The Harji-Van Botanic Garden and Park is named after Mr.Harjibhai Baraiya, Bagichawala and the inspiring story of his life and successes in nursery, horticulture and gardening in the state of Gujarat. Born in a small hilly village as his parents only child, his father passed away when he was only seven. His mother had a hard time with other relatives and they were forced to move to a village near Bhavnagar, with nothing in their pockets and an empty bag. His mother had a very hard time finding work but at last she found a job working at the salt harvesting site on the sea shores a labourer. Because of her honest work at the site, the owner requested that she work on his house garden and other general work, and they moved to the city Bhavnagar. He used to go with the owner to drop his children off at school and the rest of his time worked in the owners garden watering and cleaning up. During this work he got a high interest in plants and gardening, worked hard in this field, and as a result got a basic horticultural education at the owner’s house. At the age of twelve he worked as a helper to a doctor and got some basic knowledge of medicine, as well as working in gardens. Later on, he worked at a local factory, but could not get job satisfaction and so he left and dedicated his work to plants and gardening, and grafted fruit and mango plants which were just new and available about 700km away in the city of Valsad. He used to travel by rail and walked about 20km on foot to get 15 to 20 plants which he packed in a sack and with that on his shoulder walked back to the train and then travelled back to the Bhavnagar. When he sold the plants he charged only for the plants and planted them for free. Selling the plants from the back of his bicycle worked well and he created a good business. Although he was only poorly educated he had very powerful business mind, used to believe in advertising and being strategic in his marketing like today's MBA graduate! He used to write articles for the local newspaper, give talks on radio for farmers and garden loving people. This helped him a lot in his business, and made him a famous name in the city as a horticulturist. With the help of his sons, and their sister he opened the nursery in couple of other cities as well.
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