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30 Tribal Vaidyas Plant Traditional Medicinal Plants in Herbal Garden of Sukinda Chromite Mine of Tata Steel

Sukinda, September 15, 2017
  • As part of third edition of Green Therapy Programme 200 saplings of medicinal plants planted, scholars and tribal vaidyas exchanged knowledge on medicine
  • Initiative to preserve bio-diversity and traditional tribal knowledge on natural healing practices

A total of thirty tribal vaidyas from Sukinda in Jajpur district of Odisha planted traditional medicinal plants  at the herbal garden of Sukinda Chromite Mine (SCM), Tata Steel on September 15, 2017. As part of the third edition of Green Therapy Programme, the vaidyas planted around 200 saplings of 35 varieties of medicinal plants which they have been using for a long time. These plants have therapeutic properties and the intent has been to pass on the near-extinct knowledge of natural healing practices to the next generation.

Green Therapy Programme focuses on biodiversity and ethno-botanical traditions, and is a platform to create opportunities of learning through knowledge sharing sessions, documenting lesser-known or near-extinct practices, nurturing of plants with medicinal values and promoting traditional and tribal culture. The saplings planted include Jesthi madhur (Glycyrhiza glabra),Mutha (Cyperous rotundus), Shweata arka (Calotropis procera), Dudura (Datura metel), Indrajaba (Acalypha indica), Methi(Mentha spicata), etc.

The healing properties of the planted saplings can address ailments like cold and cough, dysentery, Asthma, Kidney problem, Joint pain, etc. The herbal garden at SCM is spread across 0.47 hectares  which already has more than 20 varieties of medicinal plants like Neem, Bela, Ashoka, etc.

Many of the tribal vaidyas, hailing from villages like Mahulkhal, Baragazi, Kendubani, Deogaon, Anal, Bandhaniya from Jajpur and Dhenkanal districts follow a tradition which has not been documented and may gradually fade from memory. Therefore, the plantation programme was followed by a knowledge sharing session between the tribal vaidyas and scholars like Dr. Pravarkar Pradhan, Assistant Professor, Utkalmani Gopalbandhu, Government Ayurvedic College and Hospital, Puri and Dr. Sanjeev Kumar Das, Scientist, Central Ayurveda Research Institute for Hepatobiliary Disorders, Bhubaneshwar, Chief speaker and Guest of the Honour of the event, respectively. There was also a display of various herbs at the programme.

Appreciating the initiative, Dr Pradhan opined that such interactive sessions will enrich the repository of traditional and tribal knowledge of natural healing practices while protecting and preserving the rich bio-diversity.

Reiterating company’s commitment for the cause, Mr R R Satpathy, General Manager, Operations, Ferro Alloys and Minerals Division, Tata Steel, said: “The third edition of Green Therapy has created more awareness on the subject among the communities and scholars. This platform will certainly help to further the cause of bio-diversity while promoting and protecting our traditional practices.

PRI members, Union office bearers of SCM union, other employees of Tata Steel, Tata Steel Rural Development Society unit head, local villagers, media persons were present on the occasion.

About Tata Steel

Tata Steel Group is among the top global steel companies with an annual crude steel capacity of 27.5 million tonnes per annum (MTPA) as on March 31, 2017. It is the world's second-most geographically-diversified steel producer, with operations in 26 countries and a commercial presence in over 50 countries. The Group recorded a consolidated turnover of US $18.12 billion (INR 117,420 crore) in FY17. Tata Steel Group is spread across five continents with an employee base of nearly 74,000. Having bagged the Deming Application Prize and Deming Grand Prize for continuous improvement in 2008 and 2012 respectively, Tata Steel has now been recognised as the global ‘Industry Leader’ in ‘Steel category’ by Dow Jones Sustainability Index (2015). Besides being a member of the World Steel Climate Action Programme, Tata Steel has also been felicitated with several awards including the Prime Minister’s Trophy for the best performing integrated steel plant for 2013-14 (received in 2017), Best Risk Management by CNBC TV18 (2016), ‘Best-in-class Manufacturing’ award from TIME India (2016) and the ‘Most Ethical Company’ award from the Ethisphere Institute (2016), IIM Sustainability Award (2015), among several others.

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