Strings of pretty, sparkly lights delicately looped along busy streets, strains of music playing and strikingly colourful decorations in stores are common sights and sounds come this time of year. These are sure-shot spirit lifters, and the excitement across the country is palpable as Diwali is around the corner, as we gear up for the festive season. Cleaning our home, what to wear and what to gift our near and dear ones are thoughts at the top of our minds right now.
No Diwali is complete without the festive food so lovingly prepared and shared among family and friends. However, (unfortunately!), there is no doubt that these delicacies can be quite unwholesome. With numerous people having to take care of what they eat due to a variety of health issues, nowadays we find that people increasingly admit that health is their top priority these days. After all, without a fit body, we can do nothing.
Therefore, during the season of Diwali, what better way to gift than a healthy hamper? And what is healthier than honey? In our country, honey is used extensively in food, religious and beauty rituals. An age-old ingredient in delicious dishes and a healthy contribution to overall wellness, honey should definitely be incorporated into our daily diet. Just a couple of spoons of honey per day is known to improve heart health, heal wounds and provide antioxidants, among several other benefits.
In India, very few social enterprises exist that produce pure, organic, gourmet honey with unique and exotic flavours such as Tulsi, Wild Forest, Eucalyptus, Litchi, Desert Bloom. The certified organic, all-natural single-origin honey is devoid of any additives, artificial flavouring or added sugar and is of exceptional quality. Consuming this honey will certainly increase immunity and provide a great deal of energy and stamina.
But this is not all! These enterprises work with marginal farmers across the country, training them to be beekeepers. Bee boxes are carefully placed on their farms to aid in pollination of crops. Thus, the quality and quantity of their yield improves, and farmers are provided with an additional source of revenue through the sale of the organic honey! Through these programmes, farmers are given market access, equipped to increase their income and improve their livelihood! More importantly, women beekeepers are provided strong support, driving socio-economic empowerment. Additionally, the bees, which contribute to diverse, interconnected ecosystems are nurtured and protected.
So, this Diwali, gift health, give back to nature!
This article has been written by Vijaya Pastala, CEO and Founder, Under The Mango Tree
The author is the founder and CEO of Under The Mango Tree, an innovative and award-winning social enterprise that supports Indian farmers with incomes and improving crop productivity through indigenous beekeeping, and marketing the honey collected directly to consumers. Since its inception in 2010, it has impacted over 25,000 lives, improving rural incomes by over 30 percent.