Suggestions for Indian Government

SUGGESTIONS FOR THE INDIAN GOVERNMENT

34 years ago, Prem Nath Kohli was interviewed for an article in the 'Himalayan Journal' (published in 1985) about his life as a nurseryman and seedsman.  He was asked if he had any suggestions for the Government?  He was pleased that something was being thought regarding environmental development of his country.  But there is no point in banning certain wild seeds, he said (or what appears to be the present case to BAN everything)! "They should be CONSERVED and CULTIVATED.  I have always been for drug (he means LEGAL medicinal species) farming and cultivation of RARE species.  With ecological imbalances, fast disappearance of forests and increasing population, hundreds of species are bound to become extinct UNLESS cultivated.  Only three decades ago Pampore (in the Kashmir Valley) used to abound in the most beautiful TULIPA LANATA which grew on sod-roofs.  When the tin roofs became popular, it simply disappeared.  Rats are particularly fond of the bulbs and it never seeded..... I had exported a few of them about thirty five years ago to vam Tubergen and Cor de Rees of Holland.  I wonder if they have them now?"

Kohli stressed quality control and PRESERVATION OF RARE SPECIES.  He wanted the lovely gifts of nature to be enjoyed in posterity, as his generation had - BUT THE PRESENT GENERATION AND GOVERNMENT MUST LEARN TO CARE FOR THEM.  But are they?  Ever-increasing rules and regulations are NOT the answer.  As I explain on this web-site, far from PROTECTING AND CONSERVING Himalayan flora, such things are HARMING the well-being of plants - WHILST EVERY DAY THAT PASSES, THE GENUINELY RARE AND ENDANGERED SPECIES HAVE BEEN ABANDONED......

SUGGESTIONS FOR ALL GOVERNMENTS AND PEOPLES OF THE  INDIAN SUB-CONTINENT

In 2000, Dr R R Stewart, known as 'The Father of Pakistan Botany', author of 'An Annotated Catalogue of the Vascular Plants of West Pakistan and Kashmir', was honoured by many senior figures, who were former student of Gordon College, Rawalpindi, where he had been Principal.  Responding to these accolades, he observed Pakistan had many good speakers but it needed EXCELLENT DOERS...  The flora, environment and peoples NEED more doers and to COLLABORATE internationally with DOERS like Chris Chadwell- there are already too many who talk and WRITE REPORTS... and SENSATIONALIST articles.

The USA found the funds to support Dr Ralph Stewart (aged 70) to work for 20 years as a Research Associate at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, Herbarium, to identify and have labelled and mounted the 30,000 quality specimens collected by Dr Walter Koelz and Thakur Rup Chand.  This represents BY FAR THE BEST REFERENCE COLLECTION OF BOTANICAL SPECIMENS FROM THE WESTERN HIMALAYA ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD - whether in India or Kew.  Yet it languishes there, un-utilised. Even worse, a duplicate set of these specimens, collected for the Urusvati Institute, Naggar, Himachal Pradesh, has been abandoned for 80 years (many specimens now no doubt rotted away or infested with insects).  Chris Chadwell has repeatedly offered to help assess what remains but nobody is interested.  The Indian Government COULD afford to engage Chris Chadwell as a consultant and prepared a FLORA OF WESTERN HIMALAYA in his remaining years but this is not going to happen.  What a waste not to utilised the hard-won skills of the leading authority on the flora of this region.......  Chris has even started, without support, encouragement or funding, his own PHOTOGRAPHIC GUIDE to the 'Flowers of the Western Himalaya' but cannot prepare a full flora un-aided......


THE INDIAN GOVERNMENT OWES A BRITISH 'PLANT HUNTER' FOR PRESTIGE OF THE 'VALLEY OF FLOWERS'.....

Many will have heard of the 'VALLEY OF FLOWERS'.  The Indian Government sets great store by the PRESTIGE which this UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE site brings - many Indians are proud of it and vast numbers visit every year!  What is not appreciated is that it was the book written by mountaineer F.S.Smythe and detail about the plants mentioned within it, which stemmed from his ACTIVITIES AS A PLANT HUNTER IN THE HIMALAYA, which brought this honour - NOTHING to do with any Indian botanist!  I know of NO Indian botanists who have trekked or even explored extensively in the Himalaya surveying for plants, like Chris Chadwell has done nor worked such long hours to subsequently study the flora in herbaria and floras.  It is the BRITISH tradition of being interested in growing more unusual plants has done a great deal of good!  Yet again.... One cannot become an expert on Himalayan flora sat in an office......

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