80 School Kids in 2 Maharashtra Villages Turn Organic Farmers #WATWB

As the school bells ring and hoards of students race out in a frenzy. The usual rush, however, is not to head home or to the play ground.

It is to reach the community centre to work in the farm, where organically grown produce flourishes under their care.

Whether it’s vibrant flowering plants like marigold, periwinkle and hibiscus, or vegetables and fruits like tomato and brinjal, school going children aged  6-14 are cultivating a healthy tomorrow in the Dhakale and Golivane villages of Kolhapur, Maharashtra.

The community hall serves as a learning centre for these children. They learn on their own with assistance by Insight Walk, a Maharashtra-based NGO. When faced with any problem or challenge, they check with elder members of the community and tap their wisdom. Through them the children have gathered a treasure trove of agricultural information!

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In the beginning, the kids were not being taken seriously by their parents. But, they kept working at it, under the guidance of the village elders and grandparents. The children soon rediscovered forgotten farming techniques from them, something their parents could never have imagined, Subodh Jain, the co-founder of Insight Walk shared with Better India.

The green revolution, that had begun in a small patch of land near the community centre in the Hatkanangale Taluka, has now spread far and wide, into larger fields as well as the homes of the villagers.

The children make their own bio-manure from household waste that nourishes the crops and yields great results with zero use of chemicals.

The success of the project is such that these vegetables and fruits are used in their mid-day meal at school.

A project like this needs to have a qualitative impact from various sides, and an integral part of it was to spread awareness. The arts team created a graphic book, painted walls with Warli illustrations and also stitched an 8 ft long fabric detailing their organic farming journey as well as performed street plays to spread awareness

The day isn’t very far, when all the villages in the region become fully organic, like before.

Thanks to the students and volunteers from Insight Walk, the community has evolved and empowered itself to bring about such a positive and fruitful change.

This post is part of the We Are the World Blogfest, a monthly blogging event created by Damyanti Biswas and Belinda Witzenhausen to showcase stories of hope and light. This month is the 24th #WATWB and  I’m helping out as a co-host, along with extraordinary bloggers : Dan Antion, Mary Giese, Simon Falk and Damyanti Biswas. —please hop over to check out their WATWB posts as well as from other WATWB participants for a dose of feel-good to last you a whole month. You’ll be happy you did!

Click HERE to check out the intention and rules of the blogfest and feel free to sign up at any time. You are always welcome!