Students in rural Uttar Pradesh to learn about herbal remediesJuly 16th, 2008 - 10:54 am ICT by IANS
By Asit Srivastava
Lucknow, July 16 (IANS) School students in rural Uttar Pradesh will soon learn about herbs and their curative powers in an educational programme that aims to popularize, preserve and apply the traditional knowledge about medicinal plants. In an educational programme to be undertaken jointly by two Lucknow-based science institutions - National Botanical Research Institute (NBRI) and Central Drug Research Institute (CDRI) - school children in villages will learn all about herbs and natural treatments.
“Under the Holistic Health Education Programme (HHEP) for rural schools, we will be teaching students about the importance of herbs that are being used for ages,” A.K.S. Rawat, NBRI’s head of pharmacognosy and ethnopharmacology division, told IANS.
The idea behind undertaking the programme is to catch them young to popularise, preserve and apply the traditional knowledge of medicinal plants, he added.
Under HHEP, herbal gardens will be set up in schools. “This will enable students to grasp and quickly learn about the properties of herbs. A rich variety of herbs, including exotic and rare variety, will be arranged by our institutes for setting up the gardens,” said Rawat.
Co-coordinated by NBRI’s director Rakesh Tuli, all formalities for launching HHEP have nearly been completed by the two institutes and it will begin later this month, scientists said.
“Initially, HHEP will be started as a pilot project in select villages of Uttar Pradesh. In its initial phase, the educational and interactive programme will cover villages in Sultanpur, Barabanki and Lucknow districts,” said an NBRI scientist.
To launch its programme, NBRI and CDRI will adopt several schools in Masuli (Barabanki), Malihabad (Lucknow), Gauriganj and Musafirkhana (Sultanpur), scientists said.
On why the programme was being restricted to schools in rural areas, an NBRI scientist said: “Health standards in villages and rural areas are quite lower than in the urban areas. By this programme, we aim to raise the standard by applying and propagating traditional knowledge.”