There is something different about this house. From the outside it looks the same as all the other houses, but as you come closer, you are welcomed by thick, lush greenery.
Among this tiny thicket of life, there is a tiny tin-roofed house right in the middle, barely visible through the vines. It is as if you have walked into a tiny oasis inside a village of bricks.
A kitchen garden
A smiling woman is walking around the courtyard.
Meherjan picks one ripe pumpkin and places it into her basket and points to three others, “Give those two more weeks and they will be gold!”.
She climbs a ladder to the roof and points towards a variety of gourds and green leafy vegetables. There is something growing on every surface visible.
These vegetables are worth more than gold. They ensure that everyone in the family has fresh food every day, and the surplus brings in a steady income.
A basket of health
Research from the FAO in Bangladesh shows that households with kitchen gardens meet the minimum intake of vegetable consumption and their Vitamin A intake is significantly higher than households without gardens.
Participants of the Ultra-Poor Graduation programme receive training and support and every household is expected to have a kitchen garden on their premise.
Kitchen gardens have immense contribution in addressing food insecurity, particularly during periods of stress such as the pre-harvest lean season or agricultural and economic disruption.
The papaya and sajna trees swing cheerfully with the gentle afternoon breeze. Meherjan sits in her little oasis and looks in her basket. It is full today. Her own basket of health.