Welcome to My Garden Series by The Better India, where we feature stories about gardening and homebound farming initiatives submitted by our readers. If you have any stories to share as well, write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The best way for any teacher to impart a lesson to his or her students is by practising what they preach. And Bihar’s Raja Bose has been virtuously doing so by guiding his students through the path of environmental consciousness.
Bose is the principal of the New Century School, Bhagalpur, and his home is a botanical wonderland, burgeoning with cacti, succulents and hundreds of perennial and seasonal plants. Not only outdoors, but even the indoors are also full of plants.
Bose’s passion for gardening took flight at a very young age.
Speaking to The Better India (TBI), Raja shares that it was the ‘Garden City’ of Bengaluru that inspired him to tread this path a few decades ago.
“I was a national level table tennis player and had visited the city to represent my state when I was in class 6, back in 1986. The city truly lived up to its name, and I wanted to do the same as well. I thought that the best way to start is from your home. From here, we can spread to one’s city and perhaps in future, green the entire country,” he adds.
Would you believe if we told you that Bose’s residence is home to over 300-400 species of plants that he has managed to procure from all over the world?
Well, have a look at these pictures that prove the same.
He practices the natural way of gardening. Utilising all resources around him, he makes his compost, natural fertilisers and non-chemical pesticides.
His passion for gardening nudged him to the web-sphere where Bose, today, is part of many social media groups, each focusing on particular species like cacti, rosa indica (roses) as well as seasonal plants. Some of these groups have over 10,000 gardening enthusiasts and plant lovers from across the world.
Back home, however, Bose is actively working with his students to help them hone their skills in gardening at a young age. His home is in the same school campus where he has optimally implemented the virtues of his green thumb. “I wanted to create an environment that would inspire kids. Many kids and parents have remarked how entering the school feels like stepping into a botanical garden,” he adds.
Furthermore, he has established an eco-club named ‘Live with Nature’ in the school to make children more conscious towards their environment.
“I’ve distributed many plants to my students to take home with the hope that as they care for these, they’ll also be inspired to take up gardening. As kids are at an impressionable age, such practices go a long way,” Bose adds hopefully.
Such is his dedication that people say that he’s married to plants and Bose doesn’t refute the claim. But he is alright with that as he believes his endeavours are slowly paving the way for a more significant impact.
“We all know how badly the sparrow population has come down, which once used to be a common sight in every Indian city and town. In the past few years, however, I’ve observed that more and more sparrows are making my garden their home, which makes me feel extremely proud of my efforts. In addition to that, there are also a lot of butterflies and moths here,” he happily adds.
With a guiding force like Raja Bose, we are sure that the kids at the New Century School are learning to grow up to be ecologically responsible adults and we hope just like these kids, Bose’s enthusiasm for gardening inspires you all.
(Edited by Saiqua Sultan)