Posts filed under ‘National Institute of Ayurveda (Proposal sent to CM)’

All about Gandhamardan’s healing touch

Following items are from The Telegraph:

Bhubaneswar, Nov. 28: A trekker’s delight and a treasure trove for rare medicinal plants, Gandhamardan Hill Range is famous for its two shrines of Hari-Shankar and Nrusimhanath.

Affordable and reachable both by rail and road, the region could be a perfect getaway for you this winter.

While Nrusimhanath is situated at the Bargarh end of the 6,000 hectare range, Hari-Shankar is at the Balangir side. Hari-Shankar is 40km away from Kantabanji on the Titlagarh-Raipur railway stretch and 90km from Balangir town.

The most interesting part of your trip should be the trek from Hari-Shankar to Nrusimhanath through the forest. It could take as much as six hours to cover the 15km stretch.

Hari-Shankar on the southern slope of the Gandhamardan Hill Range is unique because of its shrine of both Vishnu and Shiva. The entire hill range has more than 20 perennial streams.

While there are forest rest houses (FRHs) at Hari-Shankar and Nrusimhanath with four and two rooms respectively available in the range of Rs 100-Rs 250 a night, a budget hotel built by Indian Tourism Development Corporation (ITDC) at Hari-Shankar has air conditioned rooms for Rs 1,100-Rs 1,200 a night.

Budget hotels at Balangir town are available in the range of Rs 400-Rs 800 a night.

Balangir divisional forest officer (DFO) Rajkishore Sahu said: “People Chhattisgarh come to Hari-Shankar by trekking the entire way. The deer park between the temple and forest rest house (FRH) now has 200 deer. At Hari-Shankar, there is also a very beautiful herbal garden with 300 varieties of plants.”

Sahu said there are 300 separate plots dedicated to 300 different varieties of plants at the garden. Some of these plants are very rare in these parts.

“The herbal garden near Nrusimhanath contains 150 varieties of plants, but they are not planted in the way in which the Hari-Shankar thing has been done,” he added.

If you have a problem with the 15-km trek from Hari-Shankar to Nrusimhanath, you could opt for the road via Paikmal, taking which you could reach Nrusimhanath in two hours.

Though there are no big animals like elephants and tigers in the forest, you could encounter leopards, hyena, peacock, flying squirrel, monkeys, snakes, bear and wild boar.

“The facilities extended by the temple administration and the forest and ITDC people are good and one can enjoy the stay with the entire family,” said Mrutyunjay Tripathy, a state government employee who visited Gandhamardan Hill Range last year.

According to the Ramayana, while bringing the entire Gandhamardan range from the Himalayas to treat Lakshman with Sanjivanee, Hanuman, the valorous monkey god, broke some parts of the mountain and the pieces fell at the place where today’s Gandhamardan stands with its treasure of fragrant medicinal plants.

The hill range is composed of a cluster of hills with altitudes varying between 600 and 1,005 metres above the sea level. Bender, Butel, Chalidilli, Chhatradandi Gandhamardan, Potpani and Thuta are the prominent hills in this range. The range stands as a natural barrier on the border of Balangir and Bargarh districts.

“The forest in the hill range comes under the tropical moist deciduous type. Due to its diversified topography with 22 perennial streams, the region provides an ideal environment for the growth of both plants and animals. However, these resources are under severe threat due to over-exploitation including collection of firewood, fodder, medicinal plants and heavy incidence of grazing. Out of the 1,076 species of plants found in Bargarh district, a total of 850 species of vascular plants belonging to 540 genera under 138 families are available here,” said ecologist Prasad Dash.

“Of the 28 endemic medicinal plants found in the Eastern Ghats, seven are found in Gandhamardan alone. Dominance of phanerophytes indicates a tropical moist and humid climate. The top flat plateau of the hills running through the length of Gandhamardan is covered lush grasslands,” he said.

A variety of rare and endemic hill stream fish are also available here. Due to the rich floral diversity, a large number of honey bees and birds are found here. Because of the presence of a variety of plants, a large variety of butterflies are also found here,” Dash added.

But the hill range is most famous for its medicinal plants and is also known as an “ayurvedic garden”.

More than 400 plant species were found in the area with medicinal properties. Among them, Asparagus racemosus, Celastrus paniculata, Chlorophytum arundinaceum, Costus speciosus, Curculigo orchioides, Curcuma angustifolia, Gloriosa superb, Gymnema sylvestre, Plumbago zeylanica, Rubia cordifolia and Tinospora cordifolia were harvested in bulk for preparation of medicines by local people.

Unsustainable collection of the above medicinal plants has placed them in threatened and vulnerable categories in Conservation Assessment and Management Plan (CAMP) of the state. Some medicinal plants such as Asparagus gonoclados, Enicostema littorale, Pimpinella heyneana, Garcinia xanthochymus, Radenmanchera xylocarpa, Embelia basal, Symphorema polyandrum, Vernonia anthelmintica, Xanthoxylum rhetsa, Cordia macleodii, Litsea glutinosa, Pterocarpus marsupium and Schrebera swietenioides, which were abundant at one point, are now rarely seen and come under the threatened category of medicinal plants in Orissa.

January 15, 2011 at 8:05 am Leave a comment

Herbal villages to be developed in Himachal Pradesh; Orissa should initiate process to develop Herbal villages near Gandhamardan region

Following is a report by PTI published in http://www.deccanherald.com:

Giving a boost to cultivation of herbs, National Bank of Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) has decided to adopt villages in Himachal Pradesh and develop them as ‘Herbal Villages.

Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal said NABARD had already adopted 20 villages in Himachal Pradesh and 40 more were likely to be adopted by the bank under the Village Development Plan. He said that a massive herbal plantation campaign had been launched in the state and farmers were being provided free herbal plants for cultivation in their private land.

Lauding NABARD for extending financial aid for implementation of the Rs 353 crore Pandit Deen Dayal Kisan Baagwan Samridhi Yojana and Rs 300 crore Doodh Ganga Yojana aimed, Dhumal said that both the programmes had yielded desired results as large numbers of farmers were coming forward to avail benefits under the schemes. He said so far over 5000 farmers had availed loan and the ‘Doodh Ganga’ schemes will give a boost to animal husbandry and dairy farming activities.

S T Raghuraman, Chief General Manager, NABARD suggested opening of retail outlets all over the state for the poly house produce and dairy products under both the schemes so that a ready market was made available to the farmers

August 1, 2010 at 9:59 am Leave a comment

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

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.

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

A proposal to CM of Odisha and Higher Education Task Force: “National Institute of Ayurveda” is a must in Gandhamardan area

Respected Mr. Patnaik, CM of Odisha and Members of the Higher Education Task force,

I appreciate the formation of higher education task force by the state government.  Also, I am hopeful that such innovative steps will definitely sharpen the higher education of Odisha.

Sirs,

I would like to request the higher education task force to recommend the establishment of a “National Institute of Ayurveda” in Gandhamardan area in western Odisha. I am sure many of us are aware of the potential of Gandhamardan mountain and medicinal plants in it.

In this document, I am presenting the details about the “Gamdhamardan mountain as a reservoir of medicinal plants” with scientific references; thereby, making a case for the establishment of a National Institute of Ayurveda.

I am sure our respected CM, who is the author of the “Garden of Life: An introduction to the Healing Plants of India” will take this matter seriously. Also, I am hopeful that the higher education task force will take the necessary steps; so that, “the medicinal plants in Gamdhamardan mountain” will not get lost with time.

Please have a look on the following write-up for further details.

Thanking you with best regards,

Sanjib

___________________________________________________________________________________________

1. “National Institute of Ayurveda” is a must in Gandhamardan area: Introduction and Analysis:

Gandhamardan mountain range is known world wide as a reservoir for medicinal plants. It is located in the western Odisha. More specifically, it is located in between Balangir and Bargarh district (Figure 1).

Figure 1 Map showing location of Gandgmardan mountain in between Balangir and Bargarh district


Many eminent scholars of life sciences have done a lot of research on the medicinal plants available in this mountain range. In fact, this hill range is legendary. It has found a place in folklore and mythology -of how Hanuman plucked Bisalyakarani, a medicinal plant, from this hill to save the life of Laxman in the battle of Lanka in “The Ramayana”. In addition, it is known to the whole world how this hill range was at the centre of one of the most prominent ecological movements, that is, the battle between environmentalists keen on protecting aryurvedic plants and the then state-owned Bharat Aluminium Corporation.

Apart from this, there are many scientific journals and books that are mentioning about the potential of medicinal plants available in Gandhamardan mountain (see the reference list)1-5. The state/central govt must establish a “National Institute of Ayurveda” in this place. Right now, both Balangir and Bargarh (Paikmal) each have one Ayurvedic College. Establishing a national level institute on Ayurvedic Medicine will help to a great extent to these colleges by carrying out research in emerging areas. Recently, research on ayurvedic medicine is attracting considerable attention in India and abroad.

It is important to note that, significant developments have boosted systematic research on different aspects of ayurveda and traditional medicine in India. They include the Golden Triangle project jointly managed by CSIR, ICMR and AYUSH; the New Millennium Indian Technology Leadership Initiative (NMITLI) of CSIR and various schemes of DST and DBT.

Additionally, ayurveda is also entering to the mainstream “Drug Discovery”. Following graph show the growing demand of research on Ayurvedic medicine.

Figure 2 Scopus citations as on 21 June 2009 for Ayurveda in ‘title, abstract and keywords’3

In addition to this, a paper by “Reddy and Pattnaik” from the Forestry and Ecology Division, National Remote Sensing Centre, Hyderabad 500 037, Andhra Pradesh, India points out many interesting facts about “Gandhamardan hill” 4.

It states that, after analyzing and studying the plant resources of Gandhamardan hill range a total of 912 vascular species belonging to 556 genera under 142 families were found. Herbs dominate the flora followed by trees, climbers and shrubs.

Therefore, proper conservation and management plans are needed to save the natural resources, especially medicinal plants, of this sacred hill range. Many botanists fear that this reserve of medicinal plants could be lost in the next few years if proper care is not taken and the indiscriminate collection and smuggling of herbs by local villagers is not stopped. The state forest department which is supposed to guard this botanical wealth is not able to do enough to stop all these developments because they lack of the knowledge and expertise about these plants. In fact, they have no clue which are useful medicinal plants and which are not.

In addition, in these places there is no organized way of farming of the medicinal plants. They just grow in the wild. Therefore, it is very difficult to guard these species. Taking the advantage of this situation any villages or smugglers can walk into the forest and collect the herbs. It is very important that the government should takes steps to grow these plants, harvest these properly, and finally do the marketing of these medicinal plants and herbs in a well organized manner. It should take care of the cultivation and preservation of these plants like it is doing for other forest products like sal seeds or kendu leaves etc.

However, intellectually this problem can be solved by establishment of a National Institute of Ayurveda. The above discussion/ description/ scientific observation strongly suggests the establishment of a National Institute of Ayurveda near Gandhamardan mountain.

2. Following are some of my points in support of establishing a National Institute of Ayurveda in Gandhamardan area:

  • West is very much keen on establishing institute on ayurveda. One such successful institution is the National Institute of Ayurvedic Medicine established by Dr. Scott Gerson, USA, (http://niam.com/corp-web/index.htm). This is an example of an institute that has carried out research into Ayurvedic practices to a great extent. In this context, we must use our native expertise. In addition, the National Institute of Ayurvedic Medicine, USA can be a collaborative partner for establishing an institute Gandhamardan area.

  • This mountain is very important to all of us and to the world. We should use our natural medicinal resources very judiciously. It is also very surprising that no steps have been taken for the preservation of these high-valued plants. It is the right time to establish a National Institute of Ayurveda in this area.

  • As we know this mountain range is a reserve for medicinal plants. Therefore, it will provide adequate environment for cutting edge research/studies in different areas of ayurvedic medicine per international standard.

  • Establishment of a National Institute of Ayurveda will help for organized way of farming the medicinal plants; which just grow in the wild. This will also help in preserving different rare species of plants.

  • This Institute will provide a boost to the ongoing research/academic activities by Ayurvedic College Balangir and Shri Nrusinghanath Ayurved College Paikmal, Bargarh on this area. Along this line, establishing a National Institute of Ayurveda will make this place a leader in this area of science in national/international level.
  • This step will attract companies like Dabur, Ayur, and others to set-up labs/companies in this area.

  • From the above discussion it is very clear that research fundings are already available from the leading agencies of India like CSIR (Council for Scientific and Industrial Research), DST (Department of Science & Technology), and DBT (Department of Biotechnology). So, there will be no problem in setting up labs and developing infrastructure.
  • There is a lot of synergistic research going on between Ayurvedic, Homeopathic and Allopathic branches of medicine. This is very clear from our day-to-day life as Allopathic doctors often prescribe medicines of Dabur, Neem, etc. Therefore, establishment of such an institute will further enhance the research between this National Institute of Ayurveda with other institutes viz. VSS Medical College, SCB Medical College etc. of the state.

3. The following steps need to be taken to establish a National Institute of Ayurveda in Gandhamardan

  • Immediately, the state govt. should present a proposal to the HRD Ministry for establishing National Institute of Ayurveda in Gandhmardan area.

  • Along the line of the above institutes, the state govt. in collaboration with govt. of India must establish a National Institute of Ayurveda in Gandhamardan area.

References:

1. Netra Bhanu Pradhan, Gandhamardan – A treasure House of Medical Plants, Navaratna Journal, Jan-Feb, 2008, 41-44.

2. Ayurveda: scientific research and publications, Current Science, 2009, 97( 8), 1117-1122

3. C. Sudhakar Reddy and Chiranjibi Pattanaik, An Assessment of Floristic Diversity of Gandhamardan Hill range, Orissa, India. Bangladesh J. Plant Taxon. 16(1): 29-36, 2009

4. Following are some of the research papers taken from the reference list of the paper 3 (Papers only with the name Gandhamardan are taken)

Brahmam, M. and Saxena, H.O. 1990. Ethnobotany of Gandhamardan hills – Some noteworthy folk medicinal uses. Ethnobotany 2: 71-79.

Brahmam, M. and Saxena, H.O.1990. Phyto-chemical screening of the plants of Gandhamardan hills of Orissa (India) for tannins, saponins, flavonoids and alkaloids. Asian J. Plant Sci. 1: 71-79.

Misra, R.C. 2004. Therapeutic uses of some seeds among the tribals of Gandhamardan hill range, Orissa.Indian J. Traditional Knowledge 3: 105-115.

Misra, R.C. and Behera, G. 1998. Ecological status of Gandhamardan forests using remote sensing techniques. In: Biodiversity Conservation: Problems and Prospects. Proc. National Seminar on Biodiversity Conservation, Bhubaneswar, India, pp. 75-80.

Misra, R.C. and Das, P. 1998. Vegetation status of Nrusinghanath – Harishankar complex, Orissa. J. Econ.Taxon. Bot. 22: 547-554.

Mishra, R.C. and Das, P. 2003. Wild poisonous seeds: Some notable species from Gandhamardan Hill ranges of Orissa. J. Econ. Bot. 27: 513-518.

Misra, R.C. and Das, P. 2004. Vegetation stratification of Gandhamardan hill range, Orissa using remote sensing techniques. J. Econ. Taxon. Bot. 28: 429-438.

Mishra, R.C., Panda, P.C. and Das, P. 1994. Lesser known medicinal uses of plants among the tribals of Gandhamardan hill ranges, Orissa. In: Gupta, B.K. (ed.), Higher Plants of Indian Subcontinent, Vol. III, Bishen Singh Mahendra Pal Singh Publications, Dehra Dun, India, pp. 135-142.

Mishra, R.C., Panda, P.C. and Das, P. 2001. A taxonomic study of the ferns and fern allies of Gandhamardan hills, Orissa. J. Econ. Taxon. Bot. 25: 577-590.

Panigrahi, G. 1963. Gandhamardan Parbat, Orissa – A potential source of important indigenous drugs. Bull. Reg. Res. Lab. 1: 111-116.

Pattanaik, C. and Reddy, C.S. 2007. Medicinal plant resources of Gandhamardan hill range, Orissa: An urgent need for conservation. Natl. Acad. Sci. Lett. 30: 35-38.

Raju, D.C.S. 1960. Vegetation pattern of Gandhamardan hills. Bull. Int. Soc. Trop. Ecol. 1: 21-22.

Saxena, H.O. and Brahmam, M. 1995. Vascular flora of Gandhamardan hills. J. Econ. Taxon. Bot. 19: 113-132.

5. NOTE: This is not the complete list of references. Because of time limitation I have collected as much as I can.

November 5, 2009 at 4:48 pm Leave a comment

“National Institute of Ayurveda” is a must in Gandhamardan area

Following is a report from Tathya.in:

Sanjib Kumar Karmee, has urged the Odisha Government, to demand for setting up the National Institute of Ayurvedic Medicine in Gandhamardan area.

Dr.Karmee, a leading Non Resident Odia (NRO) making a detailed note on the Gandhamardan mountain range he said is known world wide as a reservoir for medicinal plants is located in between Balangir and Bargarh district in the Western Odisha.

West is very much keen on establishing institute on Ayurveda and one such successful institution is the National Institute of Ayurvedic Medicine established by Dr. Scott Gerson, in USA,

This is an example of an institute that has carried out research into Ayurvedic practices to a great extent.

In this context, Odisha must use our native expertise, strongly felt Dr.Karmee in a memorandum to the Chief Minister.
In addition, the National Institute of Ayurvedic Medicine, USA can be a collaborative partner for establishing an institute Gandhamardan area, said he.

This mountain is very important to all of us and to the world. It is also very surprising that no steps have been taken for the preservation of these high-valued plants.
Therefore, it will provide adequate environment for cutting edge research and studies in different areas of ayurvedic medicine per international standard.

In the Gandhamardan Mountain there is no organized way of farming of the medicinal plants.
They just grow in the wild. Therefore, it is very difficult to guard these species.

Taking the advantage of this situation any villages or smugglers can walk into the forest and collect the herbs.

It is very important that the Government should takes steps to grow these plants, harvest these properly, and finally do the marketing of these medicinal plants and herbs in a well organized manner. It should take care of the cultivation and preservation of these plants like it is doing for other forest products like sal seeds or kendu leaves etc.

Intellectually, this problem can be solved by establishment of a National Institute of Ayurveda that will help for organized way of farming the medicinal plants; which just grow in the wild.

This will also help in preserving different rare species of plants. This Institute will provide a boost to the ongoing research/academic activities by Ayurvedic College Balangir and Shri Nrusinghanath Ayurved College Paikmal, Bargarh on this area.

Along this line, establishing a National Institute of Ayurveda will make this place a leader in this area of science in national/international level. This initiative will attract companies like Dabur, Ayur, and others to set-up laboratories and companies in this area.

Research fundings are already available from the leading agencies of India like CSIR (Council for Scientific and Industrial Research), DST (Department of Science & Technology), and DBT (Department of Biotechnology).

So, there will be no problem in setting up labs and developing infrastructure.

There is a lot of synergistic research going on between Ayurvedic, Homeopathic and Allopathic branches of medicine. This is very clear from our day-to-day life as Allopathic doctors often prescribe medicines of Dabur, Neem, etc.
Therefore, establishment of such an institute will further enhance the research between this National Institute of Ayurveda with other institutes viz. VSS Medical College, SCB Medical College etc. of the state.

November 4, 2009 at 11:00 am Leave a comment


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