GUWAHATI, Jan 7 - Well-known herbal medicine specialist, �Bheshaj Ratna� Dr Gunaram Khanikar passed away in the early hours today. He was 67. Dr Khanikar, who was rushed to the city�s Down Town Hospital around 1.25 am of Thursday, was declared brought dead.
While in Guwahati, Dr Khanikar used to stay at a rented accommodation at Kanvachal near Silpukhuri. A close aide of Dr Khanikar said he complained of cold last night and when his condition deteriorated, he was rushed to Down Town Hospital. Doctors suspected it to be a case of heart attack.
Born to Chandra Khanikar and Deveswari Khanikar of Chakardhara village of Athgaon mouza of Golaghat district on March 22, 1949, Dr Khanikar had an early initiation into the world of herbs, thanks to his parents. A science graduate from Devraj Roy College of Golaghat, Khanikar later obtained his master�s degree in Yamanehpathy (gold medal) in 2001, and did his doctorate from Yamaneo Open University, Sivasagar.
It was since 1970 that Dr Khanikar devoted himself wholeheartedly in the identification, study, collection and preservation of herbs for their use in curing human ailments, besides promoting and popularizing herbal cure.
Dr Khanikar was honoured with the first Grassroots Technological Innovation and Traditional Knowledge Award 2001 by the National Innovation Foundation for his invaluable contribution in the field of herbal medicine. Other awards include the Hahnemann Memorial Award in 2006, Rashtriya Gaurav Award in 2010, International Gold Star Award in 2010, etc.
He was associated with many organisations and research activities. He was a Programme Officer of Voluntary Health Association of Assam at the time of his death. The Assam Government also felicitated him in 1997. He was bestowed with a number titles such as Bheshaj Ratna, Banoushadhi Raja, Banoushadhi Samrat, Banoushadhi Bigyani, Banoushadhi Acharya, Manav Mitra, etc, for his role in promoting and popularising herbal cure.
Golaghat Correspondent adds: Dr Khanikar, who was the recipient of over 10 national and international awards, wrote more than 80 books on herbal medicine. In addition, he contributed over 900 articles in newspapers and journals, besides taking part in national and international seminars.
He made 30 innovative herbal medicines for various ailments, including diabetes, malaria, palpitation, etc. In 2001, he was conferred the title �Charak of Modern Assam.�
Dr Khanikar established the Regional Research and Training Centre of Indian Traditional Treatment at Tetelitol in Golaghat. He had also established a herbal medicinal garden at Chakardhara.
He will be cremated at Tetelitol, Golaghat.
His death was mourned by different organisations and institutions of Golaghat, including Golaghat Press Club, Golaghat Journalists� Union, Golaghat Kabi Chakra, Golaghat Sakha Sahity Sabha, All Assam Students� Union (Golaghat district committee), Golaghat Senior Citizens� Samiti, Golaghat district BJP, and Golaghat District Congress Committee.