A functionary of a traditional healers' body in Manipur speaking at a workshop on folk and indigenous healing practices in Manipur on tuesday
A functionary of a traditional healers' body in Manipur speaking at a workshop on folk and indigenous healing practices in Manipur on may 28, 2019. Image: Northeast Now

A one-day workshop on ‘Folk and indigenous healing practices in Manipur’ was held at the committee room of the Manipur University administrative block on Tuesday.

The workshop was organized by the Centre for Study of Social Exclusion and Inclusive Policy (CSSEIP), Manipur University in collaboration with the Anthropos India Foundation (AIF), New Delhi and Indira Gandhi National Centre for Arts (IGNCA), New Delhi.

Also read: Meghalaya: Move to integrate traditional way of healing ailments with AYUSH

Prof P Kumar of Department of Life Sciences, Manipur University, associate professor Dr Sunita Reddy who is founder chairperson of AIF, president N Tombiraj of All Manipur Maiba Maibi Phurup (AMMMP) and governing body member of North Eastern Institute of Folk Medicine, Pasighat and Padmashree awardee Laishram Nabakishore Singh who is a kidney stone herbalist spoke as resource persons.

Also read: Sikkim Chief Minister lays foundation of ‘Folk Healing Centre’

Prof Amar Yumnam, Director, CSSEIP Manipur University was the moderator of the workshop.

Giving the welcome address during the workshop, Dr Thiyam Bharat of CSSEIP said that the traditional healers are disappearing from the present day society due to various reasons including lack of support from the authority and the public.

Even the forest resources used by the traditional healers are also vanishing day by day due to human pressure, he said. Thus the workshop was organized in order to find a solution to address the existing problems and challenges.

Highlighting few findings of the recent study in Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh on traditional healing practices, Dr Sunita Reddy shared a similar sentiment. She also suggested to develop healers hut in the panchayat levels as part of giving recognition to the practitioners.

On the other hand, AMMMP president N Tombiraj expressed the need to promote traditional healers considering its natural way of treatment without any side effects unlike other treatment. So far not a single monetary help was extended to healers’ from the government side in the state, he lamented.

Expressing concern over the challenges faced by the traditional folk healers in the present society, Prof P Kumar of Manipur university also informed the gathering there a number of traditionally used medicines in Manipur.

It is said that considering the rich and vast heritage of traditional folk medicine practices, remedies and therapies, the of Eastern Institute of Folk Medicine was established at Pasighat in Arunachal Pradesh.

Sobhapati Samom

Sobhapati Samom is Northeast Now Correspondent in Imphal. He can be reached at: ssamom@gmail.com

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