Situated along the coast of the Bay of Bengal is one of the most beautiful territories of India. Named Pondicherry / Puducherry, it charms visitors with its soothing breezes and jaw-dropping sunsets.
Among the numerous government and private colleges here is a gem known as the Tagore Government Arts and Science College, which stands out from the rest—not so much for its education, but the amazing ecosystem grown on campus by the college principal, Sasikanta Dash.
After 4 years of consistent effort, since Dash took the position in 2017, the green spaces have become mesmerizing.
“I was appalled by the vast treeless lands staring at me,” he told GNN. “It was a defining moment for me as I could gauge the under-utilized potential of this blank space.”
Then and there he decided to convert this place to the most lustrous green cover ever possessed by a college.
Today the college boasts of its 8 acres of green cover—home to plants and wildlife and oxygen-rich air coming from trees that include 100 palms, neem, banyan, burflower (Kadamba), and Bodhi. They have beautiful blooming flowers like jasmine, crape jasmine, champa (a variety of magnolia), hibiscus, sadabahar (periwinkle), morning glory, and many more.
Best of all are the orchards of nutritious fruits that include 50 Jackfruit trees, 25 mango trees, 45 coconut and papaya trees, and 10 pomegranate trees, along with guavas, lemons, bananas, and blackberries hanging from limbs and shrubs inside the campus.
Some land is also devoted to producing seasonal vegetables. Students can watch a variety of birds that now call the campus home—including woodpeckers, parrots, kingfishers, cuckoos, sparrows, and owls.
“We have constructed rainwater harvesting setups that recharged 1.2 million liters of water last year,” says Dash proudly. “Recently we have been able to successfully draw honey from honey-combs installed as part of a new apiculture initiative at the college.”
And every single celebration here is honored by planting a tree, which are also planted in fond memories of departed souls.
The team at the college fully supports Dash’s efforts to create a nourishing environment, and helps maintain the flourishing ecosystem. Together, they strive to gift the students an environmentally sustainable campus that will inspire them to create legacies for India in all fields.
“We have come a long way from 100 trees 4 years ago to a mini forest (3000 trees) today,” says Dash. “It feels extremely good to say that a tour of the campus with its nature trails and seating benches will rejuvenate your spirits…equivalent to a nature tour in an eco-resort.”
He welcomes everyone to visit the college for a glimpse of ‘the harmonious sustenance of humankind and nature’.
“It would be great if you could share your suggestions on how to make it an even better place.”