Do you recall your childhood, those days when your grandmother rushed to give you warm milk with turmeric as an antidote to injury, or cloves to clench between your teeth whenever you had a toothache? Have you made a conscious effort to impart that knowledge to your own children? Perhaps not. After all, how many of us think it is valuable. To set the record straight, UNESCO does. UNESCO has started recognizing indigenous knowledge as local knowledge unique to a culture or society, which is ‘the basis for agriculture, food preparation, health care, education, conservation and the wide range of other activities that sustain societies in many parts of the world’.
Source of indigenous knowledge is practical experience in natural surroundings. Like a farmer gains while working in the fields, or a fisherman acquires while going out on the sea to catch fish. The evolution of Ayurveda and Yoga in India are some prominent examples. We are losing indigenous knowledge. This is mostly due to our endeavor to modernize our education. To protect and advance indigenous knowledge, we need to consciously work with the next generation in formal and informal ways. This knowledge is our treasure, we must ensure that this is not lost in the corridors of formal education.