Garden that keeps students glued to Botany

Nature school

Laboratory: Botanical garden in Boys’ Government College in Kolar.   DH PHOTO

Three years ago, the students had to learn by rote the scientific names and features of various species. Now, they can touch and feel the objects of their study as the well-maintained botanical garden itself serves as laboratory for them.

Being one of the few colleges under the Bangalore University to have maximum number of botany students, the college has now a variety of medicinal plants providing the students ample opportunity to experiment.

Wide variety

More than 50 variety of plants including ginger, tamarind, gooseberry, basil and orchids are grown on the land fenced off to protect them from animals.

Head of the Botany Department N Padma told Deccan Herald that when she reported for duty on October 2006 after her transfer from the Maharani College in Mysore to the Boys’ college, there were only shrubs. She said, as it was not possible to take class without demonstrations she took up the project to develop a garden there. Apart from contributions from the alumni of the college who were into research in the University, the students and faculty collected plants from various institutions like Central Institute For Medicine and Ayurvedic Plants in Bangalore and the Horticulture Department.

“Even our neighbours helped me in collecting certain precious plants,” she said. As a result, the students of all classes have the plants required for their study in the garden.
Now, the students like classes being held in the garden in stead of classrooms, she added.

 There are seven students in the final year, 12 in the second and 28 students studying in the first year.  She said: “Now the number of students opting for the basic science has come down and at least we should make efforts to hold the few students’ interests in the subject by creating conducive environment for their study.”

With the same concern that the department is firm on developing the garden despite certain hurdles including shortage of assistants with adequate knowledge about these plants.

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