IT IS no longer hidden that Neem trees are best known for medicinal value, but how to take benefit of this valuable tree is still unknown to many. Let it be its leaves, bark or seeds, the whole Neem tree is full of medicinal properties.
During summer, the ripened Neem seeds, Nimboli, that fell from tree falling from road gets turned into waste after getting mixed with dust. In a bid to make better use of the Neem tree, the district administration has undertaken task of collecting Neem seeds through Green Army women of the district. The entire work is ongoing under guidance of Collector Jaiprakash Maurya and under supervision of Zila Panchayat CEO Namrata Gandhi.
As per official sources, the district has got around 16000 Neem trees. Green Army of women has been formed in 623 villages under the Swachh Bharat Mission. A group of 8-10 women in villages is involved in cleanliness work.
In the month of June-2020, these women were assigned task of collecting Neem fruits besides carrying out cleanliness works. These women collected nearly seven tonnes of Neem seeds across the district. The fruits were dried up and sent for processing to the Multi Utility Centre at village Chhati.
The women’s group working at the centre extracted seeds (chironji) after peeling the fruits. Out of 2 tonnes seeds, as much as 630 litres of oil was extracted besides one tonne oil cake (khali). The Neem oil and oil cake are extremely useful.
People familiar with the natural qualities of Neem seed oil started reaching for purchasing oil sold at Rs 250 per liter and Rs 230 per liter for purchasing more than 50 liters. Ayurvedic physician Dr Dinesh Nag, residing at Housing Board Colony and runs a private clinic, could not prevent himself from purchasing oil as he heard about it. He said Neem oil, because of Ayurvedic and medicinal qualities, is used for curing skin diseases.
He bought ten liters of oil at the rate of Rs 250 per litre. In future also, he will purchase Neem oil as per requirement. Oil was beneficial for patients during Panchakarma therapy, he said. Green Army member Narmada Mandavi of Gram Panchayat Bandha in Nagari, says that besides leaves and bark, Nimboli is also of great use.
Madhu Chandrakar, member of Multi Utility Centre, said it was during processing women learnt about the usefulness of the seed. It was a new experience for all. It is worth noting that besides local people, forest department has also purchased 20 liters Neem oil from multi utility centre.
Apart from this, Agriculture, Horticulture Department and farmers purchased Neem khali at Rs 20 per kilogram. It has planned to tie-up with firms that manufacture Ayurvedic and allopathic medicines keeping in view medicinal properties of Neem for benefiting women engaged in collecting, processing and packaging of seeds.