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Workshop focuses on knowledge of traditional medicines
by Sharada Lahangir

          Bhubaneshwar: A national tribal healing workshop and exhibition on centuries old tribal medicines was recently held in Bhubneshwar. About 25 tribal healers from 13 tribal dominated districts participated in this workshop. The tribal healers gained some knowledge from the researchers and also shared their knowledge about the ayurvedic medicine that their ancestors have passed on to them. The workshop was organised to give a common platform to the tribal healers, researchers and patients and also to promote the ayurvedic medicine among the people. Tribal healers appealed to the state authorities to take measures to prevent extinction of auyrvedic medicines. A major threat faced by them is deforestation. "It would be good if we people get help from the government. We hope that the government saves the forests from deforestation. We hope that the government gives a machine to powder the herbs to 10-20 villages together to facilitate our work. In such a case, we will be able to give free medicines to the poor and needy," said Kulamani Meher, a tribal healer.

          The tribal healers claim to have cures for even dreadful diseases including AIDS and cancer. Interestingly, a large number of chronically ill patients come to the workshop with the hope of getting cured. "I have hundred per cent confidence in ayurvedic medicines because we benefit a lot and get from such exhibitions things that are not expensive," said Santosh Patnaik, a customer. Tribal healers are unlicensed but not necessarily untrained. The healing techniques they have is a legacy passed on to them through generations.
-Jan 14, 2009

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