Sunday, August 30, 2009

A Unique Experience at the Project Site

Hi Readers of our Blog,

I want to share a very interesting story that happened during my visit to the Kirijaji village in the early weeks of my visit. Mosquitoes are one of the BIGGEST problems i faced. If I remember correctly, during the first week of my visit, there was no rain. The land was dry and it was scorching hot, but the good news was there weren't any mosquitoes. After the first week it started raining cats and dogs! Most of the time I was completely wet and I did try using an umbrella, but the second day it gave up on me. My umbrella was swept away by the harsh winds and got stuck in a Banyan tree! The village kids found it very funny, but soon came to my rescue. They asked me if I needed their help to get the umbrella out of the tree. Honestly, I didn't they could help, considering the oldest one was 8. From that day forward, I said goodbye to my umbrella and started wearing my raincoat. Now coming to the point, with the rainfall came the mosquitoes. I had taken all kinds of inspect repellents used for camping. Trust me they are no match for the mosquitoes of Kirijaji! In two days, I looked like as though I had chicken pox. My mosquito bites were itchy, but painful as well. I tried several oral antihistamines and topical creams. Nothing helped! One of senior SHG members', Padmama, a sweet lady came to my rescue. She suggested that I apply the extract of one of the local herbal plants. I looked at her face with disbelief. I was thinking in my mind, how can this leaf heal my mosquito bite wounds, when the powerful, expensive medicated creams given by my doctor didn't do the job. She showed me how to use the leaves, but the method didn't appeal to me. I refused the first day, but my rashes kept on increasing as the mosquitoes bit me more and more. By the third day, I was desperate to try anything. Padmama was patient enough to tend to my rashes. She patiently took the extract and applied it to my bites. She also showed me another plant that which can act as a mosquito repellant. Within two hours, I couldn't believe my own eyes. My rashes had reduced considerably and the mosquitoes didn't bother me at all! No more new bites! If I had the authority, I would have given Padmama a doctorate degree! I don't know the botanical name of the plant. I was just happy my bites were gone! I wish Adarsha was there with me at that time to do a scientific analysis of the plant. Well, there's always next time! :)



  1. Hi Apoorva,
    This is Adam Andorra. As you might be knowing, I follow your work very regularly as I am interested in helping poor and unfortunate kids all over the world. Though environmental issues are globally important, poverty is not any small problem either. I am glad you are working well to balance both. As I have asked you earlier, if you need an additional hand to help you in management issues, I am willing to jump in any time. Please let me know. I can help you in any area, including fund raising and visiting India as a member of your team.

  2. Hi Apoorva,
    I know that plant. I recognized it looking at the leaf that you are using. Smells good right. It is also used to make chutney, traditionally called thambuli in Kannada?? Ask your parents? It is called Dodda Patre if I am right. May be you can take the name to one of the Botanist who knows local Kannada names and identify the species.