Fruits of Good Health
One of the watchwords of the AYUSH-Isha project is nutrition. Sadly, malnourishment is of epic proportions in our country. The number of malnourished people is estimated to be around 22 crore. Fruits are essential and vital for nourishment, yet fruits are inaccessible to so many in this land.
For both immediate and long term sustainable benefits, AYUSH-Isha has undertaken and encouraged planting of fruit and medicinal trees near houses and on fields. Saplings of the fruit trees sapota, mango, pomegranate, guava, gooseberry and jackfruit have been distributed among villagers. These sapling varieties were brought from different parts of South India and have been selected after gauging suitability to the soil and the physical environment of the Kolli Hills.
Moreover, these fruit varieties are favourites of the villagers and are greatly relished by them. As they grow, these fruit saplings will provide fresh fruit which will be of invaluable nutritional value to the families. These trees will also play a significant role in preventing soil erosion and in reversing the ecological degradation that has devastated many of these areas. Every household and field has different varieties of fruit trees which nurtures an atmosphere of sharing and bonding between everybody when they exchange fruits amongst themselves. It is planned to distribute and plant 14,000 fruit saplings in the project area.
With the added intention of helping to establish a broader and stable livelihood, Project GreenHands, the environmental initiative of Isha Outreach, has gifted saplings that can be used for medicines and to build furniture.
In an effort to spread awareness and educate the populace, AYUSH-Isha is teaching each home the benefits and usage of the indigenous medicinal herbs and is also creating herbal gardens to ensure that people have easy access to these herbs.