Prez’s honour for Bihar farmer
PATNA: A semi-literate sexagenarian farmer from Nawada district, Naval Kishore Singh, is on cloud nine. He received an award from President Pratibha Devi Singh Patil at Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi on March 9 for developing a herbal medication to check ephemeral but deadly fever especially affecting cattle. It was a moment to remember for him as he shook hands with her.
The occasion was the Sixth National Grassroots Technological Innovations & Traditional Knowledge Awards function where he was presented third national award for developing herbal medication for curing ephemeral fever in cattle. Singh’s innovation has caused a sudden decline in the number of cattle deaths due to this disease in his village Dumrawa and surrounding areas.
The awards were sponsored by the National Innovation Foundation (NIF), department of science and technology, Government of India, an organization which works to promote innovations in India.
“Your innovation is of national importance. It will help fight epidemic in cattle. You should keep up the good work,” the President was quoted by Singh to have said. NIF has also given a cheque of Rs 1 lakh to the farmer.
Singh told TOI that he has been engaged in his endeavour for the last 20 years. As word of his success in developing the herbal medicine spread, seven years ago a team from NIF arrived in his village to take note of what was going on. “They were satisfied with my work. After that, several other teams from NIF also arrived. My medicine was also tested by the NIF. Finally, I applied for a patent in 2007,” Singh said.
In 2009, a herbal medicine colloquially called “Gokhula”, which works as panacea in ephemeral but deadly fever colloquially called “Addhiiya” in cattle, was patented in the name of Singh. It cures cows, buffaloes, oxen, horses, goats and sheep. It is made from the roots of the herb “Gukhula”, which is found in Nawada in plenty.
Singh’s tryst with herbal medicine for cattle started in 1977 when an epidemic had broken out in his area and around 1000 cattle died. “Nine out of my own 10 oxen had died. My family was in shock. It was as if everything was gone,” Singh recalled. “I did an experiment and my last ox survived. Since then, there has been no looking back,” a beaming Singh told TOI.
Kundan Kumar Sinha, a native of Singh’s village, said, “Before Singh’s medicine became popular in the village, several cattle would die of “Addhiiya”. No medicine from any vet has worked as effectively as Singh’s herbs.”
Bihar’s director, postal services, Anil Kumar, who is a neighbour of Singh in the village, is also all praise for him. “Singh has taught us to find solutions to our problems. At community level I would organize a felicitation programme for Singh in the village which can inspire more grassroots level innovations,” said Kumar.
Singh told TOI that Anil K Gupta, NIF executive vice-chairperson, has asked him to spread the knowledge among the rural masses.