Raghunath Choudhary of Golderi village in Nashik district, Maharashtra, is a Wadi plot-holder with a difference. He is a traditional herbal medicine practitioner who acquired his knowledge from his father and grandfather.
The BAIF-Wadi project in the area has enabled him to expand his knowledge and become a trained health practitioner who can address a number of common ailments.
Raghunath is one of several traditional medicine practitioners in tribal areas, commonly known as vaidus, trained by BAIF to expand their scope of service.
Raghunath received his training at the nature cure ashram near BAIF’s campus at Urulikanchan, near Pune. The training focussed on a holistic approach to treatment, including use of herbal medicines, massage, mud therapy and a proper diet.
After receiving this training, he set up a primary health centre in his house in 2003. Along with herbal medicine treatment, he started using the various nature cure therapies he had learnt in the training programme. As results began to show, the number of patients grew.
Raghunath today treats over 90 patients a month, including some who come from a distance of over 50km. He charges a nominal fee and earns around Rs 1000 a month from the services he provides.
Raghunath is also involved in preservation and perpetuation of the herbal medicine tradition. He has a nursery with some medicinal plants and has trained a woman SHG member of the village in treating common ailments with the help of plant extracts.