Published: Sunday 15 August 1999

Fighting a fever

The article on 'Black Fever' ( Down To Earth, Vol 7, No 23; April 30) made interesting reading. But the author did not acknowledge the work done by the Catholic Health Association of India in popular tribal cure. The Association has successfully developed an improved indigenous tribal herbal formulation to cure Kala-azar.

In the first stage of this new initiative we treated about forty Kala-azar positive cases and all those who did not have any secondary infections like tb or malaria got completely cured. In the second stage, to popularise this formulation, we are training the tribal health animators to make this medicine in their own homes and treat the patients. Our dispensary at Satia village in the Pakur district of Bihar is the centre from where the second phase is being coordinated.

For a wider acceptance and to gain allopathic recognition, we have tied up with the Central Drug Research Institute, Lucknow. The institute has indicated that the formulation is an effective preparation to fight the disease....

A lesson in regeneration

Among the drought-stricken villages of Anantpura district, Andhra Pradesh, where forest cover is minimal, the village of Hulikalli is an exception. It is a shining example of the local people's efforts to green their environment. The key to their success was their ability to establish the existence of a relationship between forests and rain.

For many years over hundred hectares of agricultural land in this village did not yield any crops due to lack of rainfall. However, the villagers found that the nearby Ittampalli hills received rainfall and realised that the forest cover was responsible for it.

Under the guidance of the village sarpanch , K Thimmappa Chowdary, villagers started planting trees and protecting the existing ones in the surrounding hills and slopes. In the process thousands of neem , tamarind, banyan and other trees were planted.

The people were aware that regeneration of forests could not come about without strict discipline, they formulated rules for the protection of the forest. Villagers were appointed as guardians of the forest. Anyone caught cutting a tree would be fined between Rs 500 to Rs 1,000. This collective effort of afforestation brought rains to Hulikalli and the yield of many crops has gone up substantially. Now, even the surrounding villages get rain due to the efforts of the people of Hulikalli....

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