THE BANYAN TREE: VOLUME I : MOVE TOWARDS HOLISTIC HEALTH
( By Editor : Carol Huss )

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Questions

1. In your opinion, what are the main reasons for the traditional medical systems getting overshadowed?

2. What differences do you see between traditional and allopathic systems? List the differences in terms of:

(a) benefits of traditional systems over allopathic system; and

(b) Disadvantages of traditional system over allopathy.

3. (i) What are the similarities between Ayurveda, Siddha, Unani and Homeopathy?

(ii) What is the basis of each system.

4. Survey your city or the area within 100 kms. of your place of work:

(a) What institutes/organizations/groups concerned with alternative healing systems are situated in this area?

(b) Visit at least two of those and write brief (one page) reports on; (i) their activities; (ii) whom you met there; (iii) what you saw; (iv) how can you build an ongoing relationship with these institutes for your work?

5. Are you using any traditional medical systems in your organisation? If, so, which ones and what is your experience with them? If not... why not?

6. Interview at least 10 persons from each of the following: poor (landless, slum dwellers, otherwise marginated) and 10 persons from the middle/upper classes).

(a) What is their criteria for choosing treatment between folk medicine, scholarly traditional systems and allopathic medicine, when they are ill?

(b) What type of diseases do these persons feel can be treated by these systems?

(c) What is the degree of access to healers with respect to age, caste, economic class and sex?

(d) Which healer/healers do they respect? Why?

7. (a) What is the response of traditional and allopathic systems in your area to women’s health problems? Describe.

(b) Is there any discrimination with respect to sex and age?

(c) What are the real physical and psychological (stress related) illnesses poor women face in your area? How do they seek treatment/healing for the same?

8. Interview 5 folk medicine healers in your area.

(a) How do they see their role as healers? What are their attitudes towards patients, towards sharing knowledge and towards explaining the cause of illness?

(b) How do they see their future in the next 10 years, the next 20 years?

9. Visit at least one scholarly traditional system institution in your Area.

(a) How do they see their role in the health system of India?

(b) What are their special problems if any with regard to achieving their goals and objects and their future growth?

(c) What is their vision of their future in India’s health system?

10. (a) What do you feel are some of the dangerous and harmful practices of traditional systems that you have experienced in your area?

(b) Are there practices that you think are exploitative but physically harmless? Describe.

11. (a) What steps in your opinion should be government take, to preserve traditional systems?

(b) What steps do you propose to take to understand/study/propagate traditional systems? Why do you want to do so?

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