Amit Kaur Puri is awarded Ph D. degree on 9th sept 2011 in Botany. Her topic of Ph. D. was "Nutritional Aspect of Unconventional Foods Consumed By Gond and Korku Tribes inhabiting in Vidarbha" under the guidance of Dr. Alka Chaturvedi. She gives entire credit of her work to her mother Smt. Kulwant Kaur Thapar and her guide Dr. Alka chaturvedi. She is thankful to her husband Mr. Rajdeep Singh Puri for his support. She is also thankful to her in laws, her father Mr. Jang Bahadur Sngh Thapar, her sister Dr. Jasbir Kaur and her kids Dhanraj Singh and Jasmit Kaur.
She oaths to eradicate the problem of malnutrition not only in tribal population of Maharashtra, India but the entire human race facing this problem. She has published many papers in various national as well as international journals which is highly accepted worldwide.
Mumbai. Ethno-botanist and Social Activist Dr. Amit Kaur Puri has spent seven years in the hilly tracts of Vidarbha platues like Sironcha, Etapalli, Bhamragad and Tipagad of Gadchroli; Mul Gondpipri and Nagbhid regions of Chandrapur; Bitargaon, Kanha and Arvi of Yavatmal; Chikaldara, Dharni, Dhamgaon, Sirsagaon and Ner of Amravati; and Gondkheri, Ramtek (Devlapar) region of Nagpur: parts of which lie cut off from civilisation, driven by a single goal - eradicating malnutrition in Gond and Korku tribes as well as documenting and salvaging India's traditional herbal remedies before they are lost to the world.
Titled as a 'modern day curious result oriented botanist, 36-year-old Dr. Amit Kaur Puri has been painstakingly tracking traditional healers, called Bhagats, Bhumkas, elderly people, staff members of district health dept., forest officers and housewives in central India.
Dr. Amit kaur Puri also conducted research to know about how tribal in entire Vidarbha are living happily by staying close to nature. How they are involved in forest conservation,tribal locality has been explored by her resulting in depth study about the disaster of malnutrition among Konkani tribe mainly that of women and increasing rates of infant. Total number of malnourished women and children were collected and the separation was done between the affected or malnourished tribal who are getting treatment and those who are not even aware of getting medical aid. Survey also includes life style, status, poverty level, transportation, literacy, prevailing superstition if any including dietary pattern of tribal.
Prompted by concerns that the priceless heritage of tribal food, medicine and culture residing within the ageing generation of these tribes, would be gone with them. She made up her mind to help preserve the pool of knowledge, nurtured by oral tradition. The younger generation is leaving the impoverished valley in droves for livelihood.
Besides, the ravages of deforestation and modernisation are compounding the problem. For example, leaves of Cassia tora is a marvellous herb for treating anemia, which grew abundantly in Vdarbha region. Amit Kaur Puri accordingly familiarised herself with the local dialect to gain the tribal trust as they still remain deeply suspicious of outsiders. She undertook hundreds of gruelling, hours of bumpy rides to various Gond and Korku inhabited regions followed by climbing up the steep inclines.
The young botanist's quest paid off years later. He painstakingly built up a list of malnutrition affected areas, affected tribes with emphasis on women health and infant mortality, causes of problem, survey of health departments, catalogue of numerous of medicinal plants and tribal treatments. Dr. Amit Kaur Puri, who holds a PhD in botany, on topic entitled "Nutritional Aspect of Unconventional Foods Consumed by Gond and Korku Tribes Inhabiting in Vidarbha" inferred that being utterly poor, tribals even neglect the pregnant women, giving rise to the child deaths. In addition, superstitions concerning diet and justified claims for particular food are also cause of their ill health. As a consequence the tribal suffer from malnutrition and diseases like iron deficient anemia, diseases of gastrointestinal tract, phenylketourea, gout, liver cirrhosis, fatigue etc. Survey was conducted which recorded disease wise deaths within 14 months due to malnutrition apart from the death due to other aliment. Inadequate food increases the risk of infections which is evident from the table as number of deaths due to pneumonia is maximum. Other diseases occurring as the result of improper nourishment in children are deformity, complications of respiratory tract, Siamese twins, high fever, seplicemia, hypoglycemia, hypothermia, distended stomach and prenatal birth.
Amit Kaur Puri, proposed that the knowledge of traditional healers should also be protected under intellectual property rights (IPR), as a way of making them economically independent and self-reliant, fully integrated with the mainstream.
Nutricandy and fortified common salt with iron and protein rich unconventional leaves, a multi-herbal formulation for kids and lactating women, would act as a preventive tool for digestive problems, infections in the mouth, cough and cold, tooth- and gum-related problems.
The vital discovery of lesser known wild edible plants and herbs and their role in healing would encourage cultivation, generating direct and indirect rural employment while redefining the economics and cultivation of these plants in India was recommended by Dr. Amit kaur Puri.
About Author / Additional Info:
Dr. Amit Kaur Puri (born, November 3) is an Indian botanist, ethnobotanist, phytochemist, mycologist and from Varanasi, completed her studies in Nagpur (India). Her work has involved the documentation of indigenous knowledge of Gond and Korku tribes of the Vidarbha Forest region in Maharashtra.