Chawilen Damdawi – handle with care

By : C. Doungal

His name has become a household word at least in three states of Manipur, Mizoram and Nagaland and Hmar village of Saikot has become therapetic tourist destination where people are daily coming in thousands. His “damdol” has generated so much interest that the government of Manipur is even toying with the idea of regulating the use. The plant now said to be botanically named “Croton Cauditus Gieseler” had all along been known through out the ages among Chin-Kuki-Mizo people. The leaves used to be rubbed on festering wounds of injured cattle where maggots had formed. It is so effective that the maggots instanteneously fall off and the wounds get better. In Hmar language, it is called “Ranlung damdawi” and in Thadou-Kuki “Ganthan lou”.

The oral administration of the juice extract was first experimented at Saikot by Pu. Chawilen himself taking it. He desires to pass on this after he himself got cured. He first prays to God for the sick person and then administers. He gives it free to all who come or ask for it. If someone makes voluntary donation, the same is put in a donation box which goes for maintenance of his establishment. Christians believe that he is a man of God (not Godman) whose prayer heals people. There is a story that a rich person who got cured gave him large sum of money but he refused. He then offered him more thinking that he might have considered the amount too less. He refused saying that the blessing of God he recieved free is not for sale. Thus there is no commercial angle in what he does. It is also clear that he is not a quack or a fraud. It is faith in the healing power of his prayer combined with the efficacy of the medicine.

While candidly talking to some intimate friends, he said that pressman asked him how many persons he had cured. He replied them that “I have healed none, it is God who healed the sick persons through prayer and the damdawi. I only praise God that he uses me to glorify His name”.

There is great traffic congestion as people come daily in thousands. Moreover, many people have to wait for hours together or stay overnight. Therefore, amenities for vehicle parking, toilet facilities, waiting shed and water, both for drinking and washing etc are very much needed. The government may initiate improving these.

Many views are expressed for regulating by registration/patenting or standardisation of equipments and materials like water used etc. Some have given sound analysis and views but there are also those going to the extend of demanding closere of the same on the ground of serious side effects etc. From first hand report recieved, taking of the juice extract in bigger dose may cause loose motion or may induce sleepiness. An expert from RIMS however went to the extent of saying that there had been even a fatal case of death. I deeply share the sorrow and send my condolence to the bereaved family. In fact, a medicine so strong as to cure cancer or other serious cases of boils, piles, cynusitis, tonsilities etc would indeed be very strong. Therefore, carrying out further research is called for.

On the other hand, from the commonsense point of view people suffering from serious incurable diseases including cancer would go anywhere if there is any hope of recovery just like the proverbial saying that a drowning man catches a straw. For example, the effect of Radio-therapy is very telling on the body of the sick person. Likewise, other strong medicines administered also weaken a person. Despite the proven guarantee of safe administration of some medicines, there are many who suffer from side effects or even fatal cases. Many people who are treated in Hospital die too. All right, we are very critical about this but then how do we handle the case of very eye-catching advertisement of Dr. R.N. Gupta (Vaid) appearing so frequently in daily papers or Pabung Naba Kishore or maibas?

Let us remember that Christians believe that Pu. Chawilen is a man of God-used by God. Faith whether scientifically proved or not exist in the human mind. For example the episode of “Ram Setu” where some scholars unwittingly stated that there is no historical proof of existence of the bridge had so much hurt the sentiment of the Hindus that there was almost a sudden riot till corrected. Also, right now in Kashmir, we are hearing daily about widespread disturbance over land allotment to Amarnath Cave Shrine. The muslims who live in the area never cause any disturbance exept some terrorist groups. But acquisition of forest land for the shrine had created so much law and order problem for the last several weeks.

In this case also, since Pu. Chawilen revered by christians as a man of God discovered oral administration of the damdawi it will be a himalayan blunder if that is hijacked in the name of research and regulating the use. Hurting peoples faith can lead to undesirable consequences. It will therefore be in the fitness of things that whatever research to be carried out should associate him. He and his advisors including the chief of Saikot should not merely be consulted but be made part of the whole project. Registration/patening etc may naturally follow in due course.



About Zou Sangnaupang Pawlpi Delhi

Zou Students' Association Delhi Branch
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