Bhopal : The International Van Mela begun at Lal Parade Ground of Bhopal today. The Minister for Cooperative Dr. Govind Singh was the Chief Guest on the occasion. The Minister for Minorities Welfare Shri Arif Aqueel presided over the programme. The Minister for Public Relations Shri P.C. Sharma and Chairman State Minor Forest Produce Federation Shri Virendra Singh Goswami were the special guests on the occasion. Representatives from across the country and state, Bhutan as well as Nepal are taking part in the Van Mela being organized under the joint aegis of Forest Department and Minor Forest Produces Federation. Free medical consultancy camp will be held in the 5-Day Van Mela from December 19 to 22. Moreover, workshop on December 20-21 and buyer-seller convention will be held on December 22.
The Minister for Cooperative Dr. Govind Singh said that our country has long tradition of treatment by herbs. The ever growing popularity of Ayurved in country and abroad strengthens its trustworthiness. Praising the efforts being made for public awareness through Herbal Mela, he said that a fund should be created by the Minor Forest Produces Federation for research on herbs. He said that thousands years ago, the medical treatment method of Dhanvantari and plastic surgery of Sushrut were prevalent in our country Dr. Singh further mentioned that the Former Chief Minister Late Shri Arjun Singh has performed a noble deed by establishing the Federation and enabled the forest produces collectors in getting rid of middlemen. Dr. Singh while describing the innocence of tribals said that tribal used to give 2-3 k.g of chironji in place of just half k.g. grain before the establishment of the Federation.
The Minister for Gas Tragedy, Relief and Rehabilitation Shri Arif Aqueel said that the Bhopalites are awaiting the herbal fair for a year. He urged various Ayurvedic companies and Vaidhs, participating in the Mela to focus on the treatment of kidney, heart, etc., of gas victims.
The Minister for Public Relations Shri P.C. Sharma said that besides farming, forest produces is an additional source of income for the farmers. The increase in income of the tribal will strengthen the economic condition of the state.
The Additional Chief Secretary Shri A.P. Shrivastava, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests Dr. U. Prakasham, Managing Director State Minor Forest Produces Federation Shri S.K. Mandal, MLA Shri Surendra Singh Shera, Members of Board of Directors of the Federation and a large number of officers and staff, members of forest societies and citizens were present on the occasion.