Key messages: Home vegetable gardening promoted by provision of seeds is helping families use tomatoes, brinjals, pumpkins, beans growing in their small slum houses. In 2020 the distribution of seeds was increased from 900 (in 2019) to 1200 families. Since April 2020, during COVID19, sharing of surplus harvest with neighbours is helping over 70000 slum dwellers surmount food insecurity in the #hardtimes.
UHRC has been promoting vegetable gardening since past five years in slum households in Indore. Seeds are provided by UHRC social facilitators. Facilitators motivate families to tend plants as they grow. Basti (slum) families grew beans, bottle gourds, round gourds, sponge gourds, tomatoes, brinjals, small green peppers, and pumpkins in small spaces and broken buckets. Creepers also helped surmount space constraint. They were motivated, overcome space constraints of small slum houses and enhanced confidence to nurture household vegetable gardens. Diffusion of innovation happened with #earlyadopter families encouraging other families in a demonstration of collective wisdom resulting in efforts of broader benefit.
Bast (slum) families were practicing vegetable gardening were able to avail benefits of their produce during COVID-19 which ravaged livelihoods and savings of many slum dwellers. In 2019 to 2020, 900 families grew 60000 kilogram vegetables. Families were able to cook vegetables which they grew such as bottle guard, tomatoes, cauliflower, brinjals etc. This approach served as lifeline helping many families tide through the acute crisis during the May-July 2020 lockdown and continues to help many families who as they wade through uncertain livelihoods and exhausted savings. 1100 families are sharing their produce with neighbors setting examples of #solidaritynetworks, promoting a sense of psychological well-being and accomplishment crucial to the well-being of urban vulnerable population. During the COVID-19 challenging times in 2020-21, vegetable gardening is helping about 70,000 disadvantaged families surmount nutrition and food insecurity in the hard times.
During 2020, UHRC has increased the distribution of seeds from 900 (in 2019) to 1200 families in 2020.
Home vegetable gardening in bastis (slums) demonstrates an approach of local promoting and inclusive urbanization. Home gardening, a constituent of has the potential to foster crucial elements of healthier, more sustainable cities. This is helping during #COVID-19, and can be helpful in non-COVID times as well. Growing vegetables in small basti (slum) houses is a strategy towards SDG11 (Sustainable Cities and Communities), SDG2 (tackle undernutrition and hunger)
Despite each home garden being small, these have the potential to mitigate carbon emissions a key #climatechange challenge affecting the world. Vegetable plants release oxygen, sequester carbon in the soil, and reduce atmospheric carbon. They also contribute to the cooling effect in urban spaces.
Home-grown vegetables save valuable family income through the provision of vegetables for the family’s consumption. Growing vegetables despite small spaces and sharing with neighbors promote a sense of psychological well-being, accomplishment, and enhances social cooperation all crucial to the well-being of vulnerable city populations. This strategy of motivating slum families has the potential of replication or adaptation in cities of India and other LMICs.