Name : Debeswar Rabha
District & State : Goalpara, Assam
Category : Agricultural (General)
Award : Consolation
Award Function : 9th National Grassroots Innovation Awards
Award Year : 2017
An unskilled labour, Debeswar Rabha (65), knows and practices a herbal medication for treating bloat in cattle.
Goalpara and Kamrup are the two districts where most members of his tribal community reside in Assam, typically engaging in agriculture or forest related activities mostly. Debeswar was the eldest among six brothers and two sisters and hence did not have the opportunity to go to school at all. His father was a daily wage labourer hence life was not easy for him and his family. He had to start working early to support his family. His father also had very good knowledge of local plants and herbs and their use in medication. He was well known for his herbal knowledge in his village and surrounding areas. Many a times Debeswar used to accompany his father in plant collection expeditions in nearby forest area or treatment sessions. It is during such sessions, his interest in herbs and their uses arose and started learning from his father’s knowledge and experience.
Debeswar is married with two sons and a daughter. His wife, Tipeswari Rabha has been a constant source of support for him in all his endeavours. After the demise of his father, he started administering herbal medicines on his own whenever such a need arose. He has now been giving such medicines for the last thirty five years without any financial return and just for the benefit of the people. His herbal practice for bloat was found to be novel after prior art search and subsequently was taken up for validation, whose results appear to be promising.