By Our Staff Reporter
Guwahati, Dec 31: Renowned herbalist and traditiol medicine expert Guram Khanikar, at 67 years, is busier than ever. And he has big plans for the year 2016. From April next, he intends 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.
Participating in the ongoing Guwahati Book Fair (Stall No. 119), Khanikar told The Sentinel over phone that he has already roped in some NGOs which will contact school and college authorities, offering to plant gardens of medicil plants if land is provided. The idea is to impart knowledge to students about such rare plants, with signboards indicating the plant’s botanical me and use in treating diseases.
“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,” Khanikar said.
Pointing at the crying need to generate employment in the State, Khanikar said, “It is possible to earn average Rs 3 lakh from a 3 bigha plot in a year from such intelligent cultivation. As for growing precious trees like Chandan (white) and Sanchi, revenue to the tune of lakhs of rupees can be earned.”
There will also be provision to train interested students in batches of 15 at the second herbarium Khanikar is setting up about 8 kms from Dagaon in Golaghat, where his first herbarium is located.
“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,” said Khanikar, adding, “This is why my foundation is pushing for incorporating knowledge of medicil plants in our curriculum.”
While delivering a lecture on the huge possibilities of setting up small scale industries in the State based on medicil plants at the Srimanta Sankardev University in September last, Guram Khanikar developed the subject further to write a book, which has now been released at the Guwahati Book Fair.
Lamenting the fact that medicil plants in the State are fast disappearing due to the people’s lack of awareness and indifference, Khanikar said: “We have developed medicines from many such plants which can cure diseases and disorders like cirrhosis, dibetes, 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.”