Natural Farming (Krishi Kheti)
Titus farm of Hoshangabad presented a strong case for natural farming carrying the motto of “no ploughing, no fertilizers, no weeding and no medicine". This way of .farming provides natural crops in the highest yield in an increasing manner. It protects bio-diversity and can control climate changes, helps to stop soil erosion and environmental pollution. Being in it for the last eight to ten years, Mr.Raju Titus finds natural farming a sustainable way of living according "to nature. KAVERI HUT Committed Communities Development Trust (LCDT) had put up its exhibition on the community based services for the urban poor and tribal rehabilitation and education within city environs. The CCDT displays the products of the adivasis as well as educational material. The idea behind the effort is to raise the awareness level of communities and get them to participate in their own development.
Gramodaya Sangh (Bhadravati) provides the traditional pottery made on the hand operated potter's wheel. The products are of earthen material ceramics and glazed material.
Madhubani painters from Bihar and Kalamkari painters from Andhra1Pradesh exhibited their colorful paintings.
Handicrafts From Varanasi
Nari Hasta Kala Udyoga Samiti from Varanasi put up a fine display of their handicrafts.
Largely an all women organization, it generates employment for the women artisans and
encourages self sustenance.
Vaidya Brahmanand Swamigal is a Siddha physician enjoying a high reputation among the physicians in North as well in South. In demonstration in the section on Aushadh1kanan, (Pharmacology) He purified Mercury-by-using the ashtadash samskar. The term Purification here is used in a technical sense, meaning that the metal is rendered fit for human consumption. He prepared a gum (not explained) using earlier purified rose water and then mixing the mercury to blow away the impurities. He made the mercury ready to be given as a medicine in any condition, be it disease or for the maintenance of health or as rejuvenation therapy. Vd.Swamigal's methods are disclosed only partly, just as the traditional wisdom has been passed to him by his guru. However/the results are there for everyone to see. Late in the evening (30th November), he demonstrated the smelting of common salt on the fire. What he mixed with the salt is not disclosed. The salt along with other unknown ingredients were put on coal fire and smelted. This salt according to him, is fit for consumption and has therapeutic value if used every t day instead of common salt.
Painless Tooth Extraction
A free dental camp was organized by Vaidya Labh Shanker Shukla from Rajkot to avail the benefit of pain free tooth extraction and general, advice on tooth care. The tooth extraction is done under the unique Ayurvedic method of Jatartdhar bandh yoga - sans injections and anaesthesia. The success of the method had led to setting up of an Ayurvedic Dental Research Centre and Hospital at Ratanpur near Rajkot in Gujarat. This is the first of its kind. The financial support for the hospital has come from the Industrial Houses - Dalmia, Mafatial and Shri.Sadguru Seva Sangh Trust. The Jamnagar Ayurveda University has given recognition to the diplomas and degree courses on Dentistry by this Research Centre. Vd Labh Shanker Shukla is the moving force behind the efforts. He was available for free consultation at the exhibition for tooth extraction and general consultation during the entire course of the Congress.
Exhibits on Vrkshayurveda
Vrkshayurveda section of the exhibition displayed a remarkable range of information on plants their medicinal value, plant anatomy, soil classification, testing, and treatment, plant propagation, plant taxonomy, etc. It goes on to tell about rules for watering, causative factors and symptoms of plant disease arid their treatment The above information has come from the classical Indian texts dealing directly or indirectly with Vrkshayurveda.
"Madhava" - Diagnostic Software based on Madhavanidana
A Computer software 'MADHAVA' developed at the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (CDAC), Pune, was on display at the Exhibition. This system is intended to be a diagnostic aid for, practicing Vaidyas. It has a set of 5000/symptoms as input from which the vaidya selects the symptoms presented by the patient and their severity is also entered, j Based on the set of symptoms selected and their severity, the system provides a diagnosis of the most probable diseases with which the patient is afflicted. This is a unique knowledge based expert system using the GIST technology developed at C - DAC. Because of the GIST technology, the data from text has been entered in Devanagari Script maintaining its sanctity and this data can be seen in any other Indian script, thereby increasing its usability all over India. Also on display are software’s developed for Analysis of Prakruthi (Constitution) and Learning Ayurveda from Brihat Trayee. This is being demonstrated by Vd.Venugopal of LSPSS, Coimbatore.
Natural Farming Kalpavruksha Farm
A six hectare farm situated off the Bombay-Baroda railway line was on heavy fertilizer application during the '50s and '60s with quite unsatisfactory results. Now, with the application of natural farming, the farm, now called Kalpavruksha Farm, is very healthy. The yield is very high. The soil is full of life. There are signs of abundant earthworm activity; the top layer is covered almost completely with earthworm castings in heaps. Humus in the soil is very high. Life supporting organisms of all kinds abound in the soil. Water usage is very low. Effort needed for the cultivation is very low. On the whole the enterprise is very profitable. This is natural farming. The logic of nature is sustainable activity.
There seems to be a lot of variation in the background and kind of work done by the participants who were present at the Traditional Sciences Congress, despite convergence of interest in matters related to Traditional Science and Technology. A cursory analysis of 264 feedback forms filled in by the participants at the Congress reveals that a large majority are engaged in the field of, or seem' interested in, traditional medicine, such as qualified ayurvedic doctors, researchers, etc. Botanists and others interested in medicinal properties of plants have also recorded interest iri traditional Indian medicine. Agriculture and Water Management; come next Jin terms of area of;1 interest of participants. Sustainable farming, organic farming, traditional irrigation, water usage etc., are among the topics of general and specific interest. A majority feel that traditional medicine and agriculture are the strong points t about traditional, science and technology in the country. It is apparent from this that those traditional sciences and technologies that are pervasive and have been operating .successfully, and those that pertain to basic conditions of existence such as health, food production etc., are the ones that evoke most interest.
Handicrafts, designing and architecture also seem to account for a considerable number of participants apart from which people interested in development issues, policy etc., and figure as a distinct group. It seems that a remarkable percentage of the participants feel that grassroots level work js definitely necessary for revitalizing traditional science and technology, though the number of them actually engaged in that kind of work is quite small. Academics and Research Scholars constitute the bulk of. participants and ironically the most common feedback about the Congress from these academics themselves was that it was more "academic", "high-flown" in nature and needs to be more down to earth and practical. About 50 out of 264 participants" seem to have some concrete plans about their contributions to the promotion of traditional .science and technology, but again, most of them are inclined to make academic contributions like papers, projects, articles, etc., in this direction. Students were very less among participants and even" those who were there seem to have nothing significant to say about the issues raised. The practitioners of traditional science and technology that is the artisans, weavers, agriculturists and traditional vaidyas were particularly less among those who filled in the forms, understandably because they may have not known to read or write or the idea of filling in a questionnaire may have been alien to them.
In general, all these point out to the dire need to shed the tendency to academic, conference oriented model and adopt a more broad-based and application oriented model for the next Congress wherein issues bearing upon the actual practitioners of traditional S & T and their lives, are well brought out.