At a casual glance, the garden within Sri Venkateswara Engineering College (SVCE) premises in Irungattukottai, seems just that. However, the place is actually a butterfly garden. The garden, created as part of the Eco Club activity in the college, has not only attracted butterflies to the place but also, an award from the United Nations.
It started with Sahana Balasubramaniam of SVCE, being accepted for internship with ATREE (Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment). She stayed at the Kalakkad-Mundanthurai Sanctuary’s Research Centre, documented the butterflies in the area. Back home, she passed on her butterfly expertise to her friend Ramashree.
Ramashree went butterfly-watching at Chennai’s Theosophical Society. Vignesh Krishna of the same college happened to be there for a walk. They met, struck up a conversation, Vignesh was impressed with Ramashree’s skill at identifying butterflies, and, before they left, they decided to make the identification of the butterflies on their college campus an eco-club (CARE) activity. As their survey got underway, their conversation turned to establishing a butterfly park on the campus. Their professor T. Murugavel had no hesitation green-flagging the idea.