A woman's SHG in Uttarakhand is pioneering self-reliance by training its rural women in the ancient Indian art of herbal farming and medicines.
Women of the Ramnagar area of Nainital District have joined the Navjyoti self-help group and are being trained in herb farming. They have created a small garden to grow herbs and from these herbs they are making medicines.
The self-help group consists of 19 women where they make various tonics, syrups and herbal oils.
"When we came to know about the uses of herbs, we circulated it around us because in our village, these herbs are easily available, especially in forest areas. They are very beneficial for us and have no side effects," said Nanda, President, Navjyoti.
The herbal medicines prepared by this group are quite popular among the people living in this area and sometimes when the medicines are not ready they place their orders before hand so that once the medicines are ready they receive their medicines on time.
Suchetna Seva Samity is training this self-help group. According to them the reason behind the training is because herbs are easily available in this area.
"The herbs are naturally available in this area and besides sometimes allopathic medicines have their own side effects. Therefore we thought that if the herbs are cheap and easily available, then we should train these women to make herbal medicines so that they can make use of it for their health related problems as well as a source of income," said Jaya, Coordinator, Suchetna Sewa Samity, Ramnagar.
These women are now planning to sell their herbal medicines in other villages also. Although they are living in a rural area but they have come up with their own self-employment ventures and are determined to improve their living conditions in the years to come.