These kids with learning disabilities are promoting organic veggies across Hyderabad, and picking up business skills too
You have heard about Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan, the campaign by the Government of India to make the country clean and free of open defecation. Now, we introduce to you Swachh Organic Bazaar, which is based in Hyderabad.
Located in Madhura Nagar, Swachh Organic Bazaar is a small shop that has a grocery truck beside it. But its USP lies not in its organic vegetables, but in the fact that it is completely run by two specially-abled young adults, who are periodically assisted by children facing learning challenges.
The team at Swachh Organic Bazaar in Hyderabad (Image: Efforts For Good)
Speaking with Efforts For Good, Founder Suparna Bajaj said,
“From taking orders to delivering them, these youngsters manage everything perfectly. They are getting hands-on experience in business management in an enjoyable, creative way.”
You can walk into the store and find young kids after school hours busy on different tasks. According to Suparna, the kids enjoy assisting the young adults and learn during their interaction with customers. The shop also sells fresh organic vegetables and fruits grown by Suparna on her farm.
(Image: Efforts For Good)
When The Hindu asked Shiv Bajaj, Suparna’s 23-year-old son, what he likes doing in the store, he said, “I love cleaning, its fun.”
Explaining about their products, Suparna said,
“Aside from fresh produce from my farm and a few other organic farms in the neighbourhood, the shop sells A to Z of organic products – rice, pulses, cold-pressed oils, homemade snacks, baked goods, as well as sustainable cutlery. At the start of the week, we send out a list of our products to the clients. The shop has a considerable number of conscious customers, who place their orders through WhatsApp or calls.”
So how do the kids work? Well, one can see the permanent employees with kids, jotting down the items, and packing them. The youngsters can also be seen delivering orders to customers' doorstep.
Walk into Swachh Organic Bazaar, and you can see the kids jotting down items and packing them. The youngsters can also be seen delivering orders to customers' doorstep. (Image: Efforts For Good)
According to Suparna, the kids have learnt to bake a wide range of breads and other products as a part of their 'home science' curriculum. To mark its presence across Hyderabad, the store had recently added a truck, which will go through the neighbourhoods delivering orders.
“For the children, it’s refreshing to get out of the classrooms and training centres. They see, touch, and feel the vegetables and grains to identify them. They weigh the products, calculate bills, and learn the basic rules of math. Some of these kids are even appearing for their board examinations now.”
Like any other workplace, the permanent employees receive a monthly salary and performance-based incentives. Further, they are even appreciated for their hard extra hours in the shop, and penalised if they turn up late for work or any other negligence.