Mimi is one of the brightest students of Chilapar High School located at Taraganj Upazila in Rangpur District. When school volunteers facilitated by Joint Action for Nutrition Outcome (JANO) project came with an idea of school vegetable gardening, she was curious and with the support from her teacher she eagerly learned each step of nutritious vegetable gardening such as seedbed preparation, caring of seedlings, use of compost and so on. The purpose of the vegetable model garden was that students will learn everything about gardening of nutritious vegetable and will practice the method at their homestead which will fulfill the nutritional need of the families.
It wasn’t long before the COVID-19 pandemic broke out followed by the countrywide lockdown. While most of the students were sitting home and passing idle time, Mimi was thinking about something else. There is a small unused piece of land, owned by her family and she planned to use it to start her very own vegetable garden. Seeing her interest, her farther also helped her. In this small land she began to grow red amaranth, spinach, gourd, pumpkin, eggplant, long bean and lady fingers. Soon after the lockdown, when many families were struggling to sustain a healthy food habit, Mimi’s family didn’t have to worry. By then, Mimi’s garden was flourishing and they had access to variety of fresh vegetables from their own small garden. This garden not only helped the family to get nutritious food during the pandemic it also helped their relatives and neighbors to get a share from the surplus.
Inspired by Mimi’s garden some of the neighbors also started to growing vegetables and they also praise Mimi for her outstanding work and being an inspiration. Her family members also praise her for this initiative that is helping them to ensure adequate food supply and nutrition amidst the pandemic. For her initiative, her family and neighbors called her ‘The Food Champion’. As Mimi said, “For me it was like a dream come true. I have never thought that I will be able to make a garden and grow vegetables on my own. I think my initiative will inspire others to do the same which will help them to get great source of nutrition right from their home. I feel proud of myself and I would like to thank JANO project and all my teachers and volunteer for this great learning experience”