Abu Dhabi: Dubai-based Indian ex-patriate Praveen Kottavathil is one of the heroes honoured for his kitchen garden at Expo 2020 Dubai UAE pavilion.
Praveen and his family were recognized for the kitchen garden they built during their stay at Al Quoz villa in Dubai. The picture of his family was displayed on huge screens at the UAE Pavilion.
After seeing his story featured by Gulf News in May 2021, Expo 2020 Dubai contacted Praveen to highlight him as one of the dreamers of the UAE pavilion. Centered on the theme “The Land of Dreamers Who Do,” the UAE pavilion revealed inspiring stories of UAE residents and how they have made a positive change in the UAE.
Praveen, who works as an administrator in Dubai, expressed his happiness for getting honoured at Expo 2020 Dubai. “I feel grateful for this. The UAE is a country that allowed me to dream and live it to the fullest. I will be indebted forever. In my capacity, if I can inspire others to live their dreams in a sustainable manner, I would feel privileged,” Gulf News quoted Praveen Kottavathil.
38-year-old Kottavathil hails from the southern state of Kerala in India, where he grew up amidst lush green farms owned by his father and grandfather.
He wanted to recreate the same experience for his children in Dubai, and it inspired him to build the farm. When the COVID-19 pandemic began, the family got everything in hand to harvest locally grown vegetables.
Praveen Kottavathil, who lives with his wife and two children, transformed their Al Quoz villa and its grounds into an ecosystem of 3,000 square meters, which fed him and his family all through.
Kottavathil’s significantly reduced supermarket trips and helped them limit the risks of possible exposure to COVID-19.
Inside the kitchen garden of Praveen Kottavathil
The family harvests brinjal (eggplant), ivy gourd, tomatoes, cabbage, cauliflower, coriander leaves, spinach, beans, curry leaves, chillies, watermelons, tapioca and sugar cane.
Kottavathil also has a small fish tank and poultry farm where he raises chickens that are non-genetically modified, which means the eggs produced are organic.