Wild edible vegetables or plants play a significant role in the sustenance of tribal people residing in forested areas. Even in difficult conditions such as drought and famine, wild plants are known to be edible and readily available. Such wild species are recognized in the same way that cultivated species, and they play a vital role in resolving the world’s numerous food problems. The tribal areas of Palghar district are known for the vegetation of such wild species which serve as an important source of nutrition and livelihood for the local tribes. A Taluka Level Wild Vegetable Festival Competition was organised by AROEHAN in Jawhar. AROEHAN organises similar events under the programme ‘National Nutrition Month’ – POSHAN MAAH, with the main goal of reducing malnutrition in mind. The wild vegetable competition was organised to emphasise the importance of wild vegetables, to improve the usage of vegetables in everyday diet, and to promote livelihood options for the locals. As many as 20 self-help groups participated from the area. Anjali Daroge, dietitian of the NRC department, retired professor and social activist Dr. Pragya Kulkarni, Pandurang Pilane, a local vegetable connoisseur and teacher, Manoj Kamdi, a trainer and social activist of Yashada Sanstha, played a crucial role in selecting the winners.
The Saptshringi Self-Association Group of Jamsar got the second position, while the Mayuri Self-Association Group of Kashivali bagged the third position. All the participating women were felicitated by giving certificates of appreciation. The first prize went to Sonali Mahila Sahat Gat of Kalidhond who presented a massive total of 155 recipes made of various wild vegetables. More than 500 people visited the exhibition including students from schools and colleges to acquire knowledge about wild vegetables. J.S.W. representative Santosh Mahajan, head of the Millet Programme Foundation Ganpat Bheskar, and director of the Kharonda Farmers Producers Association were also present at the festival.