Doing their bit for the conservation of indigenous medicinal plants, the Ezhimala Indian Naval Academy is all set to launch an Oushadha poonkavanam (garden of medicinal plants) in two separate spots on its campus in Kannur district.
It was a news report that appeared in Express that inspired Naval Academy Base Commander Santhosh Pillai to set up herbal a garden there.
The Oushadha poonkavanam project, a joint effort of the Naval Academy and Hamsa Madikai, a ninth generation member of the family of Sufi healers, focuses on preserving endangered medicinal plants.
The mission plans to integrate cultivation with popularising the need to cultivate plants.
“Nobody can wash his hands of the obligation to preserve the disappearing greenery,” said Commander Santhosh.
“How healthy would it be especially for the cadets if they wake up breathing fresh air from the medicinal plants! Here, we already have a good collection of medicinal plants and this project is an attempt to widen our collection,” he said.
“If people from other walks of lives are also interested in the green mission it can take a giant leap forward in the protection of nature,” he added.
As an initial step, ahead of the launch, Hamsa Madikai took a one-day class on the importance of medicinal plants, for the cadets.
“If one cadet on the campus gets a thorough knowledge about the application of a minimum of five herbals, it would be the success of the project,” said Hamsa Madikai.
“We want to make the present generation the custodians of traditional medicines. Vaidyar Hamsa Madikai grows around 1,424 varieties of medicinal plants, of which 800 herbs are rare.
Around 500 medicinal plants, including aloe wood, elephant creeper, Ashoka tree, sandal tree, Indian ginseng, broom creeper, Malabar gulbel, lavender, peppermint, parsley, three-leaved-caper, arrowleaf sida, rosary pea, asparagus, red sandalwood, neem, brahmi, garcinia and many more will be planted on the five-acre land allotted for the garden.
He will supply the medicinal plants for the academy without charging any money.
Vaidyar Hamsa, hailing from Madikai in Kasaragod, embarked on the mission to save rare herbal remedies by launching herbal groves last year. As part of his mission he also sets up oushadha poonkavanams in schools across the state. M Kunhiraman, state president of the Oushadha Sasya Padana Bala Sabha, run by Vaidyar Hamsa, said the Naval Academy had shown an exemplary model for society. The organisers hope that the programme can be launched in the first week of January.//