Benefitting from a tribal community’s symbiotic relationship with nature: The healing system practiced by Irula women – Tamil Nadu

INDIATIMES NEWS NETWORK | Mar 29, 2005 | To read the full article, click here >>

The Irulas’ Natural Products Corporation is a partnership firm located in the ITWWS campus, which produces, promotes and markets Irula health-care products. It provides employment to several hundred Irula women.  […]

The term Irula means being capable of finding one’s path in dark forests, according to an Irula myth. This is characteristic of the Irulas.

Born in nature’s lap, Irulas share a symbiotic relationship with Mother Earth. They reside in the hills of northern Tamil Nadu and are one among the six oldest Adivasi tribes.

Irulas’ are specialists in traditional herbal medicine and healing practices. Irula vaidyars, mostly women, practice traditional healing systems, which use over 320 medicinal herbs. […]

The Irula Tribal Women’s Welfare Society (ITWWS), established in 1986, focuses on this traditional science.

It empowers Irula women by promoting their medicinal products. This revival of traditional healing systems addresses public health needs as well as conserves Irula culture and expertise.

ITWWS organises forums for exchange of information between vaidyars, workshops on traditional knowledge for young school-going Irulas, and meetings on gender, adivasi identity, and other issues.

It is located south of Chennai, in Thandarai village 10 kms from Chengalpet town.

Tribes India is the marketing arm of TRIFED, a ministry of Tribal Affairs’ Enterprise.

The objective is to showcase tribal arts and crafts and to ensure remunerative prices to tribal artisans for their artistic creations.

This provides upliftment to the poor tribal artisan. […]

Irulas’ Natural Products are made from medicinal plants grown in a pure, unpolluted environment. No pesticides. No fertilizers.

All proceeds from sales directly benefit the Irulas. […]

Source: Irula’s tribal secrets unraveled – Full Story – The Times of India
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Date Visited: Tue Jul 08 2014 10:24:31 GMT+0200 (CEST)

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“It was assumed that tribal people have same health problems, similar needs and hence the uniform national pattern of rural health care would be applicable to them as well, albeit with some alteration in population: provider ratio. The different terrain and environment in which they live, different social systems, different culture and hence different health care needs were not addressed.”– Abhay Bang, Chairman, Expert Committee on Tribal health (2018 Report of the Expert Committee on Tribal Health)

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