Have you ever wondered what happens to all the plastic bottles and water containers after we finish drinking from them?
They go to the kabadiwala, or for recycling, you might instantly say. The conscious citizen might add a point about creative reuse of waste.
In Bengaluru, two youngsters are transforming home and office spaces using discarded plastic containers coupled with meticulously designed frames to hold plants.
The concept of urban container gardening is catching up in cities, with both homes and public spaces incorporating the practice. Amit Kumar Bharti and Saran Kumar S make for an unlikely duo who have taken up the initiative in the Garden City.
Amit and Saran, both in their late teens, were not naturally drawn to setting up this enterprise.
A resident of Varanasi, Amit was unable to continue with high school due to personal and financial difficulties. Fortunately for him, a local NGO intervened to put him back on track, though he lost few years in between.
“It was during this time an American lady visited our NGO and taught different gardening skills to the children,” Amit says. “Container gardening did not just interest me; in fact I started experimenting more but could not find people who took as much interest as I did.”
In the meantime, his teacher at the NGO encouraged him to apply for the Ashoka Youth Venture programme, which brought him to Bengaluru.
Saran comes from a similar family background—his mother works as a maid and his father works at an ice factory. Having recently cleared his PU exams, Saran now works as an office assistant in a local company and also delivers newspapers.
Meeting through mutual acquaintances, Amit and Saran decided to work together on the concept of urban container gardening.
Seeds in germination mode.
Everything is done right from scratch. Utilising only discarded plastic containers that are bought from local scrap stores, the duo envision the design according to the space they work on.
“The materials are sourced from the dealers at cheap rates. After which we create frames based upon the designs we had worked upon. These frames are made using discarded wood pieces, upon which the plastic bottles can be fixed,” Saran explains.
The seeds are germinated in an in-house nursery, and nurtured until they are strong enough to be installed. The frames upon which the containers are fixed, are designed for portability and easy assemblage, so that they can be easily dismantled and shifted.
“Apart from beautiful flowering plants and herbs, we help with growing vegetables too,” Saran adds.
The enthusiastic duo has already revamped a home in Banaswadi with their amazing skills. Impressed with their handiwork, many Bengaluru residents have approached them to elevate their gardens and terraces.
Despite facing numerous hardships in their young age, Amit and Saran haven’t lost their determination to succeed. Dedicated to making the best of their lives, they are making the city greener in the process too.
To get in touch with Amit or Saran, click here.