Lakshmikutty Amma, who is a famous poison healer practicing traditional medicine, told ANI, "I feel happy that my country accepted me. I haven't felt happier. The District Collector called and informed me that I was selected for Padma Shri. I am in this field for last 50 years and the Kerala government recognized my work and awarded me as well. A few of the people had claimed that I would win the Padma Shri award".
Kerala:Padmashree awardee Lakshmikutty is a 75-yr-old tribal woman from Kallar forest area in Thiruvananthapuram district.She has been practicing traditional medicine for the past 50 yrs&is known as 'poison healer'. She also received Kerala govt's Naattu Vaidya Ratna award in '95 pic.twitter.com/E0l5ZNGpCh— ANI (@ANI) January 28, 2018
Amma, who also writes poems, dramas and is a teacher in folklore academy, revealed that she got this knowledge from her mother who was a traditional midwife.
She belongs to Kaani tribe and can remember more than 500 varieties of medicine. She has attained the education of 3rd forum and knows Sanskrit.
Amma, whose husband died two years back, stays alone in the forest and grows medicinal plants around her house. Her two sons passed away and the third one is working in the Railways.
Nature offers all remedies. Knowledge of traditional medicine was passed on to me from my mother who was a mid-wife. People come to me for treatment for snake poison. I treat all kinds of snake poison, and many other diseases: Padmashree awardee Lakshmikutty pic.twitter.com/8jPqSnhD7u— ANI (@ANI) January 28, 2018
"My mother was also a traditional medicine practitioner. She was a midwife. My mother passed down the knowledge to me. I keenly watch the nature, it has all the remedies. Even animals and fish have medicinal power", she added.
However, Amma who has been awarded so many honours live in difficult circumstances.
"There is no road to my home. It was approved in 1952, but the work hasn't started till now", she said.
There is no road to my home even today,it was approved in 1952.People are not able to bring patients in time, providing medicine at the earliest is important in poison treatment, My son lost his life as we could not take him to hospital on time as there was no road: Lakshmikutty pic.twitter.com/jcvNFhSols— ANI (@ANI) January 28, 2018
Amma said she hopes the government will consider it.
"We have to travel many kilometres through the forest. There are wild animals including elephants. People cannot bring patients in time. Hence, I request the government to do something about it", she added.
Amma said that she practices in treating snake poison as well.
"My son died due to snake poison, so I gained all the knowledge I could on it. When one is injected with poison it is important to suck it out at the earliest, but with no roads and no hospitals nearby, it is a dangerous issue in the village as we live amidst wild animals", she said.