Planting Hope: Be the change to see change around you

The botanical garden at NIT Jalandhar

“Kindness in Words
creates Confidence.

Kindness in
Thinking creates Profoundness.

Kindness in
Giving creates Love.”

Tushar Jain, a
little boy from Jodhpur in Rajasthan, was never a dreamer. He was the one who
turned his dream into a reality. He did simple things, things which were right,
things he believed in and in doing that, he changed the world.

After graduating from NIT, Jalandhar
in 2000, Tushar came back to his alma mater in 2015 after a 5-year stint at the
University of Idaho, as an ad hoc professor in the Department of Biotechnology.
The last time he was in the college, he had his name carved in the roll of honour
and this time around, he got his name etched in the hearts of students.

Q. Well, let me first congratulate
you on all the hard work that you have done for the botanical garden. Can you
tell us more about this project? A. I always believed in giving back to the
society, to the college that gave us so much. That was the main reason I came
back to teach here.

The unused land in front of the
department of biotechnology bugged me a lot. I decided to turn it into
something beautiful. I started ploughing the land with the help of some staff.
Soon we started growing plants on this land to add to its aesthetics and the
medicinal plants followed.

Q. The students also have an
instrumental role to play in this project. How did it happen?

A. I encouraged the students to take
care of the plants to give back to the environment and also started an
assignment-cum-task of planting trees by students along with learning about

Q. What kind of plants grow in the

A. Well, we started out with just
some garden variety flowers but now we have an enviable collection of medicinal

Q. You often talk about how you want
to give back to the society. Please tell us more.

A. I always believed in it. We should
be thankful for all that we have and try and give back when we can. My time in
the US also taught me about being true to my beliefs and backing them with my

Q. What were the obstacles that you
faced in realising this dream?

A. The judgemental people around me
were a nuisance. They didn’t understand what I was doing, more importantly, why
I was doing and they made it difficult for me. Their work was commenting on my
crusade. While they created problems, I planted trees, one, two and many.

Q. How have things changed after the
botanical garden came into being?

A. I have not just changed some acres
of land but also the hearts of people. After the initial bout of suspicion,
people have been more forthcoming and are trying to help in whatever way they

Q. What is the future for your little
garden project?

A. Well, I am sure it’s quite
promising. The students and teachers are involved in it. Their active
participation will surely take it to greater heights.

Q. Is this a one-time thing or do you
have more such initiatives lined up?

A. Well, there are two more projects
I am involved with currently. I am collaborating with colleagues to bring
cycles-on-rent for students and teachers on the campus.

Also, there is another one where we
will adopt a child and help him throughout his education, not just with finance
but also with counsel. These projects are still in infancy
stages but I am looking forward to them with hope.

We wish Jain all the best in his
efforts and hope that there are much more such people who can be the change
they want to see in the world.

This article is part of PaGaLGuY’s innovative internship certification programme
for engineering students. Currently, two such programmes are on – one is an Internship
in Creative Writing, and the other is a Certification in Digital Media. If you
are interested in partaking and bagging a certificate, besides learning the
nuances of effective writing, write to us at
[email protected]