The State Government is providing impetus to the cultivation of medicinal plants to make Himachal, 'Herbal State' of the country. To make headway in this direction, State Government launched ambitious ‘Jan- Jan Sanjeevani Abhiyan' scheme two years back. This scheme ensured the distribution of more than 15 lac medicinal plants to all the rural and urban households of Himachal Pradesh through 5000 distribution points.
To internalize the programme, two new people centric plantation schemes, ‘Sanjha Van Sanjeevani Van’ and ‘Apna Van Apna Dhan’ were also launched. These programmes are being carried out with the active participation of Joint Forest Management Societies (JFMSs) and by Individuals, motivated to extend the medicinal plants to their private areas.
Under ‘Sanjha Van Sanjeevani Van’ programme, medicinal plants of Aloe Vera, Amla and Bahera have been raised in the forest Nurseries at Khairi, Dimber and Matnali in Rajgarh Forest Division.
With the active involvement of Forest Development Agencies (FDAs) the forest personnel of Rajgarh Forest Division have been successful in convincing the public to cultivate the medicinal plants. This has resulted in plantation of about 15 hectares with species of Aloe Vera (11000 No.), Amla (4200 No.) and plants of Bahera (400 No.) mixed in three areas during the year 2009. The Aloe Vera, so planted, is ready with a yield of approximately 20 quintal of leaves for making Aloe Vera pulp/ juice. The process for its marketing to 'Patanjali Yogpitha,
Haridwar' is being initiated, where these leaves shall be utilized to make Ayurvedic Medicines and natural products for skin and body care.
The fact that monkeys do not find Aloe Vera edible, has been propagated by the front line staff of Rajgarh Forest Division to convince the people to try and shift to cultivation of Aloe Vera in monkey infested areas. It has found some reasonable ground amongst farmers in Naina Tikker and Bagthan areas under Narag and Sarahan forest ranges of Rajgarh Division. The persuasion of the local people has started bearing results and now people are carrying out this trial with zeal.
At present, there are about 18000 Aloe Vera plants in Forest Nurseries of Rajgarh and Sarahan Forest Ranges which are ready to be distributed to the JFMSs and public under plantation schemes of ‘Sanjha Van Sanjeevani Van’ and ‘Apna Van Apna Dhan’ for plantation in common and private lands.
This trial of Aloe Vera cultivation if succeeds in areas prone to monkey menace, will be replicated in other similar areas of the State. This novel initiative will not only bring larger areas under green cover and medicinal plants but at the same time open up an effective means of livelihood to the rural people reeling under problems of shrinking land holdings and monkey menace.