In a rare initiative, the Space Applications Centre (SAC) — an important arm of ISRO — have asked its 3000-odd employees, including the scientists, to volunteer and plant “fruit-bearing trees” in its 100 acre campus in the city. These trees will not only be named after the employees or their nearest kin, but will be part of a GIS map where the employees can monitor trees that bear their name.
“We already have 1600 trees growing in the campus. We analysed plant profile in the campus and we were surprised that we have very few fruit bearing trees. This might be the reason why we have seen very few birds in such a large campus. So we launched a drive to encourage our employees to plant and adopt trees,” said Tapan Misra, director of SAC, who a couple of days ago planted a sapling of jack-fruit and named it after his son Rupak.
“There is a lot of sentimental value attached when we allow the saplings to be named after the employees or their kin,” Misra said adding that SAC was bearing the cost of procuring the saplings and they were targeting to plant at least 1000 such saplings in 2016.
SAC which houses 1860 permanent and 1200 contractual employees is procuring tree saplings of banyan, jackfruit, jaamun and litchi from nurseries as far as Gandhinagar. The campus uses recycled water to keep its gardens green. “In order to ensure that our employees can continue to monitor their trees, we are creating a GIS map of these trees. This map will be put up on the SAC website,” he added.
The SAC campus already houses a small ecosystem consisting of snakes, porcupines, owls, parrots, peacocks, jackals and monkeys. “We not only want our campus to be more green and attract more birds, we also want our model to be emulated as well,” Misra added.