'No chemicals are needed for a garden'

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Chennai, Nov 7: With worms and special manure and pest control plants, no chemicals are needed in a garden. To showcase and explain this to school students and visitors, the Tamil Nadu Science and Technology Centre opened an organic corner on its premises on Gandhi Mandapam Road on Wednesday, Nov 5.
"We have put so many chemicals in the earth, but with the rich ecosystem that India has, is this all really required?" Sultan Ahmed Ismail, founder director of the Ecoscience Research Foundation, which holds on to the slogan 'Reworm the World', questioned.

To a first group of school children visiting the organic corner, Dr Ismail explained how worms could do the work in a garden.

"There are 500 types of worms indigenous to India. This earthworm cleans the soil and helps to form compost that will be fertile for plants to grow," he said, while holding a thin, dark brown worm in his hand.

Three different types of plants would grow in the organic corner: medical plants, pest control plants and manure plants.

"With the right plants, it is not necessary to use pesticide, because certain plants will chase the pests away," Dr. Ismail said.

One example is the 'Calotrophis Gigantes,' a plant that chases pests away and could also relieve pain in the limbs.

"In Indian culture, plants might still be neglected even if they are said to be important. Because many of these plants are so common, people don't relate them to something important. So for the plant to be respected, often a religious meaning is given to it," Dr Ismail said.

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