Healing a Tradition
Bir Singh Padda (left) and another traditional healer plant herbs on the campus of C G Net Swara in Bhopal (Photographs Courtesy: CG Net Swara)
Baiga tribals have in-depth knowledge of herbal healing, says Vijay Chaurasia. “In fact, I learnt a treatment for asthma from a Baiga healer and have successfully treated hundreds of patients using the nuskha (indigenous remedy).” Coming from an allopathic physician, the statement means nothing but hard facts about traditional healing. Chaurasia, who runs a private clinic in Gadasarai village in Dindori district of Madhya Pradesh, says, “I used to wonder why very few Baiga people come to my clinic for treatment. I realised the reason after a Baiga healer cured my wife’s asthma.”
Healing traditions of indigenous people have always been a thorny subject—many of their methods do not conform to modern science, there is no standardisation, and recognition is a messy affair. In the last week of September, some 50 traditional healers gathered at a meet organised by C G Net Swara, a citizens’ journalism initiative, in Bhopal to deliberate these issues.
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