Herbal medicine expert Yanung Jamoh Lego honoured with Padma Shri Award

NEW DELHI, 23 Apr: During a civil investiture ceremony held at the Rashtrapati Bhavan here on Monday, the President of India honoured Yanung Jamoh Lego with the prestigious Padma Shri Award in recognition of her outstanding contributions to the field of herbal medicine and agriculture.

A renowned herbalist, Lego has been distinguished for her lifesaving treatments and her advocacy for traditional healing practices.

Born in 1963 in Sika Tode village in East Siang district, Lego has been a beacon of hope for over 3,00,000 patients suffering from life-threatening illnesses such as various types of cancer, diabetes, hypertension, and more.

Lego’s journey began under the guidance of her father, a respected folk healer, which led her to pursue education in agriculture from the Assam Agricultural University. Post her education, she joined the agriculture department in Arunachal Pradesh in 1988, and served until her retirement in 2023.

With a professional start as an agriculture inspector, Lego’s true calling was in herbal medicine, which she practiced intensively after a 15-year apprenticeship with her father. Her treatments, based on traditional knowledge and local herbs, have not only cured but also prevented many diseases, restoring faith in traditional medicine systems.

Lego founded the Indigenous Herbal Heritage in 2009 – a pioneering organisation that promotes the cultivation and knowledge of medicinal plants. Through her efforts, over 1,00,000 individuals have been educated on the benefits of herbal medicines, with the organisation planting approximately 5,000 medicinal plants annually to ensure sustainability.

Her exceptional service has previously been recognised with several accolades, including the Arunachal Pradesh State Award in 2019, the SRISTI Samman Award in 2007, and the Paramparika Vaidya Ratna Award in 2013.

Lego’s influence in the field of herbal medicine continues to inspire countless others to explore and respect traditional healing practices. Her dedication and results have positioned her not only as a healer but as a visionary in integrating traditional knowledge with modern applications for health.

The Padma Shri Award acknowledges her decades of dedication and impact, underscoring the importance of traditional medicine in contemporary health discourse and celebrating her significant contributions to the field.

Lego was accorded a warm reception at the Ruksin gate in East Siang district upon her return from New Delhi on Tuesday. Hundreds people of Ruksin area, including members of the 90s Hero Sporting Club, the Adi Bane Kebang (women) and villagers of Sika Tode received Lego at the Ruksin gate and proceeded with her to Sika Tode in East Siang district.

Lego was also felicitated by the local societies at Sika Tode and Pasighat.

Meanwhile, Governor KT Parnaik has congratulated Lego, and said that it is a proud moment for all of Arunachal.

“The prestigious award to Lego is an honour to our indigenous herbal medicine experts, whose healing practices are safe, effective and ethically practiced,” Parnaik said.

He said that the award “will go a long way in the revival of traditional herbal treatment practices, which have been passed down by our forebears.” (With inputs from Raj Bhavan & PIB)