Accepted paper:

PLANT HUMAN INTERACTION IN ETHNIC COMMUNITIES OF JHARKHAND , INDIA

Author:

Sushma Das Guru (Ranchi Womens College)

Paper short abstract:

The sacred relation of ethnical people and surrounding plants is well documented. Measures like introduction of protein rich soyabeans, mushrooms etc. in their food, Identification and standardization of therapeutic elements of the medicinal plants will enhance their health care system and nutritional status.

Paper long abstract:

In our country the life of ethnic communities is closely woven around the forest as from the pre-historic time plants are integral part of human civilization. It is well known that the ethnic communities of Jharkhand are totally dependent on the forest for their day to day requirements. Due to their semi nomadic life and shifting of natural resources, the traditional agricultural practices are absent in their social fabric, hence they are solely dependent on forest plants for their survival. The underground roots, leaves, wild fruits, mushroom etc. are important and regular items of their food. This dietary habit has led undernourished and malnourished tribal communities. It is suggested that to improve the nutritional status, these people should be motivated to cultivate high protein valued mushrooms, soya beans, etc. Such measures will positively improve the alarming health status in tribes and prevent high mortality. W.H.O. has recognized about 20,000 medicinal therapeutic plants in the world of which 15 to 25% are available in India. Jharkhand has plenty of such medicinal plants in forest and are used by these ethnic communities. But as in past the exact nature of effective component has yet to be identified and standardized. The immediate task before us is to explore the valuable time-tested medicinal plants of Jharkhand. Secondly, actions like conservation of germplasm, cultivation of medicinal plants will not only generate income for them but also improve the health care system of the ethnic people.

panel PE26
Plants utility by ethnic communities of eastern India for nutritional and health security, past-present and future