Thursday, February 29, 2024

Need to revive herbal plants stressed upon

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SHILLONG: The Society for Promotion of Indigenous Knowledge and Practices (SPIKAP) have called upon the Department of Environment & Forest, including the Meghalaya State Medicinal Plant Board to address scarcity of herbs in Ri-Bhoi by allocating special funds to regenerate the herbal plants in the Private Forest, Sacred Forest, Village Forest, Raid Forest, and Hima/Elaka Forest.
The healers expressed their anguish as to the scarcity of valuable herbs largely due to increase in population and the human activities, and urged the Chairman of SPIKAP to take up the matter with the Traditional Chiefs at the Village, Raid and Hima level, so as to engage them in regeneration of herbal plants in the Private Forest, Sacred Forest, Village Forest, Raid Forest, and Hima/Elaka Forest and hoped that the village chiefs would respond to such an important issue.
The healers highlighted this need during the ongoing training program in various parts of Meghalaya, where as many as 54 selected traditional private health care service providers Ri-Bhoi District participated in the training on the dreaded Malaria and how on preventive steps necessary to control the spread of Malaria in a one day training awareness, arranged by Futures Group International India Pvt Ltd, (Caritas-India), in collaboration with – (Dept of Health- Malaria) Govt of Meghalaya  and SPIKAP at the  Dorbar Hall, Nongpoh Proper, in Ri-Bhoi District on Wednesday.
During the open session of the training program, while addressing the traditional indigenous village healers of Nongpoh area, John F Kharshiing, Co-Chairman,   Meghalaya State Planning Board & Chairman, SPIKAP stressed on the urgent need for the Village Chiefs to discuss availability of herbs in the Village Dorbar Shnong, and to have interactions with the traditional village healers, bone setters and birth attendants who compliment health care in the rural areas.
He stated that there is urgent need for the Department of Environment & Forest, including the State Medicinal Plant Board, to review their objectives and to engage traditional authorities, the Private Forest owners, Sacred Forest, Village Forest, Raid Forest, and Hima/Elaka Forest administrators to promote conservation, regeneration, and plantation and creation of nurseries of valuable traditional herbs in the various categories of forest in Meghalaya.
In view of the fact that today scarcity is a reality of the medicinal herbs faced by the traditional healers in Nongpoh Area, steps must be taken now less they become extinct and unavailable for future generations, Kharshiing added.

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