Room at the table for Rupi from India

Rupi Paharin is a mother of three boys between the ages of five and 16. The family is a member of India’s indigenous Malto tribe.

Traditionally, the Malto people gathered and foraged for food in the hills. They only practiced a bit of agriculture, planting a little rice and cowpeas on poor quality land unwanted by others. In order to survive, families like Rupi’s would often see their sons and husbands leave their communities, in the hope of finding work in cities. The men often stay away for a long time. Sometimes, they never come home.

Rupi and her husband, Daniel, decided instead to join a farming project supported by Canadian Foodgrains Bank. They received basic training and vegetable seeds. As a result, they were able to start a large garden on the land in front of their house.

Rupi is pleased that she is able to feed her sons’ large appetites. “All three children are healthier now. I’ve noticed that we don’t spend as much money buying medicine anymore. It means we have more money now to spend on things like school fees,” she says.

Click here for a printable PDF version of Rupi’s story.

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