Access to the People
Volume 1 Number 18 - July 1999
Dr R. K. Roy
The botanic garden of the National Botanical Research Institute (NBRI), Lucknow is the third largest and one of the oldest botanic gardens in India. The major functions of the garden are - Conservation, Floriculture and Education. The education programmes are used to communicate knowledge, feelings, ideas and information to the public. The garden runs educational courses and training programmes, publishes materials and organises flower shows and open days for a wide range of audiences, including students, teachers, connoisseurs and the general public.
The National Botanical Research Institute (NBRI), Lucknow is one of the National Institutes of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), New Delhi, India. The Botanic Garden of NBRI was laid out around 1800 A.D. It is the third largest (25 hectare) and one of the oldest botanic gardens in India. The garden houses a large diversity of plant species, comprising 7,000 taxa representing 210 families, from various tropical and sub-tropical areas. The three major functions of the botanic garden are - conservation, floriculture and education (Sharma et al. 1996).
Botanic Garden Education Programmes – Their Importance
Education may be defined as the process of bringing out desirable changes into the behaviour of human beings by acquiring knowledge through instruction or study in order to achieve a definite goal (Dahama and Bhatnagar 1991). As society develops, it becomes imperative that the cumulative knowledge, experience and skills necessary for various developments should be passed on to the new generations or the people who need them. Educational programmes are a means of communication which enable people to share knowledge, feelings, ideas and information in such a way that each learner perceives a common understanding of the meaning and use of the message communicated (Leagan 1961).
The NBRI Botanic Garden Education Programmes
Student and Teacher Education
Students and teachers from the schools, colleges and universities of Lucknow, as well as other cities of India, frequently visit NBRI Botanic Garden. The main purpose of these educational tours is to acquaint visitors with the diversity of plant species from the well identified germplasm collection. Visitors can study the variety of trees and their form, leaf and flower structures and collect information on the family, origin and distribution of particular plant species. NBRI Botanic Garden provides support to class room teaching and an excellent opportunity for the physical study of the theoretical lessons taught.
Short training courses are organised on several aspects of Ornamental Horticulture, Commercial Floriculture and Garden Management. These courses are mainly for horticultural officers, managers/garden supervisors from public and private sectors, national institutes and government departments.
Two flower shows are organised annually in the botanic garden during January and December. They attract about twenty thousand people and 500 exhibitors from different parts of the country. The main purpose of organising flower shows is to show case the botanic garden's research and development activities on floriculture to the public. The shows also help to encourage the people to grow plants, raising their awareness of utility and importance of plants and flowers in daily life besides their importance for conservation.
Interaction with other botanic gardens and institutions
The garden maintains a computerised record of its total living germplasm collection. Information on each plant species is well documented with its botanical name, family, origin, status and salient features. Any institution or organisation in need of information on any of the documented plant species or cultivars for education or any other purpose can contact the botanic garden.
United Nations (1963) Education - The Prime Necessity, in 'Science and Technology for Development', New York, USA.
Le Jardin Botanique de l’Institut National de Recherches Botaniques (NBRI) de Lucknow est le troisième jardin botanique indien par sa taille et l’un des plus vieux jardins botaniques de l’Inde. Les principales missions du jardin sont Conservation, Floriculture et Education.
El jardín botánico de la Escuela Nacional de Investigación Botánica, en la ciudad de Lucknow, es el tercero más grande y uno de los jardines botánicos más antiguos de la India. Las funciones principales que desempeña este jardín son: conservación, floricultura y educación. Se utilizan los programas educativos para transmitir al público el conocimiento, las opiniones, las ideas y la información. El jardín organiza cursos educativos y programas de formación, publica material y organiza exposiciones florales y días de puertas abiertas para una gran variedad de audiencias incluidos estudiantes, profesores, expertos y público en general.
About the Author
Dr R.K. Roy, is a Scientist at the National Botanical Research Institute Botanic Garden, Rana Pratap Marg, Lucknow, India.
Ecological Education Potential of Botanic Gardens - a Case Study Amoung Indian School Children
NBRI Botanic Garden - A National Facility: Centre for Education and Conservation