Vatika or The Garden is an inspired initiative of Srishti to rehabilitate those highly mentally challenged young adults who are over eighteen years and beyond the school-going age. While they may find it challenging to adapt themselves in the other units of Srishti, they are physically fit and are perfectly suited to take pride in the fruits of their labour. The pristine and serene surroundings of Srishti nourish and replenish one’s soul by uplifting the spirits and the therapeutic nature of gardening keeps these young adults mentally healthy.
Vatika was established around fifteen years ago. It was initiated so that the parents of these specially-abled children could go to work in the tea plantations without any worries or stress, knowing fully well that their children were in good hands at Srishti. The Garden cultivates seasonal flowers and vegetables such as carrots, beetroot, cabbage, cauliflower, lettuce, beans, peas, brinjal and so much more. The totally organic vegetables grown here are utilized in the canteen where the nearly 200 employees of Srishti have lunch every day and the surplus if any, is sold to the Munnar wholesale vegetable market.
The objective of setting up Vatika was to rehabilitate the differently abled to stand on their own two feet and lead their lives in dignity. Regardless of how involved they are able to be in the everyday garden activities, each of them earn a decent livelihood.
The local Panchayat, Krishi Bhavan and Agriculture Department have been most encouraging and have earnestly supported The Garden by providing seeds and technical advice from time to time. They have also been providing financial assistance by way of offering various schemes and subsidies.
This unique project has won awards including ‘Second Best Vegetable Garden Award’ in 2016 from the Panchayat and many more at the annual flower shows conducted by KDHP.