City of lakes attracts thousands at National Forest Fair

December 27th, 2010 - 3:33 pm ICT by IANS  

Bhopal, Dec 27 (IANS) You name a forest-related product and you will get it at the ongoing tenth National Forest Fair in the city of lakes.The fair, organised by the Madhya Pradesh Minor Forest Federation, has showcased products for treatment of various diseases with the help of roots, branches or leaves.

The idea may not appeal to many, but the Dec 24-27 fair’s sale figures tell its success story.

The third day at the fair at Bittan Market in Bhopal saw a sale of natural products worth Rs.25 lakh that included amla (Indian gooseberry) and various items made from it, honey, green tea, herbal plants, ayurvedic medicines and many more.

But the most interesting are the claims of hakims and vaids to cure chronic and complex ailments such as heart attack, psoriasis with the methods of traditional system.

They also claim to increase the sexual power of men or women, make a woman’s complexion fairer and grow hair on bald head within minutes or in hours.

The organisers are providing free medical treatment to visitors from practitioners of alternative medicine.

It is not that the fair has given platform to people whose system is not accepted scientifically.

“Not really. We could not rule out our traditional system but let people decide what they want is right or wrong for them,” said Minor Forest Federation’s managing director P.K.Shukla.

The number of footfalls and product sales have increased numerously since the fair began, with Sunday notching up sales of up to Rs.25 lakh.

“I have been able to get several natural forest products, so I find the place very useful. But the claims of hakims and vaids should be checked by the organisers,” said Poonam Sharma, a housewife, visiting the fair.

Seven Indian states including Uttar Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh have participated in the fair and have set up 268 stalls.

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