Traditional Wisdom of Tharu Tribals of Dudhwa Tiger Reserve

August 21, 2021
Tharu Tribal Community

Dudhwa Tiger Reserve in Uttar Pradesh is famous for its wilderness and wildlife. But the legend of Dudhwa is incomplete without the Tharu community. Tharus dwell in the buffer zone of Dudhwa. This community claims descent from the warriors of Rajputana. They are inheritors of a rich legacy.  

The Tharu legacy is multifold; which is both tangible and intangible. Intending to document, preserve and reviving traditional knowledge and heritage of the Tharu Community, Karavan has conceptualized: Tharu Van Nidhi, Forest Healing Shop.  

This project is especially pertinent in times of the Chinese virus pandemic. Even during the lethal second wave, not one single case has been reported in population size of around 50,000 people, including thousands of migrant workers. Tharu community seems to possess natural immunity against the Chinese virus! And it is not just Covid, people here are immune to malaria parasite as well

What explains this phenomenon? This is something we are investigating in depth. But based on a broad empirical experience and common sense, one can easily conjecture that it is an outcome of this community’s holistic knowledge tradition and lifestyle. Tharus live on the edge of the forest; they are innately aware of the herbs, shrubs and trees. They follow Dharmic beliefs. They are simple and hard-working folks. They are self-sustained. They follow an eco-friendly lifestyle.

Tharu Van Nidhi, Forest Healing Shop is one single forum that showcases the knowledge systems and heritage of the Tharu Community through a variety of products related to health, home remedies, homemade goodies, straight-from-farm produce, handicrafts, souvenirs, hand-crafted furniture, kids play store (and many more interesting items right on the anvil). This effort is a fruition of the wisdom of Tharus. They form the software and hardware for its development. Patronage to Tharu Van Nidhi will keep a great legacy alive and help us all realize that health, wealth, wisdom, and happiness depend upon our bonds with the Forest.

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