GOLAGHAT/ Guwahati, Jan 7: Renowned herbalist and traditiol medicine expert Dr Guram Khanikar breathed his last at a private hospital in Guwahati on Thursday, after suffering a massive heart attack. He was 67.
Born at Chakardhara village on 22 March, 1949, Khanikar from his early days had a dream to contribute in a big way to society.
Family sources say Khanikar developed an abiding interest in herbal medicine when he was a student of Class III.
He passed HSLC from Golaghat Government Bezbaruah Higher Secondary School and then graduated in science from Golaghat Debraj Roy College. Instead of pursuing higher studies, he began concentrating on setting up a herbal park in the year 1970. Thereafter, he dedicated his life to create public awareness about health and herbal medicine.
Khanikar established the Indian Regiol Mutual Treatment and Research Centre and the Guram Khanikar Foundation at his residence to take herbal medicine to the general people.
He studied the medicil properties of numerous medical plants and came up with cures for even critical diseases, pioneering a silent revolution in the field.
In 2001, Yemaneh Open University conferred on him Masters in Yamanehpathic (MY) with gold medal and Ph.D degrees. He received a tiol award from Ahmedabad tiol Innovation Foundation for his research on malaria, blood pressure and diabetes in 2001.
In recognition of Dr Khanikar's invaluable contribution, many organizations have bestowed titles upon him like 'Mab Mitra', 'Bonouxodhi Bigyani', 'Bonouxoudhi Raja', 'Acharjya', 'Bhexaj Rat' etc.
He was also honoured in Bangkok and Nepal.
Dr Khanikar has to his me over 2,000 articles published in various newspapers.
His famous book is 'Xahajlabhya Bon Dorobor Gun' is a household me in Assam.
Dr Khanikar's herbal medicines are exported to Thailand, Nepal, Chi, Cada, Germany, Columbia etc.
The Sentinel had spoken to Dr Khanikar on December 31 last. During the conversation, he had elaborated on his plans for the New Year. From April next, he aimed to begin an awareness drive in educatiol institutions about the State's wealth of medicil plants, and the huge employment generation potential in exploiting this wealth.
"My mission for the New Year is to teach our young generation how to cultivate on a small plot. Not only should they learn about the immense scope for our local medicil plants, they should also appreciate the commercial possibilities of planting ba and sugarcane as well as growing vegetables," he had said.
"Health comes first. Only good health can give rise to good thoughts and good work. Hospitals are proliferating and there is a crying need for doctors and medicines only because of the severe lack of health awareness among our people," Dr Khanikar had said, pressing for incorporating knowledge of medicil plants in the curriculum.
Lamenting the fact that medicil plants in the State are fast disappearing due to the people's lack of awareness and indifference, Dr Khanikar had said: "We have developed medicines from many such plants which can cure diseases and disorders like cirrhosis, diabetes, kidney stones, piles, obesity, dengue and even skin cancer and some other cancer forms. If we do not take care of our own wealth, others will exploit it and sell it back to us."
It was to discover the immense potential of medicil plants in the region, revive age-old herbal cures while experimenting to discover new treatments and pass on the knowledge to the people that Dr Guram Khanikar worked tirelessly with a busy schedule till his last days. His sudden demise has cast a pall of gloom in the State with Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi and a host of dignitaries condoling his death.