Want to See Joyful Plants? Come to the Cauvery Calling Nursery in Cuddalore
Ever seen plants that seem to be bursting with joy? If you haven’t, you must visit the Cauvery Calling Nursery in Cuddalore, Tamil Nadu. It is one of the world’s largest single-site nurseries in terms of annual production capacity, capable of producing a mindblowing 8.5 million saplings comprising 54 species of trees. The plants receive exceptional care, and it shows.
“I don't know about how the work atmosphere is elsewhere, but here, we all work together very joyfully. We laugh, we say ‘namaskaram’ to each other and work together happily,” Saranya says with a smile. She has been working at the Nursery ever since it was set up 3 years ago. She is from Subramaniapuram, a nearby village.
Spread over 29 acres, the Nursery hums with an inexplicable vibe and exudes a surreal ambience - saplings seem to be dancing with joy, rows and rows of happy plants stretching into the horizon as far as the eye can see. “I feel that at last I am doing a job which gives a sense of purpose to my life,” says Sangeetha from Vanniyarpalathan village. Like Saranya, she has worked at the Cuddalore Nursery since its establishment and she says that it has not only popularized tree-based farming in a big way in the region but also transformed her life. “We were in a very poor condition financially. After coming to the Nursery, I have regular work throughout the month. I earn enough money from this job,” she states.
What the Cauvery Calling Movement is doing for farmers in the Cauvery River basin spanning Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, the Cuddalore Nursery is echoing locally in this small region: crafting a quiet revolution on multiple levels. Over 170 people work here; 160 of them are local rural women.17 of these women have blossomed into community leaders, supervising smaller groups. It has not only unlocked their innate potential, it has also transformed the lives of their families.