Dumping ground revamped into botanical garden

May 04, 2014, 04:51 IST | Ranjeet Jadhav

A two-acre plot within the premises of the Bhavan’s College at Andheri, which was once full of debris, has now been transformed into a nature and adventure centre

Less than two years after the two-acre plot within the premises of Bhavan’s College at Andheri was transformed from a dumping ground into a beautiful botanical garden cum adventure centre known as Bhavan's Nature and Adventure Centre, the premises has now been recognised as an official partner of the United Nations Decade on Biodiversity, which serves to support biodiversity.

(Above) The dumping ground before the transformation and (below) the same area after revamp, which was later named as Bhavan’s Nature and Adventure Centre

Earlier, garbage was piled up on the same plot and drug addicts frequented the area. A portion of the land had turned into a waterlogged marshy swamp infested by deadly snakes. Today, however, the garbage has been replaced by a botanical garden that attracts 40 species of butterflies, 55 species of birds and houses 300 varieties of plants.

Change for the better
Realising that the two-acre plot was being wasted, college authorities decided that the land could be utilised to educate youngsters. Environment activist Himanshu Prem was roped in for the task.

“Dr ML Shrikant, the dean and chairman of the college, intended to utilise the area for educating and involving youngsters. Lalit Shah, the Bhavan’s Cultural Centre Administrator, invited me to develop the same,” said Prem.

He and his team started working in October 2011 and after eight months, created Bhavan’s Nature and Adventure Centre.

Educating kids
Apart from field trips, the centre also organises diverse events such as nature trails, puppet shows, craft sessions and vermi-composting and vegetable garden workshops etc. “These events help youngsters to learn new thing s and instills confidence in them,” he added.

Another major attraction of the centre is the mannequins of various tribes from various parts of the world that have been made out of waste materials such as plastic and scrap material.

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