Report – Forestry and Medicinal Plants Revival initiative in Himachal

This is report sent by Mr. Rahul Saxena of Lok Vigyan Kendra (LVK), Himacha Pradesh. Srijan Foundation is supporting a project in which LVK runs in the Chamba District, for reviving medicinal plants and thus creating self-sustenance through forest produce.

There is a Presentation attached.


Dear Friends,

After a long delay, we are sending you the report of the forest management effort that many of you had supported (the list of donors is given at the end of this report). We thank you all for all the support that was extended to this initiative; without it things would just not have been possible. The team at Lok Vigyan Kendra wants to express heart felt appreciation of the spirit of philanthropy that the appeal was able to mobilize – even from people who did not know us previously.

First, the reason for the delay in posting this report – we wanted you to see images of the village that took up the forest management initiative and the area that got restocked with the medicinal herbs (see the attached power point presentation). We did not have a camera at the time the plantation activity was undertaken and hence no images of the herbs being planted. The images that I am sending to you have been recently taken when a team member had gone there to have the people loosen the ground around the herbs for better growth of the roots (the harvestable part).

We had planned to take up the plantation activity in two villages this season – Kut Batoa and Mahua. The area to be planted in Mahua was a much drier one (it is a patch of grassland) than the one in Kut Batoa (an oak forest with plenty of undergrowth). Kut Batoa incidentally also had a drier patch ready for plantation which was to be planted with the same herb(Heracleum specie) as the patch in Mahua. Since, the rains arrived late in this region, almost all the able bodied men from Mahua had crossed over the high Pir Panjal mountains to Lahul region for the collection of commercial herbs, similar to those that this initiative is trying to rehabilitate in their own forests. We could not take up any plantation activity in the Mahua village this summer – that shall have to be done during the coming winters. Luckily, there were a few people still remaining in Kut Biota who gathered the herbs (Valerian specie) from far away areas and planted them in the Oak forest, adjacent to the plot that had been planted last year with the same herb. In all 100 Kgs of Valerian plants were utilized by the villagers for the plantations. This roughly translates to around 9000 to 10,000 plants in total. Since the full grown roots do not occupy a large area, not much digging is involved in the planting exercise and around a hectare of area was planted with the herbs.

Two months later, the herbs have shown an excellent survival ratio with a more than 90 % plants surviving, a factor that had inspired the villagers of Kut – Batoa (and some other adjoining villages) to undertake similar efforts this year. We are planning to expand the initiative to these villages to create a visible impact and hopefully influence government functioning. We hope to get your continued support this year too.

If you are interested to know more about our other activities, please write back.

With warm regards

Rahul Saxena,
Lok Vigyan Kendra,
Chanakyapuri Colony,
Ghuggar Nala Road,
Palampur, District Kangra,
Himachal Pradesh.
Tel : 098160-25246

The details of the expenses made from the donated money is as follows:

Total donations received Rs. 53,100


Cost of planting by the local villagers Rs. 8,540

Travel and honorarium for Rs. 5,205

meetings and supervision

Cost of planting material to villagers Rs. 900

Total expenses Rs. 14,645

Funds carried over for plantations in Rs. 38,455

winter in Kut Batoa and Mahua

The list of donors is as follows:



Sandeep Narang


Radhika Johari


Prashant Varma


Huang Mengchi


Jaya Iyer


Dr. M.B.Athreya


Florence Koh


Roopak Malik


Neelima Sheikh


Kanchi Kohli


Varun Rattan Singh


Pooja Chauhan


Jaya Iyer


Uma Singh


Rahul Dewan


Srijan Foundation Trust


Soumya, Malathi and Manthan




Project Presentation – Charda, Chamba, Himachal Pradesh (PPT)

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