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Delhi-based SowGood Foundation fosters a green thumb

SowGood Foundation (SGF) - a not-for-profit based in Ghitorni - has taken it upon themselves to educate them of nature's bounty.

Published: 17th October 2021 11:35 AM  |   Last Updated: 17th October 2021 11:35 AM   |  A+A-

Young children harvesting vegetables from the SowGood farm in Ghitorni

Young children harvesting vegetables from the SowGood farm in Ghitorni. (Photo| EPS)

Express News Service

The mud squishes under your feet as you walk barefoot among the furrows, sprinkling seeds. Lush green vegetables beckon you to watch them grow. With the sun as your witness, you stand after a hard day's work wondering about the beauty you nurtured to life with your own hands.

Since the younger generation has forgetten what it is to create green spaces, SowGood Foundation (SGF) - a not-for-profit based in Ghitorni - has taken it upon themselves to educate them of nature's bounty.

Founded by Pragati Chaswal in 2017, SGF takes the responsibility of connecting children with nature. Although the venture began as Chaswal's attempt to understand food and move toward a sustainable lifestyle, over time, this initiative took a turn, with her educating the urban young generation.

"Most children don’t know where their food comes from or how much time and effort it takes to grow them. This is why they disrespect food and waste it," says Chaswal.

Not child's play

Chaswal's foundation works with private and government schools for a period of three years to create a curriculum that allows children, of classes three to five, to create farms and waste-segregation units in schools.

Gulmohar Park-based Preeti Ramaswami, whose 13-year-old daughter Lila has been affiliated with SGF for five years, says, "The programme is participatory, empathetic, and immersive." Along with this, SGF also has a six-month long programme at SowGood Farm in Anand Gram, Ghitorni.  

Each child who has enrolled is given a mini khet [farm], which they manage on their own. From composting, sowing, preparing the soil, and deciding what to grow, all the planning is done by the mini farmer of the mini khet. They also organise tree walks, bird-watching workshops, and art workshops on the patterns of nature. 

With a core team of five other than Chaswal, SGF also has an Environment Youth Programme for children aged between 13 and 18, who volunteer with the organisation for a regular stipend. The foundation does not charge government schools for their programme as the entire curriculum is driven by crowd-funding initiatives. 

Embracing nature

The pandemic wasn't able to stop SGF’s zeal, as they created an online curriculum where students were given Do-It-Yourself (DIY) activities with items available in homes. "We used microgreens to teach the plant life cycle and how to sow seeds. We even taught them to make bio-pesticides out of chilli and garlic," says Chaswal.

With such initiatives, SGF has made an impact on young children. "My sons have been very engaged in the programme, and now they see plants and identify them. They have even reduced the use of plastic and electricity after joining SGF," boasts Jasmeet Walia (Sarvodaya Enclave), mother to Arav and Rohan. 



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