Schoolgirl Nyesha Passi has blossomed into an eco-champion after launching a gardening club in a bid to promote living an environmentally-sustainable life.
The 10-year-old British School of Bahrain student unveiled Nyesha’s Little Green Fingers Club on World Environment Day to share gardening tips and tricks, as well as to show how easy it is to become eco-friendly.
“I hope that through my club, more children become actively involved in environmental sustainability projects,” said Nyesha, who lives in Hoora. “Hopefully, a growing consciousness would make sure that they don’t buy too many non-degradable products or at least try to upcycle things in interesting ways.
“For my eighth birthday, I threw a party where I highlighted the issues of non-biodegradable decorations. I always hated the idea of plastic. Everything I used to decorate my birthday was completely degradable and still beautiful.
“I even insisted guests not bring any gifts and instead drop some cash in a charity box for the BSPCA, which I donated after my birthday to the animal charity.
“Through this club, I plan to make minimalism a lifestyle for everyone, conscious disposal of waste a daily habit and make everyone aware that an organic kitchen garden is a must-have in every home.
“This all would reduce the pressure on the environment and we can learn to live in sync with Mother Nature happily.”
Family and friends took notice of Nyesha’s environmental passion too and planted the seed to start the club. “They were curious to learn and encouraged me to start a club,” she said.
“I find it amazing how each and every plant has a different shape and texture and how they each have different needs to survive. It’s exciting to see new leaves, flowers and fruits pop up in the morning.
“Also, I enjoy art and crafts and my mum Shipra Dhir Passi always encourages me to upcycle stuff.”
Shipra had shared Nyesha’s club on their building’s WhatsApp group and young residents have been quick to join and show support.
Due to Covid-19 restrictions, the club meeting is limited to six members per session with four children on a waiting list. They meet every Friday for about an hour and do a workshop on various topics such as basic gardening, waste management, miniature garden, organic compost, natural fertilisers and pesticides, upcycling waste, correct waste disposal habits, how to diagnose common plant issues, like root rot, and treat them.
“Once the lockdown is over, we can be more active, perhaps going for beach clean-ups and tree planting,” Nyesha explained. “I plan to take the club members to the Duraz Hidden Treasure Garden project too and encourage them to become volunteers. It’s a beautiful dream but a long journey and we need more helping hands to clean that area.
“We also need to make natural compost using kitchen waste as well as plant trees and then visit them regularly to check on their changing needs.
“In the future, I want to collect funds and buy plants with medicinal value or fruit trees to do tree plantation at the pocket forest.”
Shipra was inspired by Nyesha to become more eco-friendly. “I’m much more conscious about disposing of my waste the right way, carrying a reusable bag to the store, avoiding buying products in plastic packaging and have even made my kitchen completely plastic-free,” said Shipra, Indian Ladies Association’s general secretary.
“This younger generation is far more practical when it comes to implementing steps towards eco-friendly living, starting right from home.”
Nyesha’s inspiration stems from her mum who she says ‘taught her everything she knows’.
“I grew up watching her gardening and caring passionately for all the plants like they are her babies,” she added. “I spend at least one hour every day learning from her.”
Nyesha has grown microgreens that her mum uses for salads and stuffed parathas, as well as grape vines, Aloe Vera, Neem and Bahrain jasmine.
For further details on the club or to donate to help buy plants for the community tree plantation, contact 39475574.