An ecosystem approach of this project has fruited into increasing students interests in the environment as they get an opportunity to observe butterfly life histories in their school premises as well as enhancement of the general ambience of the school campus. Along with the improvement of the environment, the gardens have also resulted in reducing the temperatures during summer. The butterfly habitats are now acting as an open-air garden for the students.
Divya Vidyalay, Jawhar is the only residential school for blind and special children living in the rural Adivasi region of Palghar District. Divya Vidyalay was founded by Smt. Pramila Tai Kokad in Thane District, under the Shree Gurudev Sanstha. In collaboration with Ladybird Environmental Consulting LLP, the butterfly habitat was developed for DCB Bank Ltd in October 2019. Approximately 3000 butterfly-attracting saplings of trees, shrubs, herbs and climbers were planted in the school premises. Gardeners were being appointed for maintaining the plants. Students also helped in the activities like de-weeding and removing the invasive species pertaining to the butterfly habitat. The duration of the project is from September 2018 to August 2021, with a review visit once every six months.
It was a year-long project for developing a butterfly habitat for Yusuf Meherally Centre at Tara for DCB Bank's CSR project. The project concluded on a greener note. The plantation helped to increase the floral diversity of the Yusuf Meharally Centre. The rich floral diversity led towards an increase in the faunal diversity such as birds, bees, and other insects groups besides butterflies. The total number of the plants has increased to 1356 from 1078, recorded priorly during the review done in March 2019. This increase is due to the regeneration of plants like Jamaican spike and miracle leaf. Altogether, there was just 2% mortality recorded. The healthy survival rate of the plants has enriched the habitat and makes it lushes green. Since the start of the project, there has been an increase in 10 butterfly species making 41 species in total. The garden was also visited by over more than 1750 students, teachers and citizens.
Before establishing the butterfly habitat, the school premises of Divya Vidyalaya in Jawhar was a barren land with a modest number of trees. After the plantation of 3000 butterfly-attracting saplings last year, the place now has turned into a lush green mini-forest pocket, transforming the barren land into a luscious green space by regularly improving the soil quality.
For the plantation reviewing purpose, Mr Isaac Kehimkar, Ms Priti Choghale and Mrs Nishtha Raut visited the habitat. The health of the plants was analysed and checked, and recorded simultaneously. During the plantation review process, approx. 0% mortality was recorded compared to previous records. The total number of plants surviving are 2498 plants (includes 1919 surviving and regenerated species, 579 newly grown saplings). The butterfly survey was also carried out at the project site, however, very few species of butterflies were sighted on Jamaican Blue Spike and Mexican Heather Plants.
Jawhar site: Before