IN FOCUS An enterprising foursome is trying to bring the green back into our lives, encouraging an organic way of life, writes VISHNUPRIYA BHANDARAM

Goodseeds came together as a concept between Sujatha Ramni, Lalith Mitta, Ganesh Margabandhu and Narayan K. Murthy to launch a community-based entity in November last year.

“Going organic means different things to different people; for me it's about how to save the environment, for Sujatha it's about keeping her family healthy, for Lalith it's about keeping ancient traditions alive and for Ganesh it's about increasing rural employment. It's just one word with different meanings, but the idea was to bring all the meanings together and form a community with good seeds, we are all the good seeds,” says Narayan.

The four of them came together with a passion for healthy and natural living; they want to spread the idea of a healthy living that ensures a safe environment for the generations to come.

Narayan says that it's about creating a sustainable organic living, especially for the people who live in urban areas and cities. A firm believer of holistic health for the body, mind and environment, Narayan believes in creating a social value by generating rural employment. Ganesh Margabandhu, a software engineer by day, is passionate about creating sustainable living practices for a greener environment. Ganesh also helped in the creation of a farmer's cooperative in Hyderabad. Sujatha Ramni's love for the environment has been long-standing — she is a practitioner of organic living who experiments with sustainable lifestyles, organic gardening, food and nutrition. Lalith Mitta on the other hand is keen on promoting the ancient traditional wisdom — by using simple methods that were used in the old days.

Narayan says that Goodseeds believes in the positive exchange of ideas and in bringing back the traditional bazaars, where shopping was just an excuse to exchange ideas and to discuss. “We organise a bazaar on every first Saturday of the month where we bring organically-made products including grains and vegetables. It facilitates a healthy exchange of ideas that fall within our principles and guidelines.” Through the bazaar, Goodseeds focuses on local NGOs who bring their produce and waste disposal products like compost bins. “We showcase products from ‘Sahajaaharam' and Naandi groups. The coffee from the Araku valley is grown without felling any trees — the coffee is grown in the area between forests by the locals,” says Narayan.

Considering the high costs of organic products, Narayan says that they are trying to make the products more affordable by involving the farmers, “Some organic products are not practical and expensive like brown sugar, so we promote jaggery and palm sugar, which costs less, but are healthier than sugar. Packaging without the use of plastic can be very expensive and a challenge but there are alternatives,” he says.

“There is a huge community waiting to do something different and make a change — they are just looking for avenues,” says Narayan.

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