The Ooty Botanical Garden will have some very special visitors for the next fortnight, as it welcomes those who have been in the frontlines of the COVID-19 battle
There are thousands of blooms, fluttering and dancing in the breeze at the Botanical Garden, but none to see it, thanks to the lockdown.
Shiva Subramanium Samraj, Joint Director, Horticulture had recently lamented at all the hard work his team had put in to get the Garden ready in time for the season, but in vain. However, he is overjoyed now as the garden will see some worthy footfall, after all. “We had made so many arrangements to welcome tourists and the lockdown happened. It was a bitter disappointment to us all. But not any more, as we can show off the blooms after all!”
On Sunday, the Collector of the Nilgiris, Innocent Divya and Shiva decided to throw open the garden for a deserving audience. “As a mark of respect and gratitude to the Corona Warriors of the Nilgiris, we have invited them to visit the garden when it is at its peak,” says Shiva.
“Fifty nurses visited the Botanical Garden yesterday. It was wonderful to see how much they enjoyed themselves amongst the flowers after a harrowing month they have had as care-givers. The Collector and I welcomed them with roses and dahlias. There are nearly 30,000 flower pots displayed at the special flower show gallery, all of them in glorious bloom,” says the clearly elated Shiva.
“Our guests for the next 10 to 15 days will be none other than the nurses, doctors, sanitary and Municipal workers, the staff of the Revenue Department and the police,” he explains. The guest list has been staggered over the next fortnight in order to maintain physical distancing protocols. For the first week or 10 days, people from the Medical Department will be visiting.
Shiva reiterates that it made all the effort of the past few months worth everything, as he could think of no one better deserving than the frontline workers of the COVID-19 crisis to be the first guests to be allowed into the garden. According to him, on one of their first visits, the nurses made full use of the day out in the sun and sang and danced to music from their mobile phones!
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