Innovation Project:

The Ri-Bhoi Traditional Healers Association (RBTHA) project is an innovative initiative focused on preserving and promoting traditional healing practices and the cultivation and preservation of medicinal herbs. This project plays a vital role in safeguarding cultural heritage and indigenous knowledge by supporting traditional healers in their work and ensuring the survival of medicinal plants.


RBTHA Grassroot Innovation Fund, MBMA-CLLMP.


: The Ri-Bhoi Traditional Healers Association (RBTHA) is a pivotal initiative rooted in the Nongpoh region of Ri-Bhoi, driven by the urgent need to safeguard and revitalize indigenous healing practices amidst the encroachment of modern medicine. Established under the leadership of Chairman Mr. B. Manih on April 20, 2019, RBTHA stands as a resilient testament to the preservation of ancestral wisdom and cultural heritage.
Initially comprising 320 members, RBTHA has experienced exponential growth, now boasting over 500 members with 25 forming the central body. This expansion underscores the project’s effectiveness in uniting traditional healers under a common platform.The growth of the association is mirrored in its organizational structure, which has evolved into seven sub-circles, each representing a distinct region:
Nongpoh Circle
Umsaw Nongbri Circle
Umden Circle
Mawhati Circle
Umsning Circle
Patharkhmah Circle
Bhoirymbong CircleRBTHA’s mission transcends mere preservation; it strives to cultivate and promote traditional healing practices deeply intertwined with the rich cultural fabric of Ri-Bhoi. Through collaborative efforts and knowledge exchange among traditional healers, the association aims to ensure the transmission of ancient healing wisdom to future generations.

Key challenges faced by RBTHA include the diminishing availability of medicinal plants due to factors like Jhum cultivation and wildfires. However, the association’s proactive approach involves the establishment of nurseries for herbal plantation, aiming to reverse the trend by fostering the cultivation of medicinal herbs.

RBTHA’s endeavors extend beyond its immediate members to the broader community, as evidenced by its awareness programs and training initiatives. These efforts not only educate the populace about traditional healing but also equip individuals with the skills necessary to practice and propagate these ancient arts.

Scope of Work:

The scope of work of the Ri-Bhoi Traditional Healers Association (RBTHA) is multifaceted, encompassing the unification of traditional healers, preservation and conservation of traditional healing practices and medicinal resources, herbal cultivation initiatives to address dwindling plant availability, advocacy for governmental support, education and training programs to disseminate traditional knowledge, awareness campaigns to promote understanding and ecological consciousness, community engagement efforts, and organizational development to ensure effective management and leadership within the association. Through these integrated efforts, RBTHA aims to safeguard, revitalize, and promote traditional healing practices while fostering community well-being and environmental sustainability in the Ri-Bhoi region.

Highlights of Implementation:

RBTHA has successfully planted medicinal herbs, harvested them for medicinal use, distributed seeds and medicines, conducted awareness programs, and established a decentralized organizational structure to cater to various regions within Ri-Bhoi.

Financial Expenditure and Funding:

: The project received funding from the Grassroot Innovation Fund, MBMA-CLLMP, with a total sanction of Rs. 3,00,000/- disbursed in two instalments. The funds were utilized for setting up nurseries, planting herbs, making medicines, and other operational expenses.

Impact Analysis:

RBTHA’s initiatives have resulted in an increase in membership, high demand for herbal seeds, affordability and accessibility of traditional medicines, positive health impacts on individuals, and garnering support and appreciation from the community and government departments.

Overall Impact

The project has demonstrated a significant positive impact on the preservation of traditional healing practices, community health, and well-being, affirming its success and sustainability.

Summary of Achievements:

The Ri-Bhoi Traditional Healers Association (RBTHA) has achieved several notable milestones, including:

  1. Rise in membership
  2. Increased demand for herbal seeds.
  3. Enhanced affordability of traditional medicines.
  4. Established a traditional clinic.
  5. Successfully implemented training and awareness programs, contributing to the preservation of traditional healing practices.
  6. Additionally, RBTHA has generated an income of Rs 429,820, reflecting its success in promoting and sustaining these valuable cultural and medicinal traditions.

Community and Environmental Benefits:

The Ri-Bhoi Traditional Healers Association (RBTHA) has played a vital role in fostering community and environmental benefits through its initiatives. By preserving indigenous knowledge, RBTHA safeguards the cultural heritage of traditional healing practices, ensuring that age-old techniques and wisdom are passed down to future generations. This preservation also contributes to the resilience and sustainability of local communities by maintaining a connection to their roots.RBTHA’s focus on the cultivation of medicinal herbs promotes environmental conservation by supporting the growth of native plant species. This approach not only helps preserve local biodiversity but also encourages sustainable land management practices, which can prevent soil erosion and support the health of ecosystems.Additionally, RBTHA provides affordable healthcare options to the community by making traditional herbal medicines more accessible. These natural remedies offer an alternative to costly pharmaceuticals, making healthcare more equitable and inclusive for individuals who may face economic barriers. The availability of traditional medicine also supports holistic health approaches, offering a broader range of treatment options for various ailments.Overall, RBTHA’s efforts contribute to the well-being of local communities and the environment by blending traditional knowledge with sustainable practices, ensuring both cultural and ecological preservation.

Conclusion and Future Directions:

:RBTHA project serves as a model for harmonizing traditional and modern healthcare systems. Its success underscores the importance of preserving cultural heritage, promoting environmental sustainability, and fostering community health. Future directions may include expanding outreach, enhancing medicinal herb cultivation, and further integrating traditional healing into mainstream healthcare practices.

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