Eucalyptus - Nature’s Cure All
Text & Photography ©Nayan Sthankiya
First introduced to India in 1790 by Tippu Sultan, has, as most non indigenous species introduced from outside of their natural eco system run a-muck of the local vegetation and water table in the Nilgri's of Southern India.
Many people here have suggested wholesale eradication, but the more enterprising locals have taken to processing the leaves to extract their medicinal oils for sale locally and abroad. Getting little for their efforts, a 100 rupes a day six days a week, back breaking labor from sun up to sun set, inhaling fumes from both the medicinal properties of the leaves as well as the large amounts of carbon and other by products produced in the process. Leading to respiratory ailments and a shortened life span.
But as always the ingenuity and perseverance of the small Indian businessman plods along and hard work and sacrifice can see a family send their children to good schools to receive proper education and a better life.