COVID-19: How tribal ‘gunies’ are boosting immunity of thousands

Forests are a treasure of herbs and tribal’s living there is not only custodians of these but using them to treat various diseases. A 62-year-old lady Bhanwar Dhabhai of Udaipur has made a group of these ‘Guni’ tribals in 5 states to not only treat people but to promote the use of herbs and traditional medicine. With her tribal friends, she prepared ‘kasha' and distributed it to around 2 lakh people during Covid.

Bhanwar Dhabhai runs an organization named ‘Rashtriya Guni Mission’ in states like Rajasthan, MP, Chhattisgarh, Bihar and Jharkhand and formed a group of more than 1000 tribals who have the knowledge of medicinal herbs and are treating people in their areas.

Dhabhai was working with an organization in the tribal areas of Udaipur in 1988 and had seen over a dozen kids die in a village named Kurabad due to diphtheria. ‘I left shaken from inside as there was no immediate medical relief available for the kids. Since then, I have decided that I will not allow anybody to die due to a lack of medical aid. If doctors are not there, we have our traditional herbs which can help save lives.’ Dhabhai said.

Since she was working in tribal areas, she was aware of the tribals who treat people with medicinal herbs. She identified them and formed groups of these tribal ‘gunies’. Her organization organizes camps in panchayats and cities to make people aware of traditional herbs, their impact on our bodies and their long-lasting benefits. She said that diseases like diabetes, asthma and skin disease can be cured by these herds, but people are not aware of them.

Dhabhai said ‘in this deadly pandemic, immunity plays a big role in defeating Covid. Stronger the immunity quicker will be the recovery and our traditional medicinal herbs are a great source of strength.’ during the first wave of the pandemic last year, she had served kadha to around 2 lakh people. She has resumed the process during the second wave with the help of her team.

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