Want a ‘rurban’ way of life? Organo Naandi has a solution

Residents of this Hyderabad community grow their own vegetables and live with the principle of giving back to Nature

Residents of Organo Naandi, a Hyderabad-based eco-habitat, call themselves ‘rurban’ people (urban people living the rural life). The founders of the community, Nagesh Battula, Vijaya Durga and Rajendra Kumar assure that Organo Naandi is built on the core philosophy of Samavriddhi — prosperity for all. Built on 36.5 acres of land in Aziznagar in Moinabad mandal, it houses 73 villas, and was founded to re-establish a conscientious connection with the way we produce and consume resources as a community.

Architects by profession, the trio has taken up the role of eco-habitat developers. Nagesh says, “We established Organo with ‘Triple Bottom Line’ (giving back to Nature) principle as our core agenda. Passion for ‘change’ in today’s society as well as creating a community that revolves around counter-urbanisation propelled the team to start Organo. By blending rural experiences and urban conveniences to support a healthy way of living, our approach is to counter urbanisation by creating Rurban (rural-urban) communities, leading to a new growth paradigm.”

The community that houses villas in one part and farm land and goshala in the other, saw a lot of residents move into the community recently. Vijaya says, “These are residents who owned villas but weren’t residing here. Post-lockdown, the occupancy rate has gone up. Now, we have 45 families residing in Organo Naandi.”

Global recognition

In 2018, Organo Naandi won the prestigious ‘Leadership in Sustainable Design and Performance Award in the residential category’ and the ‘Advancing Net Zero Special Recognition’ as part of the World Green Building Council’s (WorldGBC) Asia Pacific Leadership in Green Building Awards, held in Singapore. Now, Organo Naandi has been featured in Building a Better Future series produced for Organo by BBC StoryWorks.

A day in the life…

A typical day in this community might not start with residents walking into the fields to till the land or graze cows, but it definitely begins with chemical-free, fresh produce reaching the doorstep. Says Nagesh, “The everyday produce is equally divided and distributed amongst the residents everyday. This aside, we also have a community kitchen where we cook and residents can dine if they don’t wish to cook. Residents can go to the fields if they wish to. Otherwise we have farmers who come to work on the fields.”

View of the farming at an Organo Naandi property

View of the farming at an Organo Naandi property
 
| Photo Credit:
Organo Naandi

Nagesh explains that the thought process was developed using an innovative and closed-loop credit system called saptha patha, the seven strands of sustainability: food, water, energy, earth, air, shelter and people. He adds, “It is a net-zero energy community which features organic farming, a goshala (cow shelter), earth air tunnel draft system, zero disposal of organic waste, zero waste water discharge, in-house production of natural fertilizers and pesticides, usage of local materials and bamboo for construction and 15 acres of afforested land, along with many other closed-loop systems.”.

The founders say the idea of the community is to get closer to Nature, even if that means waking up to the chirping of birds instead of an alarm clock, finding a frog inside your shoe or coming face to face with a snake during a walk. “The residents who sign up to be a part of the community are first made to understand what being close to nature comes with. We not only understand the importance of giving back to Nature but also have to practise it everyday. We try and make it a point to see that less and less end up at the landfills,” adds Nagesh. Regular sessions with Friends of Snake Society were also held, until residents began to identify poisonous and non-poisonous snakes.

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