Green light for rare species conservation

The conservatory will host medicinal plants and herbs like Sarpagandha, Brahmi, Adulsa, Rudraksh, Ashwagandha and others, found useful in curing several diseases. The National Medicinal Plant Board, which comes under the Union ministry of AYUSH, has given SPPU funds of Rs 13 lakh to set up the on-campus conservatory, overseen by Dr D N Mokat.

“Since we have received partial funding, we have already started collecting saplings from around the state and planting them here,“ Mokat told Mirror. He added that since ayurveda seems to be gaining momentum at the global level, there is a need to create awareness not only in the academic arena, but also at the public level.

“We have even put plates in front of each plant, with its local name, botanical name and ailments it aids,“ said Mokat, adding, “So far, 200-300 species have been planted on 1.5 acres -most are endemic.“

He added, “There are many herbal medicine and ayurveda practitioners and laboratories here. They, too, will get raw material from the conservatory -there is great demand for such plants in the market.“

Dr V B Gaikwad, director of the Board of College and University Development (BCUD) said, “Once the garden is ready, it will be available for all to observe these rare species during study tours.“

Apart from little-found species like Rudraksh, Arjun, Jal-Brahmi, Narakya and Samudraphal, students will also have the opportunity to experiment with the cultivation of other exotic species. “To prevent any damage to the garden, we will erect a fence around the land, so that no one can sneak in and tamper with the flora,“ said Gaikwad.

Dr S N Murthy, director of the National Research Institute of Basic Ayurvedic Sciences, lauded the varsity’s effort. “At our Pune centre, we often have students and researchers coming to take advantage of the garden we have.If a similar, larger conservatory is coming up, it will be of vast help,“ he said.

Abhijeet Rakshe, an MPhil student of botany at SPPU, thought this to be a great opportunity to observe a variety of medicinal and herbal plants on one platform. “In the course of research, it becomes quite difficult for students to search regions where plants are available -identifying them is also a daunting task. Now, since these plants will be found here, valuable time will be saved and focus on research will improve,“ he said.
Source : Pune Mirror

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