Delhi throngs Mughal Gardens exhibition | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Delhi throngs Mughal Gardens exhibition

The sprawling Mughal Gardens at the Rashtrapati Bhawan have more to offer visitors than just multi-hued flowers in full bloom.

delhi Updated: Feb 26, 2011 01:01 IST
Nivedita Khandekar

The sprawling Mughal Gardens at the Rashtrapati Bhawan have more to offer visitors than just multi-hued flowers in full bloom.

Open for public till mid-March, the colourful garden also has a stall set up by Self-help Groups, selling organic compost and vermi-compost.

This manure nurtures not just the 15 acres of the Mughal Gardens but also the remaining green acres of the high-profile premises. About 35 women living in the Rashtrapati Bhawan premises — who comprise the Self Help Groups (SHGs) —have got employment through this initiative, started in July 2008.

Originally begun with just 10 women, the members of the SHGs are wives and daughters of Group-D employees of the President's Estate premises.

The SHGs are part of the Roshni project for energy conservation, initiated by President Pratibha Patil. The idea was to utilise their resources fruitfully — not just to supplement their family income but also to boost their self-confidence.
"I have seen myself change. Unlike earlier, I can go anywhere now," said Savita Devi, 40, a mother of three.
The women devote three to four hours to the work daily and between themselves work through five SHGs to produce vermi-compost, organic compost, kitchen masala, paper products like envelopes and operate a beauty parlour.
"At first, I was hesitant about working with garbage or even kitchen waste. But now that we have gloves and masks, I’m okay with it. The monthly income is a huge incentive," said Sumitra Ajay Kumar, 28.
Hamsa Rai Kohli, consultant to the SHGs, said, "Convincing and roping in these women was the hardest part. But looking at their progress, others, too, are keen to join."
The stall, put up for the first time, is a hit with visitors.
Around 400 kg of vermin-compost and 300-odd kg of organic compost has already been sold.
“We can think of selling these products to outside buyers. The stall at the Mughal Gardens has given us the confidence that the products can be popular," Archana Dutta, officer on special duty (communications), Rashtrapati Bhawan.