Seeds were sown in July 2016, and plants were carefully tended as they grew. During Sept. 2016 to Feb 2017, 350 families grew about 5250 Kg of vegetables. 35 families X 15 kg tomatoes(525 kg), 45 x 15 (675 kg) beans, 100 x 15 (1500 kg) bottle gourds and round gourds, 65 x15 (975 kg) brinjals(eggplant), 65 x15 (975 kg) ribbed gourds, 20 x15 (300 kg) small green peppers, and 20 x15 (300 kg) pumpkin.

Your support will help sustain such endeavours on most fronts of life’s struggle for over 425,000 slum, vulnerable population.

Read the complete article here.