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    Passion of collecting insects

    Story by : Sunil Sanatan Mohanty

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    People have different hobbies in life but have you ever heard that insects being preserved as a hobby. Not one or two but over 4000 insects were preserved by  Chandrasekhar Patil from Vadodara who does it for many years and till date it continues.

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    Chandrasekhar Patil an artist and historian has this rare hobby for years and does it for the last many years in Vadodara. Starting when he was in 4th standard Chandrasekhar now has about more then 4000 different species of insects well preserved with him and some of them are rare and hardly seen these days.

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    “I hail from a farmer family and during my school vacations I visit my village in Shirpur Taluka Maharashtra. I start to collect the insects from our field and since then it became my hobby and I collect different species of insects all across the country,” said Patil.

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    Chandrasekhar visited many states in India and collect the insects from fields, gardens, grasslands and other places. Chandrasekhar has the collection of different species of Butterflies, Bumble Bees, Wasps, Beetles, Honey bees, Spiders, Scorpions, Bugs, Ants, Millipedes, Centipedes, Mosquitoes, termite family and Moths well preserved in boxes at his home in Vadodara.

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    “I visited the forests and fields of Maharashtra, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Gujarat in search of the insects and able to collect many species. I brought them to my house and after cleaning preserve them in dry and wet forms,” said Patil.

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    Chandrasekhar said that he had many species in his collection like Havoc Moth, Tiger Beetle, Egypt Beetle which are rare and now cannot be seen anywhere in India. The preservation of the dead insects is a very tough job as Chandrasekhar has to clean all the insects in every six months. He said that he also set aside a special budget for the preservation of these insects.

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    “After joined Fine Arts I regularly visit Zoology department in MSU Baroda and learned the art of Antomology from Professor Radhakrishnan and one Goswami from Museology. There I learned about the chemicals to preserve the insects and the art to kept them inside airtight boxes,” said Patil.

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    So what is the idea for this rare hobby and Chandrasekhar said that he just want to spread the message to the people specially the farmers who use insecticides in their fields. “The insects died because of the excessive use of insecticides by the farmers and ultimately many of them are near extinction. Secondly we often kill insects in fields and inside our house like cockroaches. But not many know that insects are helpful in both farming and clean bacteria inside our house. I want to motivate the youth to save insects,” added Patil.

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    About the future plans Chandrasekhar said that he wants to build a museum of these insects so that people know about the various species of insects as some of them might not be there in future. Secondly the museum will also act as a study and research center so that the students and researchers can benefit from his collection.

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    The fascination for collecting insects drove Patil to collect about more then 3000 postal stamps of different countries where there was picture of insects on it. He also has the collection of Magazine cuttings of various countries where there was information and picture of insects inside.

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    “I have the collection of stamps of various countries which has pictures of insects on them. Secondly I also has the collection of cuttings of magazines having pictures of insects and details about them. I make a study material of the cuttings and I plan to set out the collections to the students as they can gain knowledge about the insects. I plan to have a museum of the same and want to describe the generation about the social life of Insects,” said Patil.

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