In a bid to preserve and document knowledge in traditional medicine, the Indira Gandhi National Open University has decided to honour healers with ‘gram vaidya’ award. In a recent study Traditional medicine practitioners with over 25 years of experience quizzed healers in rural areas of Vellore and recommended names to the university. The project is aimed at helping the department of Ayurveda, Yoga & Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy (AYUSH) under the Union health ministry document the traditional systems being practised for years in villages. “These people aren’t registered or qualified practitioners. They are essentially farmers, who are often approached by villagers for life-saving problems like snake bites,” said Chennai-based Centre for Traditional Medicines and Research secretary Dr T Thirunarayanan, the project co-ordinator for Tamil Nadu. The study also covered Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Karnataka, Meghalaya, Orissa and Rajasthan. For Vellore, the university received 50 applications. The certification does not give the practitioners any licence. It is meant to document the traditional practices in the village and encourage people who have the knowledge.
Source : The Times Of India