Orissa’s CM urged for a National Institute of Ayurveda (NIA) in Gandhamardan area

July 2, 2010 at 6:45 pm Leave a comment

Following is a report from The Pioneer:

The State Government should take necessary steps to set up a National Institute of Ayurveda (NIA) in the Gandhamardan region to preserve its flora and fauna and boost Ayurvedic research.

In a letter to Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, Sanjib Kumar Karmee of Netherlands-based Delft University of Technology’s Department of Biotechnology, Biocatalysis and Organic-chemistry division, has urged him to set up the institute in view of the availability and presence of huge medicinal plants in the region.

Gandhamardan mountain range is known world wide as a repository of medicinal plants, located in between Balangir and Bargarh districts in the western Odisha.

It also finds mention in the folklore and mythology and in the story of Hanuman, who plucked Bisalyakarani, a medicinal plant, from this hill to save the life of Laxman injured critically in the battle of Lanka in The Ramayana, Karmee points out.

Gandhamardan hill range houses a total of 912 vascular species belonging to 556 genera under 142 families.

Herbs dominate the flora followed by trees, climbers and shrubs, according to the research by two scholars Reddy and Pattnaik of Hyderabad-based National Remote Sensing Centre’s Forestry and Ecology Division, he adds further.

The reserve of medicinal plants could be lost in the next few years if proper care is not taken and if the indiscriminate collection and smuggling of herbs by local villagers is not stopped, botanists apprehend.

The State Forest Department is supposed to guard this botanical wealth, but has not been able to do enough because they lack the knowledge and expertise about these plants, Karmee rues, adding they are clueless on differentiating between the useful and non-useful medicinal plants.

The medicinal plants just grow in the wild. Therefore, it is very difficult to guard these species.

Taking advantage of this situation any villages or smugglers can walk into the forest and collect the herbs, he states, complaining there is no organised way of farming of the medicinal plants in these places and opines, it is very important that the Government should take steps to grow these plants, harvest properly and finally do the marketing in a well-organised manner.

However, intellectually the problem can be solved by establishing an NIA that would provide a boost to the ongoing research/academic activities by the Ayurvedic College, Balangir and Shri Nrusinghanath Ayurved College, Paikmal in Bargarh district, the NRO maintains, stating further that, establishing an NIA would make the place a leader in the area of science in both national and international level and also will attract companies like Dabur, Ayur, and others to set-up labs/companies in the area.

Karmee also states that the demand for Ayurvedic medicine is increasing and Ayurveda is also entering to the mainstream Drug Discovery.

Well-known as a plant lover himself, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik could better feel the pulse and initiate necessary steps for setting up the NIA, besides promoting Ayurveda further for the benefits of the mankind, NRO Karmee concludes.

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Entry filed under: Balangir, Balangir-Titilagarh-Patanagarh, Bargarh, Health Care Facility, Higher Education Zone, National Institute of Ayurveda (Proposal sent to CM), Region watch.

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