The Centenary Celebrations of the Botany Department of St. Xavier’s College give occasion to thank God for His graciousness in sustaining our efforts and in bringing abundant fruit in the field of Higher Education and Research. A hundred years of service to Indian society is a significant milestone in the life of any institution and our Botany Department, along with the associated Blatter Herbarium and Library, can be considered to have become institutions in their own right.
We must recall the contributions of eminent Jesuits like Fr. E. Blatter and Padmashree Fr. H. Santapau, who laid the foundations and of other worthy lay scholars on who fell the mantle of taking the Department forward.
The achievements of the Department and those who have been associated with it are tangible and something we are all proud of, in particular the identification and preservation, in our Herbarium, of plant diversity from different parts of India and the considerable research done on our botanical heritage.
We hope that the present Conference on “Plants in relation to Man and Biosphere” will draw from our past resources and lead the way forward in regenerating our natural environment and the bonds we have with nature. St. Xavier’s is committed to strengthening the Department of Botany and its treasure house in the Blatter Herbarium, in the quest for greater relevance and effectiveness in the task of Healing our Planet.
Dr. Frazer Mascarenhas S.J.