The main objective of the workshop was to get young people, residents, gardeners and the general public connecting and learning about practising chemical and toxic free gardening using creative methods in their homes and community spaces within the urban context.
The workshop was designed using a participatory approach with audio visual aids, supported by inputs, by experts and facilitators.
The event experienced a footfall of 60 people on a daily basis, with 20 participants for the workshop.
The workshop was inaugurated by Dr A Mukherjee, President KMS and Advisor (Shristi). He touched upon the efforts put in by him as an individual as well as by the management for transforming an infertile piece of land to its present lush green state. The community in CR Park and local administration have played a significant role in the transformation of the space.
The workshop began with the organizers introducing their organization and their past activities. Dr (Mrs) Jain, a naturopath, introduced the concept of home vegetables and medicinal plants, which act as detoxifying agents. It was followed by a practical demonstration session by Ritu Mathur. Ritu went into the details of how organic food can be produced. She explained ways in which nutritious soil can be prepared in natural ways, and she also explained the process of how symbiotic species can be grown together, and how plants can be grown according to season and soil.
The next session involved a guided tour of the decentralized waste management system at the premises by Sh Parveen of IYCN, who described the compost process using bio-mechanized means.
The proceedings of the day were summarized by Rishabh Khanna, lead facilitator of the event.
The post lunch session on the second day saw renowned activist and founder of Navdanya, Dr Vandana Shiva, speak and elaborate on the history of GM (genetically modified) seeds , the anti-GMO ( Genetically modified organisims) movement in India and the role different agencies played till date. She outlined the ill effects of GM crops and stressed the need to adopt organic locally available seeds. She advocated the idea of creating seed banks in different locations in the country to counter the imports of foreign seeds.
The workshop was then concluded with a vote of thanks by Rishabh Khanna and Pinaki Dasgupta.
The major outcomes of the workshop were as follows:
1) Establishment of a community seed bank in CR Park, so that people are able to get organic seeds at a nominal prices
2) To continue to hold similar workshops in other places
3) Making organic and natural ways of growing food mainstream
4) Continue to reach to more people and stakeholders and build trust within the community about organic ways of growing food
5) To develop training on bio control for farmers in India.