Kolkata: The state Ayush department along with the help of Horticulture department and state medicinal plant board will cultivate Tulsi plant on 150 bigha land in Cooch Behar under the ‘Tulsi Gram’ project. The state government has selected 150 farmers at the Natabari I & II Gram Panchayats of the district each having one bigha land. The Ayush department will hand over saplings to the farmers who will grow them. The state government will then procure them to utilise the medicinal value of Tulsi. The government will produce various items including tea, oil, syrup etc, having high medicinal value. Tulsi ark will also be produced which is used for healing fever and cough. If Tulsi is produced more than the demands, the government can also sell the plants to private agencies. The construction of godowns has been initiated and drying sheds are being set up. The members of the Self-Help Groups have been involved in the process by the district administration. The state government will also help the farmers to scientifically grow the Tulsi plants.
The project had been conceptualised in 2013 by Dr Basab Kanti Dinda, a senior ayurvedic medical officer at Natabari block primary health centre, with an aim to provide better treatment to the villagers who used to suffer from cough and cold, sore throat, headache, fever, nasal blockage caused mainly because of the humid weather in the region. As the project had received unprecedented response among the villagers, the Ayush department decided to replicate the same in the entire Toofangunj I block to cater to a larger number of people. Cooch Behar district administration chalked a plan to replicate the ‘Tulsi Gram’ project in Toofangunj I block as well. Mosquito-borne diseases can also be checked by planting Tulsi saplings.
The state Ayush department adopted ‘Tulsi Gram’ project in some parts of North Bengal to spread awareness on the importance of the plant and other herbs and their usage in the treatment of various common ailments. The state government’s ‘Tulsi Gram’ project received first prize at the international science festival in 2019. “We highly appreciate the project and also Dr Dinda’s efforts who came up with the idea. The state government should replicate the project in other districts of North Bengal so that it becomes the Tulsi hub of India,” said Dr Sushovan Paul, state president of National Ayurveda Students’ and Youth Association.
Source: millinium post