Published On : Sat, Jan 30th, 2016

Pan India awareness drive of tribal traditional herbal knowledge

Indigenous Knowledge Mission undertakes drive to propagate preservation, propagation and promotion of tribal traditional herbal knowledge.
Pan India awareness drive
Nagpur: Global Trend: Total global herbal market is of size 62.0 billion dollars, in this India’s contribution is only one billion dollars. The forecast is that the global market for herbal products is expected to be $5 Trillion by 2050. Herbal remedies would become increasingly important especially in developing countries. India, with its biodiversity has a tremendous potential and advantage in this emerging area. What Oil is to Gulf, our age old tribal traditional herbal knowledge can be for Indian economy.  Now for this to happen we should have a clear understanding about the present ground reality and measures we are going to take for realizing the objective of making India a super power for herbal economy.

Pan India awareness driveLegacy of indigenous knowledge: We are perhaps the oldest serving civilization in the world. We began agriculture and domesticating animals in 9000 BC to meet our daily needs. Indigenous knowledge based herbal practices exist even before that and it is tried, tested and trusted since last thousands of years. Unlike western medicine which depends upon clinical evidences, it depends upon clinical experience. It has passed from one generation to other through word of mouth. It is like a crude diamond, hardest but lack luster as it is uncut and unpolished but a diamond is a diamond when it comes to efficacy. Integrated with modern science it can act as a source for cost effective, need based health solution and new drug development to build Indian economy and benefit the whole world. Tribal communities used 8000 species of medicinal plants where as only 900 species are used in Ayurveda. It was the indigenous herbal knowledge of Ouecha tribes of Peru & Bolivia who were the first to use the bark of the Cinchona tree as a cure for fever that leads to the development of first anti malaria drug of the world popularly known as Quinine.

Recognition by World bodies : Prestigious World bodies have already stated its importance. Like UNESCO stated that Indigenous knowledge is the local knowledge that is unique to a culture or society, which passed from generation to generation, usually by word of mouth and cultural rituals, and has been the basis for agriculture, food preparation, health care, education, conservation and the wide range of other activities that sustain societies in many parts of the world. Similarly WHO endorsed the fact that Traditional Medicine (TM) is widely used and of rapidly growing health system and economic importance. In Africa up to 80% of the population uses traditional medicine to help meet their health care needs. In Asia and Latin America, populations continue to use TM as a result of historical circumstances and cultural beliefs. World Bank was candid enough to state that the basic component of any country’s knowledge system is its indigenous knowledge. It encompasses the skills, experiences and insights of people, applied to maintain or improve their livelihood. In the emerging global knowledge economy a country’s ability to build and mobilize knowledge capital, is equally essential for sustainable development as the availability of physical and financial capital.

Ground Reality: Despite being all said and stated by different bodies on various platform and stages, there is a status quo in ground reality and nothing substantial has been done for preservation, propagation and promotion of our age old tribal traditional herbal knowledge of India. SWADESHI GYAN ABHIYAN will not only be a nationwide mission but a revolution as well to fill the present lacunae and make India a healthy and wealthy country.

Objectives of Swadeshi Gyan Abhiyan
Scouting & Documentation: We are a remarkably diverse country with rich linguistic, genetic and cultural diversity. The country houses 1.2 billion people speaking 1652 languages and dialects, spread out over more than two thousand ethnicities and over every major religion. Our entire swadeshi gyan or tribal traditional herbal knowledge has passed from one generation to other through word of mouth and there is no written text as such. We should go all out for its extensive scouting and documentation to prevent the further loss of these knowledge.

Validation: Unlike western medicine which is based on clinical evidence, tribal traditional herbal knowledge is based on clinical experience. We need to validate it and generate reports to establish its credentials and efficacy through modern science. This can be done by research institution and universities. Jamnagar Ayurvedic University and Gujarat Vidyapith have already given their consent to take it up for  noble cause.

Commercial Production & Livlihood Enhancement: Healthcare companies could do commercial production of the products based on these indigenous knowledge with the legal arrangement of a part of profit going towards livelihood enhancement of tribal community to raise their socio-economic status. Abhumka Herbal has started working with this business model in Dangs Gujarat and we need to replicate it in other part of the country as well.

Exchange of Information( Digital India): To make people aware about the indigenous knowledge based remedies for agriculture, animal husbandry and agriculture and provide platform to inspire people from different state, culture and community to share their indigenous knowledge so that rest of the country know about it. For these exchange of information portals like www.swadeshigyan.com  and www.swadeshigyanabhiyan.com will be launched and all the chapter heads will be instrumental in searching, compiling of such information on the portal.

Pan India Awareness Drive: To make people aware about our age old indigenous herbal knowledge, indigenous herbal practices used by Indian tribesmen for different diseases and disorders, self reliance for the good health of their family, animals and agriculture. To eradicate the social stigma attached to use of indigenous knowledge and change the mindset and biased approach of people towards the indigenous knowledge to enhance its acceptance. For this we have chapter heads in 20 states to conduct seminars, workshops and distribution of material educating about tribal traditional herbal knowledge. Also they will provide recognition to traditional knowledge holders of their area and further integrate them to mainstream.

Conservation & Cultivation of Important Medicinal Plants: Due to natural and man made reasons many important medicinal plants are on the verge of extinction, we need to work for it’s ex-situ and in-situ conservation and cultivation as well. This will strengthen rural economy.

Employment Generation: Commercial cultivation, awareness campaign and promotion of indigenous knowledge will attract a large human force. “No one can worship GOD on an empty Stomach“ therefore different working models will be formed so that the people engaged in different assignment can have healthy earnings.

Enhance GDP Growth: Presently people are more dependent upon health insurance rather than opting preventive healthcare system to remain healthy. More and more people adopting indigenous knowledge based preventive measures will add up to GDP.

Call to Corporate: Corporate can use at least one healthcare or utility product based on these age old indigenous herbal knowledge of Indian tribesmen. They can also help in awareness by recommending it to their employee.

Awards & Recognition: www.swadeshigyanabhiyan.com and www.swadeshigyan.com will encourage knowledge holders and innovators to share their indigenous knowledge practices and videos for healthcare, agriculture and animal husbandry and adequately recognize them with different manner periodically.

Major chanllenges for survival of Trible traditional herbal knowledge  

Unlike western medicine which depend upon clinical evidence, tribal traditional herbal knowledge depend upon clinical experience. There is a major threat of getting it lost as  it is facing challenges from all fronts like Ageing Healers, People or consumer and companies engrossed in making it  a viable alternative health solution.

Last Generation of Tribal Herbal Healers: All the tribal healers considered to be encyclopedia of traditional herbal knowledge are in their late 80s or early 90s and the irony is that their children no longer wanted to be a part of this legacy so if we failed to take their advantage and if they die then needless to say it will be a major national loss.

Inadequate Knowledge about tribal traditional Knowledge: Since faith healing is a part of tribal medication most of the common people associate tribal herbal knowledge with tantra, mantra and occult practices. What they don’t know is that tribal used more than 8000 plant species in their indigenous herbal practices which is more than the Ayurveda’s 900 species and treats critical disorders very effectively.

Mindset of the People: In the present era of computers, people expect immediate relief and treat their indications rather than the disease and purposely evade gradually recovery which comes through herbal products based on our traditional knowledge. In the whole process they don’t see the issue of “side effects”.

Social Stigma: Everybody claim to respect indigenous knowledge but when it comes for adoption they don’t do. If anybody in the family is suffering from any critical disorders then he is not taken to any herbal healer at the first place, only because the other will feel that family members are not willing to spend money on the costly treatment. Instead when everybody give up on the patient then he is taken to herbal healer at very last stage which proves to be futile.

Disinterested Companies: Most companies are not interested to work upon age old tribal traditional herbal knowledge for new drug development because of two reasons. Firstly, their people are not ready to work in remote and undeveloped rural tribal & forest areas which are deprived of basic amenities and secondly, they cannot patent the developed drug based on these existing knowledge. They are driven by their economic interest and not by wellbeing of the people.

Large Inventory Cost: Big companies are not interested as such and even if small companies worked and developed a product then launching it in the open market is nearly impossible due to exorbitant cost incurred to manufacture the product to maintain the required inventory inventory.

Large Cost for Awareness & Marketing: Even if a company developed the product, manufacture it in large quantity to make it available at all the possible out lets, it will not yield any sale unless it make people aware about its existence through different medium and marketing it through a sale force. All these require a very large fund.

Chapter Heads
National Convener – Manish Singh (M – 9825091353)

1.    Andhra Pradesh – Anirudh Inani
2.    Assam – Kamlesh Dudheria
3.    Andaman & Nicobar – Ahmed
4.    Bihar – Dr Bhim Shankar Manubansh
5.    Chhattisgarh – Mukesh Gupta
6.    Delhi – Girish Sawhney
7.    Goa – Jason Rodrigues
8.    Gujarat – Manoj Patel
9.    Jammu & Kashmir – Rajan Gupta
10.    Karnataka – Sharath Kumar
11.    Kerala – Baiju Janardan
12.    Madhya Pradesh – Pushyamitra Joshi
13.    Maharashtra – Jesal Thakkar
14.    Odisha – Umesh Khandelwal
15.    Punjab – Sunil Chawla
16.    Rajasthan – Anil Agarwal
17.    Tamilnadu – Ashutosh Sinha
18.    Uttar Pradesh – Chandrashekhar Mishra
19.    Uttara Khand – Mohit Suri
20.    West Bengal – Sushil Jayaswal

Abhumka Herbal
Translating tribal traditional herbal knowledge

Abhumka Herbal pledge to take Swadeshi Gyan Abhiyan across India. It is an ISO 9001:2008 Social Enterprise Company deeply engrossed in discovering and translating tribal traditional herbal knowledge into healthcare products. It is perhaps the only company in both the hemisphere that spend a part of its profit for livelihood enhancement thus to raise the socio-economic status of the tribal community of Dangs in Gujarat. In last one and a half decade Abhumka has prepared a digital library of 25000 herbal practices which can act as a very cost effective tool for new drug development. For mission detail of Abhumka Herbal kindly visit www.abhumka.com and www.abhumkaherbal.com