Sowing Seeds of Hope with SALONI and Chintan
Since the start of 2021, SALONI has been working with environmental research and action group - Chintan, to improve access to nutrition for women and girls amongst some of Delhi’s most marginalised communities.
The project aims to work with 700 women from Delhi’s waste-picker community to give them the tools to both grow and cook highly nutritious foods like micro greens and vegetables which they would not otherwise have access to. As, Bharati Chaturvedi, founder and director of Chintan, reflects:
“Hunger is a form of systemic violence against women. Addressing this bias is a fundamental part of broader action to mitigate climate change and promote the circular economy.”
The project is implemented with very specific local knowledge and an understanding of how certain foods like tomatoes have luxury connotations which means they are monopolised and eaten by male family members. Instead the project will focus on micro-greens as well as sprouts which also have high nutritional value. Chaturvedi adds “The men don’t touch sprouts and raw food!”
SALONI and Chintan are working with the women to establish kitchen gardens for micro-greens like easy-to-grow mustard seeds which are enzyme rich. It will also run cooking lessons so that the participants know how to gain the maximum nutritional value from the vegetables. To assess the impact of the project, Chintan will also use various tools, overseen by medical and nutritional experts, to monitor the health of all the women who participate in the project.