Eco-Champs is one of the volunteer-driven programs in Bhumi. We in Eco-Champs believe in investing as much in our volunteers as in our children. Hence for their capacity building, we hold monthly training as well as organize field trips and workshops by external guests.
Recently a visit to Jaswant Singh’s garden in Mogappair, Chennai was organised for the volunteers, to understand the techniques and intricacies of creating a home garden. This experience was necessary for them as they will be setting up nutrition gardens in their assigned schools in January. Mr Singh’s garden is also famously known as Chennai’s own Eden garden because of the lush greenery and unique qualities of all the medicinal, vegetable and fruit plants harboured in a natural ecosystem of its own, complete with bees and birds to enable all-natural pollination and composters which also supply biogas.
Such exposures help volunteers to learn these things twice, once at the training session, and again when they teach the students. This also benefits them in implementing these ideas in their own homes and work environments.
The volunteers found the immersive visit informative as well as fun. In Niharika’s own words, a consistent Eco-Champs volunteer and a Botany Student, “It was an honor to meet the Indian father of Stevia ( Meethi Tulasi, which is claimed to be 250 times sweeter than regular sugar). I was delighted to see small birds flying around and merrily chirping in the fruit orchard. The garden visit was really enlightening, we learned about different plants and techniques on how to maintain a garden.”
One of our senior volunteers, Abhijath, expressed that “Visiting Mr. Jaswant Singh’s garden was a personally enriching experience! There is a lot we can learn in terms of urban green space management and eco-friendly practices and patience plays a vital role here.”
With newfound energy from the immersive visit, the volunteers are now all set to step into schools next month to impart the learning to the students and create spaces for students to grow their own food organically as well as practically understand the functioning of a natural ecosystem.
Wordsmith: Aakanksha Kumari (Changedriver)
Bhumi is one of India’s largest independent youth volunteer non-profit organisations. Bhumi, as a platform, enables over 20,000 volunteers across 10 cities in India for causes like education, environment, animals and community welfare. Sign up to donate blood and spread awareness: bhumi.ngo/volunteer