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Monday, Mar 03, 2003

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`Tap traditional knowledge for development'

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KERALA, which is known the world over for its traditional knowledge systems such as Ayurveda, must learn to leverage these age-old practices to ensure sustainable development, said Dr D.N. Tewari, Member of the Planning Commission.

He was speaking at a gathering organised by the Trivandrum Management Association and the National Institute of Personnel Management to felicitate him on receiving the `Charles Darwin International Medal for Science and Environment'.

India's age-old knowledge systems most often incorporated remedies and approaches that ensured environmental protection while facilitating development, he said.

Other nations have realised that there is much to be learnt from traditional Indian remedies, herbs and plants and these are in great demand across the `developed' world, Mr Tewari added.

However, people in India are only now beginning to appreciate the advantages of this traditional knowledge. Traditional Indian practices often have solutions to many of the problems of modern life, he said.

Dr Tewari, who is also associated with the work of the National Bamboo Mission, pointed out that there are some 1,500 recorded uses of bamboo. Bamboo has medicinal properties and can cure memory loss etc, he claimed. Yet, India's share of the Rs 90,000-crore international bamboo market is very small, he said.

However, the authorities hope to take India's share of this market to around Rs 26,000 crore by 2010, he added.

Mr Tewari stressed that environmental policies that take a balanced view of environmental protection and developmental needs alone have a chance of success, he said.

Mr V. Ramachandran, Vice-Chairman, State Planning Board, Dr G.C. Gopala Pillai, Managing Director, Kinfra, Mr Suresh Mohan of the Trivandrum Management Association and Mr Babu Thomas of the Thiruvananthapuram chapter of the National Institute of Personnel Management, were among those present on the occasion.

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