Folk knowledge on indigenous practices in North -West Himalaya with special reference to Himachal Pradesh (H.P.), India
Dhiraj S Rawat, Anjna D Kharwal
Indigenous practices provide invaluable knowledge and aid in making best use of natural resources as it is dynamic in dissemination and scientific in indigenous experimentation. In the modern days of technological advancement, this knowledge is falling prey to the lure of modernization and urbanization. Indigenous technical knowledge (ITK) forms water resource management, soil fertility management, forest resource management, pest management, organic manuring, soil management, curing of cereals, agricultural tools and implements, ITK for agricultural and horticultural crops etc. ITK refers to the art of using natural resources and is passed on generation to generation and is farmer friendly as well as socially accepted. Indigenous knowledge in the Himalayan region is the inter-generational wisdom of local inhabitants to perform their livelihood operations in a most eco-friendly manner under remote, isolated and inaccessible conditions; characterized by harsh climate and limited survival options. This review article depicts some of the important practices of ITK documented by various researchers in northern India with special reference to Himachal Pradesh (H.P.), largely influenced by geographical and environment diversity prevailing in its different zones. ITK is restricted to remote areas, so it is pertinent to document and preserve this invaluable depleting treasure for future generations.