Sukinda, September 16, 2017: A total of thirty tribal vaidyas from Sukinda in Jajpur district of Odisha planted traditional medicinal plants today at the herbal garden of Sukinda Chromite Mine (SCM), Tata Steel. As part of the third edition of Green Therapy Programme, the vaidyas planted around 200 saplings of 35 varieties of medicinal plants which they have been using for a long time. These plants have therapeutic properties and the intent has been to pass on the near-extinct knowledge of natural healing practices to the next generation.
Green Therapy Programme focuses on biodiversity and ethno-botanical traditions, and is a platform to create opportunities of learning through knowledge sharing sessions, documenting lesser-known or near-extinct practices, nurturing of plants with medicinal values and promoting traditional and tribal culture. The saplings planted include Jesthi madhur (Glycyrhiza glabra),Mutha (Cyperous rotundus), Shweata arka (Calotropis procera), Dudura (Datura metel), Indrajaba (Acalypha indica), Methi(Mentha spicata), etc.
The healing properties of the planted saplings can address ailments like cold and cough, dysentery, Asthma, Kidney problem, Joint pain, etc. The herbal garden at SCM is spread across 0.47 hectares which already has more than 20 varieties of medicinal plants like Neem, Bela, Ashoka, etc.
Many of the tribal vaidyas, hailing from villages like Mahulkhal, Baragazi, Kendubani, Deogaon, Anal, Bandhaniya from Jajpur and Dhenkanal districts follow a tradition which has not been documented and may gradually fade from memory. Therefore, the plantation programme was followed by a knowledge sharing session between the tribal vaidyas and scholars like Dr. Pravarkar Pradhan, Assistant Professor, Utkalmani Gopalbandhu, Government Ayurvedic College and Hospital, Puri and Dr. Sanjeev Kumar Das, Scientist, Central Ayurveda Research Institute for Hepatobiliary Disorders, Bhubaneshwar, Chief speaker and Guest of the Honour of the event, respectively. There was also a display of various herbs at the programme.
Appreciating the initiative, Dr Pradhan opined that such interactive sessions will enrich the repository of traditional and tribal knowledge of natural healing practices while protecting and preserving the rich bio-diversity.
Reiterating company’s commitment for the cause, Mr R R Satpathy, General Manager, Operations, Ferro Alloys and Minerals Division, Tata Steel, said: “The third edition of Green Therapy has created more awareness on the subject among the communities and scholars. This platform will certainly help to further the cause of bio-diversity while promoting and protecting our traditional practices.
PRI members, Union office bearers of SCM union, other employees of Tata Steel, Tata Steel Rural Development Society unit head, local villagers, media persons were present on the occasion.