Bengaluru: 16-Yr-Old Teen Grows His Own Vegetables & Teaches Organic Farming Through YouTube
Sixteen-year-old Arya Pudota is in Standard 12 of the National Public School in Bengaluru’s Indiranagar. But unlike many kids in his age, Arya has developed and nurtured something unique as his hobby.
For the past six years, Arya has been practicing organic farming and spreading awareness among people about sustainable living and waste management. In an exclusive interview to The Logical Indian, Arya chalks out his entire journey uptil now.
Why organic farming interested him:
He says, “ My inspiration for this cause is my mother. She was practicing organic farming on a piece of land next to our house. I initially used to help her out in the garden by weeding the garden, watering the plants and harvesting.”
Slowly, as he gained more knowledge, he started taking greater interest in the farming procedure.
He realized the importance for more people to gain knowledge about the importance of organic farming and its key role in sustainable agriculture. It was then that he decided to take this initiative forward.
By the time he was thirteen, he had started taking care of his mother’s organic garden. Arya recalls, “I used to have a lot of neighbours, family and friends who came down to pay a visit to the organic farm. They were excited on seeing the different type of produce of the farm and wanted to know more about organic farming.”
Reaching out to many others:
Arya was overwhelmed by the curiosity of his family and friends and thought that there must be many more who would want to know about it. So, he decided on setting up his YouTube channel on October, 2014 and put up few videos on the channel 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 et al.
However Arya says, “I knew that I would not be able to get across to many people only through this YouTube channel. So, I decided to go on ground and organise some events that would sensitise people about organic farming.”
Events that have been organised:
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 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. We 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 we worked with children with special needs; trying to teach them about organic farming.
Arya has worked with schools regarding the installation of vermicomposting set-ups for wet waste management in their campuses. He has also 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.
However, he says, “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.”
Other problems included lack of nearby 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 these factors in mind, I decided to create an organic farming kit, the GrowBaSiC,” Arya says.
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.
The kit is also competitively priced. Arya expects educational institutes and corporates to be one of the major customers of this kit.
These kits as method of educating their students/employees about organic farming and agriculture. It 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.
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 shortage of time as he has to juggle his studies and work on this initiative; 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 adds, “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 everyday that we come across youngsters who are concerned about the planet we live in- it is wonderful to see how Arya has decided on doing his bit for a better and sustainable future.
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