When it comes to selecting gifts, there are various options out there, ranging from handicrafts to sweet treats and more.
A new, welcome and heartening trend to see is the focus shifting on gifting plants during festive occasions.
Makar Sankranti, which marks the beginning of the Haldi Kumkum celebrations in Goa has put the spotlight on the shift in gifting patterns to those serving eco-friendly purposes.
Samruddhi Sunil Ganpule, who helps run ‘Samruddhi Nursery - Working for a Greener World’, in Parye, Sattari, along with her father, says this is being seen especially at gatherings such as the Haldi Kumkum ceremonies (held in January) and at Vat-Pournima (when women perform a puja of a banyan tree, praying for the happy and long life of their husbands).
These are both traditions in which mainly women participate and exchange gifts with each other.
ECO-FRIENDLY, USEFUL GIFTS
Samruddhi Nursery, which was started in the year 2005 by Samruddhi’s father, Sunil Ganpule, stocks over 1,500 varieties of plants.
She says that the reason for potted plants gaining prominence as festival gifts is not merely because people want to do something innovative.
“Women love plants,” she points out. “For functions like Haldi Kumkum, many would gift utensils and household items in the past. But that’s changing, and many women are opting for potted plants as well.”
The reasons are myriad. Gifting potted plants is quite easy on the pocket. For ₹ 100, one can easily pick up three to four flowering plants. People living in flats certainly warm up to the opportunity of having some greenery in their midst, says Samrudhi, who lives in Sanquelim.
But, it doesn’t matter whether you live in a house or a flat, this gesture of gifting sows the seed of wanting to nurture a plant, which in turn, is good for the environment, she continues.
In some cases, the daughter-in-law and mother-in-law give a potted plant together as a common gift. If one gives the pot, the other gives the plant in it, she adds.
These small pots that come in varied designs double up as decor for one’s dwelling. Usually, it's simple plants that are gifted since gifting ornamental ones doesn’t fit within the budget, she informs.
For Haldi Kumkum, she recommends local flowering plants like shevti, hibiscus, roses and other seasonal plants, although others would be good options as well.
Samruddhi, who has an MSc in mathematics from the Government College of Arts Science & Commerce, Sanquelim, describes herself as a gardening enthusiast.
Having done several courses on plants and landscaping, she says that instilling in people a love for greenery is what the nursery is striving for, which is also the reason why they have been organising an All-Goa Gardening Competition for the last three years.
Samruddhi Nursery is located near Bhumika Temple, Parye, Sattari Goa, and can be reached at +91 94220 57100 or +91 75070 77997.