When asked what Unmi’s most favorite school activity was, she mentioned the school garden.
The JANO program also works with farmers, and carries that information through to the schools.
About 17000 farmers received training on climate-smart gardening, and there has been a 12.8 percent increase in the number of households practicing climate-smart techniques.
“I learned a lot about how to grow vegetables, different farming seasons,” Unmi says about the school garden where she works. “I even have my own garden at home now and grow vegetables for the family.”
Following in her father’s footsteps
Unmi’s father Swapan Kumar Roy, 43, is a farmer who also works as a village doctor. Last year, heavy rain and floods ravaged his paddy fields.
“It has impacted my family a lot. I lost a lot of money, time, and food for my family. So, I am delighted that Unmi helps us with her garden,” he says.
Swapan treats people going from door-to-door, and he says he’s noticed the changes in the community since the JANO programs began.
“Earlier, most people preferred herbal solutions for illnesses or tried religious approaches and other misbeliefs. Now they reach out to me more frequently or visit nearby health facilities,” he says.
“Not only that, during the COVID-19 pandemic, many visited me for vaccination, which would not have been the case in the past. Now there is growing awareness as to how important it is to see a doctor. They have become more knowledgeable.”
86.6 percent of women and girls from the project working area managed to claim services from the local community clinics.
Such multi-faceted changes have been possible due to the unique interventions by JANO that are benefiting thousands. JANO has already reached over one million people, 61 percent of which are women.
Unmi now wishes to give something back to the local community, following in her father’s footsteps.
“I want to become a doctor. My favorite school subject is biology because I love learning about different bacteria and how the body works. I want to do what he [father] does and support my neighbors.”