In a first of its kind ceremony, CSIR-North East Institute of Science and Technology of Jorhat in eastern Assam handed over three large packets containing anti arthritis ointment and an anti fungal ointment caused by water borne infections for farmers and flood affected and an anti fungal powder to the health and veterinary departments through the district administration, free of cost.
The ceremony was held at the new Circuit House conference hall in Jorhat on Friday in the presence of Deputy Commissioner Narayan Konwar, Speaker of Assam Legislative Assembly and Jorhat MLA Hitendra Nath Goswami and in-charge director of NEIST, Pinaki Sengupta.
Joint director of Health who delivered the welcome address said that these ointments would be distributed among those who farmers and others were affected by itching and arthritic pain in the districts of Majuli and Jorhat.
Sengupta said that apart from these products, NEIST had also produced a slew of mosquito repellents in different forms like liquid vaporizers, candles, incense sticks which were all herbal based and were not harmful to humans unlike their counterparts which were usually synthetic chemical formulations and especially not to be inhaled by infants.
Sengupta praised the Aromatic and Medicinal division of NEIST led by senior scientist Mantu Bhuyan and others.
Mantu Bhuyan, senior scientist, Aromatic and Medicinal division of CSIR-NEIST had said that the ointment named Kisan Guard, which was totally herbal was launched in Majuli last year on a trial basis.
“During the sowing of Sali paddy, our farmers spend more than a month working in knee deep water in the fields. Majuli is also flooded during the rainy season and people have to make their way through puddles and watery patches. They are often affected by fungal infections which may result in Athletes foot,” Bhuyan had said.
Kisan Guard worked wonders to stave off all these infections.
Sengupta also highlighted the high yielding varieties of citronella and lemon grass produced by NEIST which had been acquired by farmers in all the north-eastern states and even outside the Northeast.
He said that 10950 hectare of land would be brought under cultivation of aromatic plants from which essential oils were extracted.
He further said that 40 distillation plants would also be set up by NEIST in different locations for the farmers.
Konwar said that the coloured bricks made from the sand of Brahmaputra by NEIST was another innovation which could help youths gain employability and maybe something could be done under the Prime Minister’s Employment Generation Programme.
Hitendra Nath Goswami said that he was unaware that NEIST had so many products and said that these should be put on display.
Goswami said that Rs 12 crore had been earmarked for Tocklai Tea Research Institute to make it a tea hub where people and tourists could have a first-hand experience of tea growing, harvesting and making apart from being put up in the British era bungalows inside the oldest research institute in the world.
He said that something on this line should be also done in NEIST so that people came to know what was going on there, and local entrepreneurs too could be attracted to take up production of such useful ointments and other items.