Welcome to the Visitors of my Home Page
India is a treasure house of valuable medicinal and aromatic plant. In its 15 agro-climatic zones, it houses more than 47,000 different plant species, of which 15,000 are of some medicinal value. The domestic market of Indian Systems of Medicine and Homeopathy is of the order of Rs. 4,000 crores, which is expanding day by day. According to a WHO report, the international market of herbal products is estimated to be US $ 62 billion which is poised to grow to US $ 5 trillion by the year 2050.
India is 2nd largest exporter of the medicinal plants and products. While this is a matter of pride for us, it poses challenges and serious threats to the existence of some critical endemic plants, which are on the verge of extinction. For the economic benefits, the unsustainable harvesting of such plants are neither ethical, nor scientific. Unfortunately, lack of effective governance policies and to some extent the political will, has lead to speedy extinction of many endemic plant species and it is continuing. While more than 1000 endemic medicinal plants are suffering varied degree of threat for extinction, the major act of the country the Wildlife (Protection Act, 1972) and its amendment 2006 only provides to protect merely the 6 plants species. As a result, many of the precious plants are being harvested ruthlessly, without any control and governance on their trade. This calls for urgent attention of not only the foresters, but the policy makes, the conservationists, scientists and visionaries of the country.
As a Scientist, I could think of an immediate need of developing and establishing the scientific procedure to identify and catalogue such plants with state-of-the-art molecular interventions in-tune to the Universal Molecular Signature Technology that we developed about a one and half decades ago to investigate the cases pertaining to wildlife. This technology is now used in entire world and has become a boon for wildlife conservationists, forensic experts and judiciary (See latest review - Verma and Goswami, 2014). As a second step, evaluating the medicinal properties of such plants with the discovery of their mechanism of action and further translational research is another arena, which needs more attention and scientific intervention.
With this note, I close here with all my best wishes to the dedicated Scientists and researchers of the country for all their achievements and contributions in the welfare of mankind and planet conservation.
"Excellence is not an accident! There is no substitute for hard work! And there is no short-cut to success!"
With best compliments,
[Sunil Kumar Verma]
"It is known that several people die due to 'not working' enough and becoming unhealthy but no one on earth had died due to working hard!
-My father Sri (Dr.) Raj Kumar Verma"