Gwalior, 14 October 2014: With grey weather over the skies and greenery below, the experience was truly mesmerising. It all happened at Udyan Mela, organized by All India Kitchen Garden Association (KGA) Gwalior Chapter. Event was located at baradari, Italian garden, behind phool bagh. There was a line-up of flowers, gardening materials, tempting home-made food items, craft items etc.
Gwalior Mayor Sameeksha Gupta inaugurated the fair and enquired about organic gardening & various plants. She said, “Gardeners want to know not only how to grow and nurture their vegetable patch but also how to turn the fruits of their labour into healthy, delicious meals. I am glad KGA of Gwalior has responded to this demand by adding this new dimension to Gwalior city and I am confident it will be a crowd pleaser.”
Sangeeta Gupta who initiated the Gwalior chapter of KGA said, “Our main motive is to create awareness about garden and its advantages. We want to enhance everybody’s garden through regular events. We have 138 members in KGA Gwalior which are divided into 12 zones. Every zone coordinate a meeting monthly to strengthen gardening expertise. To organize flower arrangement, organic food and floral rangoli competitions is our future plans.”
The fair comprised of 35 stalls which incorporated organic and home-made stuff inclusive of flowers. Children from various schools were also invited at the fair to aware kids about gardening. Schools who participated were Little Angels High School, ITM Global School, Khushal Vidya Peeth, Sandipani School etc.
Ingredients of the fair were; garden items such as plants, seeds, tools, pots, sculptures, mesh, lights etc., home-made snacks, cakes, masalas, baked breads, decorative diwali diyas, hampers, gift articles, art and craft items, games, live demos, housie, lucky dip and much more.
Brand who made their presence at the fair were; Ruchi’s creation, Creative people, Mahi’s creation, Hariyali art gallery, 169 chocolate studio, All things nice, Janak by choice, Diwali dhamaka, Saudagar Global, Sri Ram Sales Corporation, G.J. traders, Lucky dip, Bagwani, Niramaya, Centre for food technology Jiwaji University, Bonsai Nursery, Gambhir Nursery, Ganesh Nursery, Kuldeep Nursery, Household organic waste management unit, Planet art, Wonderchef, Mango people, Tupperware, Srijan by heart, Aadhya, Radhika creations, Bombay street food, Golgappa, Home made delicacies, Prerna shrikhand, Homemade ice cream, Anukriti, cafe and Dosa Hut by The City food court.
All India Kitchen Garden Association was founded by Sarla Bhargava who was a environmentalist, writer, social worker and activist. When she became the Assistant Director of Social Education, Delhi to be in charge of the women’s Social Education Centres. She came into contact with Indira Gandhi, Lakshmi Menon and Dr. Deshmukh who chose her to be a part of the central Welfare Board and later she became the Research officer. In the early 70’s Sarla Bhargava published and edited a hindi journal for women which carried articles relating to issues of interest to women viz. nutrition, gardening, interiors etc. When India was faced with severe food shortages in the 1960’s, Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri coined the slogan”Jai Jawan Jai Kisan”. Sarla then saw an opportunity to involve women in this effort. She then founded the All India Kitchen Garden Association in Delhi. Its motive was to encourage housewives in utilising every inch of space in their courtyard, terrace, balcony and even strips of land between houses and roads to grow fruits and vegetables. This was a unique institution where laypersons were trained in gardening. She navigated it as a movement and nurtured it for 40 years from 1967 until her death in 2007.
Picture gallery in order of stalls-