Project Sanjeevani

Once upon a time, there was a village surrounded by mountains and valleys. One day, the village chief became ill with serious diarrhoea. The people gathered around the chief's house to discuss what to do. But no one knew what to do. Then suddenly, an old woman entered and said "I know which herb can cure the Chief." She took some herbs out and said, "Forest tea leaves can cure diarrhoea."

She started to prepare the medicine with these leaves and gave some to the Chief. Three days later, the village chief became well again.

The old woman told the thankful villagers, "Everyone can learn how to make simple herbal treatments. It's part of our ancestors' wisdom." The villagers started learning about herbs and preserving their traditional Knowledge. Later, the entire village held a festival to celebrate the Chief's health.”

Project Sanjeevani

DEEKSHA believes that just like the entire village in the story, there is a need to make our young generation aware of our wealth of herbal plants, so that the legacy and tradition of Herbal plants and “Jadi-buttis” can be revived and restored today. The History of herbal plants is very old. Since times immemorial, herbal plants and herbs are being used to cure illness of all kinds. There are many medicinal herbs and spices, which are used in day-to-day lives, either in cooking or for remedial purposes. Tulsi, Mint, Ashwaganda, Aloe Vera, neem, etc are some of the herbal plants, which we use in our homes. We aim to preserve the knowledge of medicinal plants, herbs, spices and herbal remedies, which mankind has received from the past generations, for posterity.

For achieving this aim, DEEKSHA started "PROJECT SANJEEVANI" to develop Herbal gardens with a view to popularize Herbs and their uses. It is with this objective that DEEKSHA has taken an initiative of developing Herbal Garden in schools, colleges, parks, residential areas etc.

Project SANJEEVANI by DEEKSHA received huge commendation and support of Department of Environment Government of NCT of Delhi, Department of Forests & Wildlife Chandigarh Administration, Punjab Biodiversity Board, Ministry Of Environment and Forest Govt of India (under the NEAC Programme), Department of Science and Technology Govt of India and various Corporates. It has been a challenging but a worthwhile experience. About 50 varieties of herbs and medicinal plants are being planted in different educational institutions/colonies.

Today, all the institutions which have participated in Project SANJEEVANI, have a small Herbal Garden, which is being maintained by the students/residents.

Besides carrying out plantation activities, we are training the teachers and students of educational institutions about the uses and benefits of the herbs. We are confident that by participating in the Project, the teachers and students of the participating schools are not only able to identify the herbal plants but also acquire adequate knowledge about the uses of the plants.

Our Initiatives

Medicinal Plants in Rural Area

We executed a project for promotion of use of medicinal plants & herbs as household remedies amongst Rural Women in Punjab. The project was supported by Department of Science and Technology Government of India through Punjab State Council for Science and Technology, Chandigarh. In this we selected a village, Tira, in Mohali District of Punjab. The residents of the village gave their whole hearted support and cooperation in achieving our objective and in making the mission a success. One of the residents, Mr Avtar Singh, provided his land to develop the nodal herbal nursery. The participants from the village were not very literate and were not much aware about the modern techniques of interaction and presentations. We used audio visual techniques so that it became easier for them to understand and they could ask as many questions as they wanted. The potted plants were shown around to the villagers so that they could see them closely and gain information about each plant. Ms Deepti, a resident of Tira, volunteered to become the nodal woman who helped DEEKSHA establish the herbal garden in the village and facilitate propagation of knowledge and usage amongst the village women. She was trained over two weeks about the medicinal plants and their uses.

Herbal Garden

We have developed 286 Herbal Gardens in various educational institutions/residential areas/institutions in the country so far. The aim is to give knowledge to students/residents/citizens about various herbal and medicinal plants besides methods of their propagation, usage and care. Everyone is encouraged to adopt a plant each and learn all about it and further disseminate the knowledge so gained to other people.

Herbal Garden from Wasteland

DEEKSHA executed a project for converting a large chunk of waste land under the guardianship of Sat Krishna Charitable Trust, Village Narisngpur, Gurugram into a blooming Herbal cum Utility Garden. During this, we first cleaned up the area, then levelled it and removed all weeds and wild shrubs. Thereafter, we converted it into 25 beds with each bed having many plants of a particular herbal plant variety. The care was entrusted to the trust and In about 4 months we had a fully flourishing herbal garden. The plants were used to their benefit by residents of the village who appreciated the initiative.

Workshops For Educationists

If you want to bring about a change – start from the educationists for it is them who can shape the destiny of the world. Keeping this in mind and In order to propagate the usage of herbal plants, a major training workshop was organised by DEEKSHA for the teachers of various schools and colleges of Punjab at Mohali supported by Punjab Education Board. During this workshop all the participants were given exposure to the uses of herbal plants. All the participants were made aware about the uses of various herbal plants and how their regular usage can keep a lot of health challenges away.

Herbal with Pantaloons

During one of the novel initiatives along with Pantaloons India, Volunteers of DEEKSHA interacted with and sensitized the shoppers who visited the Pantaloons store at Elante Mall, Chandigarh about environmental issues related to herbalism, conserving tree cover, and waste management which impact our lives. An interactive quiz was also organized involving the shoppers while they shopped. Over 150 herbal plants were also distributed to the shoppers who shopped at the outlet and were made aware of their usage. The shoppers were pleasantly surprised and showed very high interest in the interaction.

Garden of Three Sense’s at the Institute for the Blind, Sector 26, Chandigarh

DEEKSHA adopted an inclusive approach by developing a Garden of Three Sense’s at the institute for the Blind in Chandigarh. As the visually challenged children could not see the herbal plants and make use of them, we developed an innovative methodology in which the herbal plants were segregated into three categories by which they could be identified:

  • Touch
  • Smell
  • Taste
  • By this way, the visually challenged children were able to first learn the identification of and then make usage of the herbal plants.