INITIATIVE TOWARDS ESTABLISHMENT OF A SOWA RIGPA (SORIG) COLLEGE
IN THE STATE OF SIKKIM
The Sowa Rigpa (Science of Healing) popularly known as Amji medicine is an integral part of Buddhist culture. This ancient practice of alternative medicine has been prevalent in the State for centuries. With the amendment of the Indian Medical Council Act, 1970 by the Parliament in 2010, Sowa Rigpa has been recognized by the Government of India along with the Ayurveda, Siddha and Unani systems of medicine.
A 5 year Sowa Rigpa (sorig) course (Bachelor of Tibetan Medicine) is due to start from July 2017. Dr LobsangDhodupBhutia, well known Amji practitioner from Kalimpong has been appointed as Consultant/Adviser to help establish the program.
NIT is in the process of seeking affiliation with Men-Tsee-Khang (Tibetan Medical and Astrological Institute), Dharamsala to conduct the Sorig course.
Admission of first batch:
Initially, the Institute will take in a maximum of 10 students for the 2017 academic year but over a period of time, the intake will be increased as and when the infrastructure facility of the college takes shape. Out of 10 seats, 6 are to be reserved for students from within the State of Sikkim, while the remaining 4 seats are left open to students from within and outside the country.
The minimum eligible qualifications for admission to the 5 year Sorig course is class XII pass or Shastri/Acharya degrees. It is essential for the students to have a sound background in Tibetan language, both written and spoken. The selection of students for admission will be on the basis of written test followed by viva voce.
The Institute is in the process of appointing two faculty members in consultation with DrLobsangDhondupBhutia, the consultant and advisor for the Sowa Rigpa course and the research wing, which is to be set up subsequently.
Sikkim is well known as a treasure trove for medicinal herbs which thrive in the high altitude regions of the State. The State’s Forest, Environment and Wild Life Management and Agriculture departments have already carried out a lot of good work to identify the herbal wealth of the State. However, much more needs to be done to tap the vast herbal medicinal resources of the State. In this regard, the NIT plans to establish a separate Sowa Rigpa College research wing to consolidate on what has already been achieved and carry out further identification and propagation of various types of medicinal herbs. In the long run, the aim is to teach the local farmers to grow medicinal herbs on a commercial scale and thus increase the production of rare medicinal herbs and simultaneously improve the economic condition of the people living in remote mountain areas, where such plants are known to thrive.