Amchi school has few pupils

Kathmandu, May 12:

Communities in the Himalayan region are finding it hard to find persons willing to learn the Amchi system of medication because there is no one to translate Tibetan Amchi manuscripts into English or Nepali.

In this system, healers use herbs for healing. The manuscripts contain information about techniques of healing and knowledge about herbs.

“Only Amchis can understand these texts. But they do not have good command of Nepali or English,” says Amchi Dr Tenjing Bista, principle, Mustang-based Lo-Kunphen Mentsee Khang School, the only government-recognised Amchi school.

Twenty-eight students are studying in the school. “But the students should learn to read and write the classical Tibetan language first,” Bista says.

The country has three more Amchi schools, but they have not received government recognition. “The youths do not want to study this system also because they do not get certificates.”

“We are trying to establish authorised schools and colleges for the Amchis. The government wants our courses translated into modern languages so that it can study texts and grant permission,” Bista says. The government should help translate the Tibetan texts. “The government’s inattention has questioned sustainability of Amchi tradition.”

“People in the Himalayan region will benefit a lot if a proper mechanism is introduced to encourage the youths to study the Amchi system of treatment.”