This Garden Fair is a Celebration of Nature and Inclusivity

This Garden Fair is a Celebration of Nature and Inclusivity
 Rajalakshmi Agarwal, the chairperson of the Ola Foundation, and Duroflex CEO Mathew Chandy formally opened a 10-day garden fair organised by The Association of People with Disability on Friday, December 8.
Taking place at the organisation's horticulture training centre in Jeevan Bhima Nagar, the Garden Fair is open to visitors from December 8 to December 17, between 9 am to 6 pm, and features a diverse display of plants, gardening merchandise, as well as seeds and saplings cultivated by individuals with disabilities.
In her inaugural address, Rajalakshmni shared, "As a fellow gardening enthusiast, I had the honour of inaugurating the garden fair and witnessing the splendid setup skillfully arranged by the gardeners at APD. In light of the imperative to address climate change, it is crucial that we support gardening efforts. I urge everyone to visit the APD Annual Garden Fair and consider purchasing a variety of plants."

Speaking on the occasion, Mathew said, "Visiting the garden fair is a unique and special experience for me, being surrounded by nature. APD is doing an outstanding job emphasizing that there are no limitations when it comes to working towards a meaningful cause for people with disabilities, rehabilitating them, and fostering self-dependence. I strongly encourage everyone to visit the fair and witness this impactful initiative."

A Bengaluru-based NGO, The Association of People with Disability, has been striving for inclusivity of people with disabilities for over six decades now. The horticulture training programme run by the NGO aims to create potential career prospects for people with disabilities in nurseries, landscaping, floriculture, tissue culture, and more. As part of the programme, the NGO provides Garden Specialist Training, Garden Supervisor Training, and Sustainable Agriculture Livelihood Training for people with disabilities.

Ganesh Shivaram Hegde, Director of Horticulture Training, shared, "The Annual Garden Fair has a dual purpose. It supports funding needs for people with disabilities through sales and also raises awareness about the challenges, abilities, and aspirations of individuals with disabilities within the larger community. Our youth find placements in organisations specialising in landscaping, floriculture, and tissue culture, and as garden specialists and supervisors. APD has trained over 4500 youth from rural and urban regions of Karnataka in horticulture techniques, boasting an impressive 80 per cent placement rate in market-friendly livelihoods."

Visitors can expect workshops on kitchen gardening, and herb and terrace gardening, products like garden tools, feng shui, coco peat, manure, seeds and saplings and fun activities for kids. The proceeds from the sale of items will be utilised for the sustainability and livelihood training of people with disability.

APD is a pioneering non-profit organisation, established in 1959 by the Late MS. N. S. Hema. APD has impacted over 7 lakh People with Disability from underprivileged communities from remote, rural, and poor socioeconomic backgrounds. Various programs by APD cover 21 disabilities stated in the RPWD Act 2016. With a diverse and inclusive team of over 330 members (45 per cent Women and 30 per cent PwDs), APD reaches out to over 1,00,000 direct and indirect beneficiaries, annually. APD is managed by a professional team of developmental and technical experts overseen by an eminent Board of Governors and Trustees. The Association maintains the highest standard of governance, has been acknowledged by multiple donors and is accredited by independent agencies like the TISS, Credibility Alliance, RCI, and NIPMAN Foundation.