June 21st, 2017
Sixteen-year-old Arya Pudota is in Standard 12 of the National Public School in Bengaluru’s Indiranagar. But unlike many kids of his age, Arya has developed and nurtured something unique through his hobby.
For the past six years, Arya has been practising organic farming and spreading awareness among people about sustainable living and waste management. In an exclusive interview with The Logical Indian, he chalks out his journey.
What developed his interest in Organic Farming
“My inspiration for taking up organic farming is my mother as she used to practise the technique on a piece of land next to our house. I helped her out by weeding the garden, watering the plants and harvesting,” said Arya.
Slowly, as he gained more knowledge, he started taking greater interest in the farming procedure and realised the importance for more people to be made aware of sustainable agriculture. It was then that he decided to take this initiative forward.
By the time he was thirteen, Arya had started taking care of his mother’s organic garden. He calls, “I used to have a lot of neighbours, family and friends who would come down to pay a visit to the organic farm. They would be excited to see the different types of produce and ask questions about organic farming.”
Reaching out to others
Arya was overwhelmed with the response that his farm received and thought there must be many others who would want to know about it. So, he decided to set up his YouTube channel in October 2014 and uploaded a few videos subsequently.
The videos were mostly about how to start one’s own organic garden, how to grow the vegetables, how to manage the different categories of waste, etc.
“I knew that I would not be able to get across many people only through the YouTube channel. So, I decided to go on-ground and organise events that would sensitise people about organic farming,” said Arya.
Events organised by Arya
An event was organised on the occasion of World Environment Day, 2015, where Arya distributed 1,000 tomato seedlings to walkers at Cubbon Park in Bangalore. The intention was to spread the message of sustainable living and organic farming and to provide an experience to people about how it was to grow their own food.
In 2016, three other events were organised by Arya.
- The first was in KBR Park in Hyderabad, where he gave away around 700 tree saplings of different varieties of plants to the visitors at the park.This aimed at increasing the green cover in Hyderabad and raising awareness about the ill effects of global warming. The event was sponsored by the Telangana Forest Department.
- The second drive was in his locality and the mission was to increase the number of trees in the community. He gave away around 400 trees to the residents of Banaswadi in Bangalore. These trees were subsidized by the Karnataka Forest Department.
- The final drive was conducted in association with Prafull Oorja at EDVenture Academy and other special needs schools where he worked with children with special needs, trying to teach them about organic farming.
Arya has also worked with schools regarding the installation of vermicomposting set-ups for wet waste management in their campuses. Furthermore, he has been involved in conducting talks and drives at corporates to spread awareness about sustainable methods.
Arya’s GrowBaSiC Kit
Arya has been posting videos on his YouTube channel for the past two and a half years to educate people on growing different types of fruits and vegetables.
“I have received many e-mails and read many comments from people who have said that it has been very difficult for them to acquire the materials necessary to start their organic farming practice,” he said.
Other problems included lack of gardening stores and nurseries which could offer manageable quantities of the necessary items required for organic farms at a competitive price-point. Also, a busy schedule prevents many from going out to the market to get the necessary items.
“Keeping all of these factors in mind, I decided to create an organic farming kit, the GrowBaSiC,” said Arya.
It was launched on the occasion of World Environment Day 2017. It is a one-stop solution that contains all the necessary raw materials required to start a basic organic farm at home. Easy to use, this kit is suitable for children as young as 4 years of age. The kit consists of a grow bag, a coco peat block, neem fertilizer and some vegetable seeds. The procedure to be followed for using the product has been detailed on a YouTube video uploaded his channel.
Arya hopes that educational institutes and corporates become one of the major customers of his kit which he has designed as a method to educate students and employees about organic farming and agriculture. “It is also a good way to keep kids away from their mobile phones, iPads and other electronic devices by offering them a fun outdoor activity, besides being a great educational tool. Another plus point is that kids would have a sense of accomplishment because of growing their own produce,” said Arya.
Besides that, Arya plans on organising many more drives about organic farming, not just in Bangalore or nearby areas, but in other parts of India as well.
But the twelfth grader experiences a shortage of time as he has to juggle between studies and work; however, he is determined to make the most of his time.
When asked about his future goals, Arya is very clear in his mind. He plans on taking up computer science and engineering for further studies. But he added, “I want to combine computer science with environmental engineering to come up with innovative products that combine technology and sustainable agriculture.”
The Logical Indian congratulates Arya on his efforts to spread the message of organic farming among the commoners. It is not every day that we come across youngsters who are concerned about the planet we live in and it is wonderful to see how Arya has decided on doing his bit for a better and sustainable future.
For further details on Arya’s work, click here