In Mumbai: NGO brings smiles in their garden of equal opportunities
As 24-year-old Amjad (name changed) carefully trims a bonsai plant, he has a smile on his face. Like many others around him, he loves his simple and beautiful life after being burdened with the challenges of being differently-abled.
“I love spending time in the garden. The fragrance of these plants helps me forget I am not as capable as others. While helping them grow, I realise that I am not being judged,” said Amjad, who will get employed in a civic body-run garden next month.
For the past 15 years, a Chembur-based non-profit group, National Society For Equal Opportunities For The Handicapped (NASSEOH), India, has been helping differently-abled persons find jobs through their therapy of gardening, landscaping and nurturing over 80 different species of native plants and 27 species of exotic plants at their vegetable and butterfly garden.
The NGO has also helped create comprehensive rehabilitation opportunities, free of charge for them through education, vocational training, placements, sports and recreation.
The NGO has been using nature as therapy to help them learn skills such as taking care of plants through pruning, cutting and planting saplings on their four-acre campus.
“We observed that persons with disabilities, after spending their day at gardens, have undergone several behavioural changes, so much so that they were ready to overcome mental blocks and earn a living,” said Yogendra Shetty, director-general, NASSEOH adding that the beneficiaries are from the lowest strata of the society and are aged between 18 and 35.
He added that over the past 15 years, thousands had been rehabilitated by garnering different employment opportunities within Mumbai and other parts of the country. “More than 500 people have acquired green jobs through this programme that educates groups of 30 per day,” said Shetty.
Along with working at a one-acre vegetable and bonsai garden home, a butterfly garden half its size was constructed last month with the help of NGO United Way Mumbai and Kharghar-based Ladybird Environmental Consulting.
“Within large concrete urban spaces, setting up of these small gardens is easy as they do not need large trees. They attract butterflies that directly impact the micro-ecosystem,” said Prachi Nautiyal, director, United Way Mumbai.
Dr V Subhalaxmi, founder and director, Ladybird Environmental Consulting, said, “For the specially-abled, the low self-esteem or frustrations are eased through interaction with nature as it helps calm nerves, reduce blood pressure, anxiety through a ‘feel-good factor’ and introduce a positive feeling.”
Leading the way Group teaches differently-abled people gardening techniques on their four-acre campus as part of therapy.
Faridkot Modern Jail superintendent Joginder Pal was placed under suspension on Thursday, a day after a clip of Canada-based gangster Sukha Duneke's aide making a video call from the jail was widely shared on social media. Also read: Navjot Sidhu assigned role of clerk in Patiala jail On Wednesday, the police had booked accused Karan Sharma, who is lodged in Faridkot jail, under the Prisons Act after a mobile phone was recovered from him.
Eight days after the body of a 35-year-old man was found on the railway tracks near Jassian village, three men were arrested for Harwinder's murder on Thursday. Two of the suspects, identified as Sohan Kumar alias Baba and Akhilesh Pratap Singh alias Shubham alias Murda, were arrested by the CIA staff while Deepak alias Kayua was arrested by the Government Railway Police, Ludhiana. The family of the deceased was also called for identification.
Sir William James Moore came to Poona sometime in 1846. He headed the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and was the personal physician to the Queen and the Viceroy of India. He was entrusted by the government to produce a manual that would lay down the principle of sanitation and hygiene for the British troops in India. The troops stationed there were considered the healthiest. But Moore thought that they were overfed.
The Rajasthan government has granted environmental approval to 12 mines in Bansi Paharpur area in Bharatpur district from where pink sandstone is being supplied for the construction of Ram Temple in Ayodhya, officials said. According to officials, the state's mines department had e-auctioned 41 mining plots in Banshi Paharpur area in November-December 2021. The state mines department started preparing mining blocks in Banshi Paharpur and started preparations for their auction.
Punjab chief minister Bhagwant Mann on Thursday met British high commissioner to India Alex Ellis at Ellis' residence in Chandigarh to discuss on partnerships with the UK government in various sectors. The chief minister even flagged the need for direct flight between Punjab and UK. Punjab and the United Kingdom have agreed for further tie ups in agriculture, information technology, food processing, higher education, sports, public transport (electric buses) and biomass sectors.