Ashutosh Sharma: Story of efloraofindia to celebrate 15 years of its completion on 17.6.22:

5 years with eFI – A Path Finding Journey
An adolescent villager, entering his second year of BSc. Forestry Hons., with no clear visions about his future, knew only one thing very well. It was the joy he got from exploring jungles, finding plants and insects, taking pictures of them and naming them systematically.
I joined the group in October 2017, as a second year undergraduate, thanks to Anil Thakur sir and Nidhan Singh sir who helped me and guided me to join eFI Google group. I always had great curiosity of finding, identifying and remembering plant names since my latter schooling days. Though I was not from a pure Botany background, being taught basic Plant Taxonomy, Systematics and Identification courses, I still had a basic idea about plants, mainly trees identification, given my forestry background albeit without a faculty specialising in the field of Plant Taxonomy. As a result of this curiosity, I would often get my plants identified on a couple of Facebook groups, where many of our group members were active participants.
As far as I remember, my first post was that of an Impatiens sp., that I posted in the first week of October 2017. It was later identified in our group as Impatiens scullyi Hook.f. a new addition to Flora of India. This got me interested to actively take part in the discussions happening in the group. I fondly remember the time when Mimulus strictus was identified after a long interesting discussion and also Calanthe davidii, which indeed turned out to be a rediscovery and a new record to the state flora. Both of these plants could not be identified on any Facebook groups or platforms for that matter, but thanks to the great number of plant family experts/specialists present in eFI group and particularly always active, never tiring and hard working Garg ji, that identification of species is no longer a task.
When plants like Impatiens scullyi and Calanthe davidii got identified in our group, I worked relentlessly on them so as to get them published as research papers in good journals which ultimately boosted my confidence to take up Plant Systematics as my career. One can tell how much the eFI group has influenced me from the fact that after I completed my BSc. Hons. Forestry, my career took a positive turn as I delved into the world of Plant Systematics. I am now pursuing a Masters in Life Science (Plant Systematics by Research) thanks to the motivation, guidance and help I got from many members of our eFI group. It’s been about 5 years since I became a part of this amazing thrilling journey of our unique family of plant enthusiasts/lovers, while also getting the opportunity, in December 2019, to become a moderator of our group.
However, in the last two years, my postings have decreased significantly, given the academic work pressure and field exploration. Nevertheless, whenever I get a chance to go to the fields, my eyes are always in search of species that are not present in our eFI group. The happiness I get from finding new additions for our group is one of a kind, putting me short of words to describe it. Now that the group has grown as the largest database on Indian plants with more than fourteen thousand species, so it’s not easy to find a plant not present on our group website  especially from the well explored lower temperate areas of Western Himalaya (H.P.). My postings nowadays are restricted to adding new plants to the website.
At the completion of 15 years of the efloraofindia group, I congratulate the entire team of eFI who has contributed to the eFI group. And being one of the youngest moderators and members, I am optimistic that our group will be able to document the most part of entire Flora of India, pictorially, in the next decade or so. My Dandvat Pranam and Salute to all hard working Pillars and Moderators of our group for their selfless service to Taxonomy, Botany and moreover to our people and our country India.
I can’t forget to mention a few names, J.M. Garg sir, Saroj Kasaju sir, Dinesh Valke sir, D.S. Rawat sir, Pankaj sir, Nidhan Singh sir, Anil Thakur sir and all the pillars and moderators who are always a big source of motivation for me. Thanks for enriching me and the entire group with your ever-widening knowledge.

Thanks a lot, Asutosh ji, for the thrilling journey.
We are so fortunate to have members like you.

Keep up the good work. You are the next generation of Indian Plant Taxonomist, hopefully beyond India too. Please remember that Plant taxonomists and field botanist do not need to be trained to be one. It has to come from inside.
We do plants because we love plants.

Wonderful story of journey with eFI, Ashutosh ji.
Indeed, eFI is a great booster to our passions.

Beautiful narration Ashutosh ji.

How beautifully you have narrated your journey with eflora Ashutosh!!The who works hard always in field with plants is best plant taxonomist so you are!!
I wish you the best young taxonomist, I’m sure you will describe many new species not only to eflora / flora India but new to science of plant taxonomy too 😃

Wonderful story, Ashutosh ji! Very well written!

Published at
Posted it at the efloraofindia Facebook page.
Pl. give it wide publicity in Social media, by posting it in your profile/ groups/ Instagram etc.

Nice story, Ashutosh
God bless you with more explorations.

Very nice Ashutosh Ji..!!
I know that you are going to discover a lot of plants through your keen observational skills and never ending quest..
God Bless You

Nice, beautifully drafted, dear Ashutosh ji,