Fruits of hard work

Garden Fair

The inauguration of the ‘Annual Garden Fair’ of The Association of People with Disability (APD) was held on Friday at the APD Horticulture unit at LIC Colony, Jeevanbhimanagar.

The exhibition-cum-sale was like a breath of fresh air and a complete contrast to the raucous roads of the City.

It was filled with an exotic variety of vegetable, medicinal, potted and herbaceous plants like table palms, petunias, aloe vera, curry leaves, oregano, cat mint and lemon grass.

Each plant in the green arena was grown and nurtured by 40 differently-abled people.

A ten-week extensive training programme was provided to them by the horticultural training unit.

Training programmes are given right from scratch as they include processes like soil fertility, plant propagation, manure, tilling and gardening.

The backyard of the horticulture unit was devoted as the main space for gardening where the trainees learnt planting in three stages — planting saplings in the initial stage, transferring them to gunny bags and then growing the sapling.

Suresh, a differently-abled person from Chikkamagaluru,  said that he enjoyed the entire process of planting a sapling.

“It takes around two months to grow plants with care and put them up in this exhibition. We used to spend our entire day, from 9 am to 5 pm, learning about plants,” while Manjunath added that he would like to put up another exhibition like this again.

Rakhi, a visitor, said that she visits the exhibition every year and enjoys seeing a vast array of greenery.

The chief guest for the event was Chris Rao, vice-president of Aerospace Systems, and the aim of the fair was to bring about a sense of teamwork, increase skills and propagate the value of environment.

Mohan, one of the volunteers, said that horticulture forms a very important part of the APD training programme and for the fair, every year, they manufacture their own seeds or avail them for different shops.

“We wish to integrate the trainees into the mainstream society by using nature as a transitional medium. Nature also serves as a therapy and research supports its value in building up their motor and cognitive skills. This fair helps to bring about confidence among the trainees.”

He also cited a lot of challenges that the organisation faced while putting up the fair such as funding, sprucing up the arena, getting people together to work in teams and availing right resources.

The Horticulture Training Unit was started in 1984 mainly to provide skilled programmes for people coming in from rural areas and for drop-outs.

The ‘Annual Garden Fair’ will be held till November 23.

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