The most beautiful magic to be seen in nature is to see a seed germinate into two leaves and look at it unfolding it’s growth into a fruit bearing tree. It’s super fascinating how a drop shaped tiny substance holds the power to sustain the vast diversity of breathing beings on this planet.
Sowgrow, a project of Gramastha, based from the village of Chhindwara, is a range of handcrafted paper products. The range has been built on the idea of promoting the indigineous crops of India while at the same time, supporting the farm communities by providing them an alternative source of income.
Within the past many years, Chhindwara’s ecosystem has been compromised due to many factors. The banks of the Krishna river flowing across the district conducts several mining activities that have deteriorated the quality of drinking and farming water for the community. Severe deforestation due to palm tree plantations, has led wild animals to attack the farmlands creating a challenge for the farmers to sustain their livelihood. Amidst all this, we have seen a tremendous motivation among youth of Chhindwara in initiating community development and creating awareness of the hardships faced by farmers in India.
The community of the Chhindwara village has come up with a solution of understanding and promoting indigenous seeds. They have started various initiatives to express the concerns and need of preservation through organic farming, land arts, seed bands, seed papers, etc. We at Gramastha are working on building and expanding their market through strategic partnerships with organisations working on improving their supply chain with a social impact lens.
The concept of seed products came into the picture with the idea of utilizing the skills and knowledge that already exists within the communities. The raw material for paper mache comes from waste paper that is generated by the community itself and hence negligible external resources have been put in making the Sowgrow products.
The journey towards setting up and maintaining a sustainable enterprise, and an ecosystem that benefits society and the environment while trying to uplift the value of Indian handicrafts, has not been a simple process. But, regardless of that, Project Sowgrow has carved a niche for itself. Sowgrow adheres to the value of being responsible in preserving indigenous seeds, and channels the renewable resources provided by the environment, while giving seed-makers of the region sustenance and confidence to take pride in their work.