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Introduction:
Organization Name: LAHARI
Established: 2010
Founder: Mrs. Radhika
Operation: Free Home for homeless and helpless elders on streets and (free)Hostel for under-privileged children
Located: Beside Nalla Narsimha Reddy Engineering college, Korremula road (near Narapalli village), Ghatkesar mandal. ~ 15 km from Bod Uppal, Hyderabad.
Premises: Initially started in a rental premises at Bod-Uppal, Hyderabad, then after changing few houses(4), now(Jan 2014) in their own building.
How we knew LAHARI: Was suggested by Sundeep(sunny), a member of YUVA SENA Ngo.


Journey:
We met Lahari for the first time on Aug 25 2014 and could see they were absolutely out of shape / just began to make it. While they need many, we felt like to help them in better organizing and basic food support. Ofcourse to help them in organizing, we need time to understand their operations and their intentions behind, so the plan was to start with food support and while doing it we have to the chance to interact and understand them better.

Sep 13 2014: RICE Bucket Challenge

Raised and delivered in Material: 215kg of rice, 10Kg Cooking Oil, 16kg Dal, 20kg Wheat flour, 2kg Salt and 2kg Sugar. Mrs. Radhika was happy to receive this support
Click here for photos and event summary(album description)

Though we were happy to deliver this kind of support and now because we are knowing home’s condition better, we felt like to change our aproach. Leeave this kind and step in to the other.
What’s Home condition: Struggling for basic 3 times meal.
Why to leave the present kind: Usually when we think to contribute in material, most of us(including us) think on giving groceries/pulses/grains, so home has chances to get this support from someone else too. (heard few other well-wishers did such contributions before to them, though not regularly)
Then What to do: Providing them with the other, i.e, Vegetables!! No meal is complete with just rice / plain dal daily / not good just to have pickle throughout (as they are unable to afford veggies). Indeed this idea stuck us after seeing mal-nutrition children and aged at this home.
We understood Veggies are tough, not just to think but even to give, as we can’t dump it to a month’s need at a time. At the same time, as we always intend and prefer to make needy independent, we came up with this entirely new(for us) thought:
Developing a Kitchen garden for home
This has come only after seeing the vacant land around and enough availability of ground water

Oct 12 2014: Met home, to share our idea and see for possibilities
Mrs. Radhika, was fine with the idea.
After discussing on where can we develop the kitchen garden, we ended up in pointing to the vacant plot just beside the home as it has an advantage of having the compound wall already. Mrs. Radhika said she will get back to us after asking permission from the land owners on the same, until they use/want it back.
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Jan 2015: Received Radhika’s call that the plot owner is fine with home operating kitchen garden until they need it back. So it’s completely YES to the kitchen garden.

We(SCF) all were excited hearing the news.
But none of us really knew farming, so from then we started to see who could guide us in establishing it. Tried connecting with few contacts we knew, but couldn’t make it up. They were ready to help but few couldn’t give time as they were already busy and couldn’t give time to visit home and few just didn’t work out. Took almost 5 months to find the right person: Mr. Nageshwara Rao
Nageshwara Rao, is working as apartment watchman now, but a farmer before and out of his zeal and love towards agriculture, still continues to practice and does vegetable plantations in his near by place.

June 13 2015: Kitchen Garden Site visit with Mr. Nageshwara Rao
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After seeing the site, here was the plan…
As there lot of unwanted stuff in the site already, we have to clean them off and then sow the seeds on the day one(BIG DAY), then after in the follow up visits we will be enhancing and organizing the plantation. Whole process started with buying seeds and baby plants and it was all set for the BIG DAY. We established Kitchen garden on July 11 2015.




LAHARI’s Kitchen garden was made with:
Amaranthus (Thotakura)
Sorrel Leaves (Gongura)
Spinach (Palakura)
Brinjal (Vankaya)
Okra (Bendakaya)
Beans
Tomato
Cowpeas (Bobbarlu)
Bottle gourd (Sorakaya)
Ridge gourd (Beerakaya)
Broad Beans(Chukkudikaya)
Lemon (Nimmakaya)
Guava(Jamakaya)
Pomegranate (Danimma Kaya)
Curry Leaves (Karivepaku)

Besides vacant plot we developed small area with fencing in front of home for fruits plantation.

Though Mr. Nageshwara Rao did to his best to make the land fertile, but yet few plants didn’t turn up and few were slow growing and few were great. All the efforts kept this time will make the land more fertile and be even more helpful for the next crops.
It was great experience working with land, seed, plant and water, with was even more special for us, as this was our first time of such work. All real things and wonderful moments specially seeing(in post visits) the baby plants popping up from land and when home getting the fruits(veggies). We felt life!!
Almost worked 9 months (4 months offline and 5 months on field) on Kitchen Garden Initiative which simultaneously gave us good chance to interact and understand home’s operations and their work. Tried organizing home in betterment of their administration, many didn’t work(of different reasons). After kitchen garden we will be slowing down with Lahari, it doesn’t mean we don’t respond to their help, it means we don’t initiate by ourselves as we are doing now.
While we continued with Kitchen Garden, in the post visits after the BIG DAY we continued to work as per the requirements and guidance of Mr. Nageshwara Rao. Garden developed better in every visit and amazing to see plants growing better and veggies coming. We took this initiative a success not just because we could developed a resource for Lahari, not just as it’s been fruitful and supplying veggies to home, but even more as we could generate plantation interest in them. (they were not interested initially, but they turned in as when Veggies started to serve them).

As now the Kitchen garden is established and are done with it:
Here’s the total expenses occurred: Rs. 8,200/-
*for buying: seeds, plants, mesh, water pipe, fertilizers, urea …etc
Note: No expenses of transportation and voluntary needs were included. At SCF every penny of contribution goes to the need and absolutely nothing else!! Volunteers take their own expenses for transportation and food.

SCF Thanks…
Home members: Everyone who joined us at work, specially Mrs. Narayanamma who joined us from posts visit 3 and took the garden responsibility.
Financial Supporter: Sudip Domala. It was so encouraging as we received your support very much ahead to the work start. You contributed Rs. 10,000/-, so the remaining Rs. 1,800/- will be operated to other need/initiative.
SCF Volunteers: Kiran, Harini, Avinash, Krishna Chaitanya and Laxmi. Without you guys, there’s nothing.
Very Special thanks and mention to the hero Mr. Nageshwara Rao, who VOLUNTARILY helped us out and made this initiation possible



Here is how Kitchen Garden happened visit by visit…
June 19 2015: Bought seeds
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Though we scheduled the BIG DAY on June 21st, we couldn’t do it, as it continues(2 days) to rain on the day as well.

July 11 2015: BIG DAY Big Action: Setting up the Kitchen Garden.
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July 23 2015: Post visit 1
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Aug 02 2015: Post Visit 2
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Aug 24 2015: Post Visit 3
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Sep 04 2015: Post Visit 4
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Sep 19 2015: Post Visit 5
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Sep 28 2015: Post Visit 6
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