BIS #7057 Bosco’s Papillon Haven Inaugurated at DS Andheri

By Mrs Valerie Mascarenhas for BISMumbai

In a captivating celebration of nature's wonders, St Dominic Savio High School, Andheri, proudly unveiled Bosco’s Papillon Haven, a sanctuary dedicated to butterflies, on 15 September 2023. Nestled within the school's premises, this lush haven was inaugurated by Fr Savio Silveria, Provincial of the Salesian Province of Bombay, during his annual visit.

The ceremony witnessed the esteemed presence of Rector - Fr Francisco Pereira, Roots & Shoots India Director of Education - Ms Katie Bagli, the Management, the Principal, select students and staff. This transformative project emerged from the earnest desire expressed by student members of Savion Trailblazers, a Jane Goodall Roots & Shoots Club that empowers youth to become agents of positive change. Responding to the students' voices, the Principal, Mrs Valerie Mascarenhas, initiated the project, working on the design aesthetics and focusing on the scientific background. With strong support from the Management and various stakeholders, this dream became a reality.

Bosco’s Papillon Haven is designed to captivate young minds and promote environmental awareness aligned with Sustainable Development Goal 15: Life on Land. In a way, Bosco's Papillon Haven reflects the spirit of Don Bosco's oratory, providing a sanctuary for struggling youth. Just as he created a safe haven for them, this garden now offers refuge and nourishment to fragile and beautiful butterflies.

In its nascent stage, the garden showcases approximately 150 saplings on beautifully designed garden beds. Its allure lies in the diversity of host plants that entice caterpillars for feeding and egg-laying, totalling 25 different types of plants. These include a rich variety of nectar-bearing plants and enticing fruit baits thoughtfully placed to nourish the fluttering inhabitants. The garden also features a puddling station designed to provide butterflies with essential nutrients like salts from water and sand.

Beyond its aesthetic charm, Bosco’s Papillon Haven serves as an educational sanctuary, offering students a unique opportunity to learn about flora and witness the miraculous metamorphosis of butterflies. The garden has already attracted seven butterfly species, sparking excitement among students and staff. Information charts and plant labels adorn the garden, adding educational value. This hands-on experience fosters an appreciation for butterflies as pollinators, benefiting ecosystems through pollen transfer. Butterfly gardens also attract bees and enhance environmental health.

Bosco’s Papillon Haven has won over many stakeholders who closely follow its progress. Mr Robin Lal sums it up, saying, "The sanctuary is embraced by every Savion, providing our children a chance to learn about nature." One of the students, Shubham Khavale shared their excitement about spotting butterflies and added, "Having a butterfly garden at school raises awareness among students, parents, and visitors about their habitat and sparks an interest in nature's beauty and conservation."