Prashant Awale: Story of efloraofindia to celebrate 15 years of its completion on 17.6.22 I:

I was posted at CERN Geneva during 2003 – 2004. Was working on the Large Hadron Collier (LHC) project. My hobby of trekking continued here also. Did some Alpine treks and also few treks and cycling on the Jura mountain range at the outskirts of Geneva. While photographing wild flora, I started comparing the same with the Flora I had encountered during my treks in Sahyadri hills and in Himalayas. My first Digital camera Sony P52 became my favorite buddy. I think I got the best of my photographs with this camera.
I had few field guides and books for reference but was desperately looking for some websites to help me out with the identification. Being from engineering background, it was bit difficult to start with as botany was something which I had left long back. But slowly I started enjoying the challenge posed in front of me by various plants for it’s ID. This was the time I came across the website ””. Had interacted with Tabish, the originator of FOI website. This website turned out to be a good tool for non- Botanist like me to identify the plants. I too started contributing to this website.
My treasure of wild flora was literally seeing an exponential rise.
Then one fine day I accidentally came across Indiatreepix. Joined the Google group led by our torch bearer Shri J. M. Garg ji.
To my surprise, Garg ji happened to know me thru FOI website. Thru this website, I got the opportunity to know many stalwart from the field of Botany. As the time started flying, I understood that this Google group is unique. The members of this group are from diverse backgrounds and regions. Subsequently this group was aptly named as eFlora of India. Even though we would have hardly met all, but the type of respect we developed about each other only tells about the passion each member is having about the plants. Information exchange became very fast most of the queries posted by the members were getting resolved almost instantly. On queries not getting resolved, were getting resurfaced by the team of moderators of this group.
Information like what is flowering where, who is exploring which region, new additions to our existing library etc started pouring in. With so many subject experts around, life became a bit easy going.
I am sure that many plant photos were first shared here by our members even much before they were actually published as a new plant.
Got so many new friends here. I remember meeting Dinesh for the first time during our trek to Purandar fort along with Ushaprabha Pagey mam, hard core trekker. Subsequently got the opportunity to meet Shrikant ji (Ingalhalikar). All due to our eFlora of India group. Did many flower exploration trips and treks with Shrikant ji and Dinesh.
Our eFlora of India group is the perfect amalgamation of citizen scientists, Taxonomists, Nature lovers, trekker, engineers and what not..
Database of eFlora of India started becoming richer day by day.
I personally feel that this is one of the Google group which has sustained for so many years and is growing day by day..
Off late I am not contributing much due to some health issues in my family. However, I make it a point to see various posts by our esteemed members. It also serves as a big stress buster.
I personally gained a lot from our group and take this opportunity to thank one and all.

Very interesting story..
It shows the deep and cordial relation between eFI and Prashant Ji..!!
Thanks for sharing it Dinesh Ji..

Thanks, Prashant ji, for telling your story.
Well capturing the spirit.

Great presentation dear Prashant ji,

Thanks Prashant ji for your passionate story and love for plants.

Dear Prashant, a wonderful account of your journey with eFI.

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