Husenara Bibi a 25-year-old woman, is a part of a Common Interest Group (CIG) called ‘Rajina’. She lives in a village called Khiri, which is part of the Bankura district of West Bengal.

Through her involvement with this group she learnt about the benefits of developing a Nutrition Garden. The idea of a nutritional garden appealed to her as it guaranteed diversity in diets, equitable food intake and help to overcome the perils of malnourishment.

Impressed with the idea, Husenara discussed the possibility of starting a nutrition garden with her husband, Mr. Dolan Chowdhury. Though initially Mr. Chowdhury did not seem convinced by the idea, as he felt that they lack the resources to start a nutritional garden, but changed his mind when a field officers from CARE India’s EnSIGN project tried to intervene and explain Mr Chowdhry that growing their own vegetables would help them minimise their spending and lead a healthy life.

They agreed to the plantation of a nutrition garden, but the land that they possessed did not seem fit for cultivation. At this point the Field Officers reassured them that such a garden can be grown very easily given the right kind of development tools, the quality of land had little influence on this. 

This finally convinced Husenara’s husband to start the nutrition garden. Within one month of the plantation, the garden yielded a variety of vegetables. The garden was planted in a such a way that all of the land was judiciously utilised and herbs were grown as a fence. This helped the family reduce their dependence on the market for vegetables and other nutritious food. They could now save that money and put it to better use.

Husenara’s success with the nutrition garden helped her and her family utilise their limited resources in a better way. This made Husenara an inspiration for the rest of the members of the CIG.

Motivated by the results attained by Husnera, Manjura Bibi also a member of the same Common Interest Group, is now thinking of planting her nutrition garden on a piece of land that her family owns.

Husenara claims that it gives immense pride to know that she is now an inspiration to the residents of the village. She also feels happy that she has meaningfully contributed to the lives of others in her village.

Arunangshu Shekhar Jana