Ex loco pilot in Chennai area promotes rooftop gardening

By S Solomon Raj Published on Jul 27, 2018 12:51 PM IST

Chennai: Usually banana trees are kept on the entrances of homes if functions are organised.

But for Nolambur-based Bagirathan D (64), in the city, a retired Southern Railway Loco Pilot, maintaining plants at the entrance of his residence is a day-to-day affair.

The senior citizen, who has a terrace garden, has kept two brinjal plants at his house’s main gate to create awareness about gardening among people.

Excerpts:

Q: Let us know about your journey so far.

A: I worked as a Loco Pilot in Southern Railways and got retired. I belong to an agricultural family from Kallabiranpuram, Madhuranthagam taluk. We have a farm land and cultivate many crops according to the seasons. My father O N Durai Babu was a freedom fighter.

Q: How gardening came into your life?

A: While I was working in Railways, I was in-charge of Kamarajar Scout Group. During that time, I learnt about gardening. Our team also planted many saplings on Railway lands under various schemes at Ayanavaram, Tondaiarpet and Ponneri. After retirement, I engaged myself in doing full-time gardening at home.

Q: How many plants you have grown now at your home?

A: I have more than 150 vegetable plants of various kinds. I am selling them for low costs without any profit to the residents who love plants. I want to expand this initiative to our colony. So, I have requested our association to provide a vacant land to dump wastes from the area. I will be decomposing those wastes and make my produce fully organic.

Q: What help are you rendering to the residents?

A: Most of them complain that the plants from nursery are drying quickly. So, I am helping them in setting up roof gardens. Till now, 12 houses in our colony have roof garden. I am also buying natural manure and giving them to residents at lowest cost to encourage them in gardening.

Q: Did you get any award for your service?

A: Getting to know my service in spreading awareness about roof gardening, Rotary Club of Chennai Nolambur gave me an award. Many school students and teachers are visiting the organic gardens in our colony.

Readers who are interested in roof gardening can contact him at 9381518181.