Many studies carried out across the world have emphasised and affirmed the general belief that spending time in nature can heal a person. Taking a cue from this, Navi Mumbai’s National Burns Centre (NBC), specialised centre for burns treatment and rehabilitation, has built a butterfly garden to help in healing and rehabilitating patients who have suffered burn injuries.
The garden, inaugurated on January 15, 2017, is spread over 1 acre land at the entrance of the centre, has been conceptualised with the help of Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS).
“As doctors, our job does not end with medical treatment of patients. Rehabilitating them is equally important. Patients with burn injuries are bedridden for months. So, we decided to take our patients closer to nature to reduce their stress. It also helps in distracting them from their physical pain,” said Dr Sunil Keswani, Medical Director of NBC.
Butterfly garden will play a vital role in process of rehabilitation of patients post surgery.
“We will bring them to the garden for half-an-hour every day,” added Keswani.
Elaborating on importance of butterflies in rehabilitation process in burn patients’ treatment, Keswani said colourful butterflies are pleasant to see.
“They keep moving from one flower to another and this brings smile on faces of our patients. Happiness and smile automatically inspires a patient to live,” said Keswani.
According to NBC, the garden will be built in phases. In phase I, over 37 species of butterflies have visited the garden. As the garden is still being made, an NBC gardening team, with the help of BNHS, is working to attract different species of butterflies.
Diwakar Thomre, Lepidopterist (a person who studies or collects butterflies and moths) at BNHS said, they have planted different species of flora and fauna to attract butterflies.
“Many types of flower plants have been planted in the garden to attract different species of butterflies. Among the important plants are Jamaikan Spike, Lantena and Ixora,” said Thomre.
NBC also plans to keep the garden open for school students to enhance their knowledge about flora and fauna and butterflies.
Appreciating NBC’s efforts, plastic surgeons said therapeutic healing is a recognised therapy worldwide.
“Butterfly garden is a kind of therapeutic healing therapy. It is helpful to treat mental state of patients who are burned and are depressed,” said Dr Anil Tibrewala, a Consultant Plastic and Cosmetic Surgeon at PD Hinduja Hospital.
Dr Suhas Abhyankar, Consultant Plastic Cosmetic and Burn Surgeon at Masina Hospital, said a burn patient has to go through a painful medical treatment.
“Large numbers of patients with burn injuries or fire accidents face depression during and after the treatment. They undergo lot of trauma and stress. This prolonged illness affects their confidence. So, therapy like butterfly garden can help in enhancing positive energy in patients,” said Abhyankar.
Kalpana BGN, 29, who is taking treatment at NBC said, “Nature helps a lot to heal any type of wound or disease.”
Originally from Adilabad city of Telangana, Kalpana met with fire accident at her home while lifting a utensil from the gas in May 2016. She survived 30% burn injuries on neck, chest and hands.
“After a depressing and painful surgery, coming out in open air boosts our desire to live life with positive attitude. This butterfly garden is helping us,” said Kalpana.