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Why Darzo?

On this, my eleventh trip to the Christian state of Mizoram in NE India, my primary objective is to work with one agricultural village to experiment with ways of improving village life. One the greatest problems in the world is the fact very few young people aspire to be farmers, yet without farmers the world would starve.

We have chosen the village of Darzo for a number of reasons. Darzo has 280 houses and a population of about 1500. It is isolated. The closest villages are Tuipui (a 1.5 hour drive, NW) and South Vanlaiphai (0.75 hours, SE).

Darzo is populated with hard-working farmers, many of whom through the guidance of Baptist R&D have advanced to sustainable farms. It has a record of an amazing string of significant events:

It was from Darzo that the raid on the English tea plantation which captured Mary Winchester was launched.

The British armies coming from Burma and Bangladesh met in Darzo, cutting Mizoram in half.

The Japanese reached into Mizoram came as far as Darzo before their defeat at Kohima.

During the insurrection in the 1960s, the rebel forces were headquarter in Darzo.

Much of the early Sloped Agriculture Land Technology (SALT) farming in Mizoram was centered in Darzo.

The first ZoClinic ever was opened in Darzo. There are now almost 100 ZoClinics in Mizoram and over 60 ZoClinics in Africa, all following the Darzo model. These clinics are eliminating malaria deaths village by village and at a price villages can afford.

We have established some short and medium term goals toward transforming Darzo into a model which could be duplicated in Mizoram, or indeed anywhere in the world.

Over the next year we are attempting to completely eradicate malaria from Darzo. The herb Artemisia (see www.anamed.org) has been proven to be highly effective in curing and preventing malaria. The aim is to propagate and mature 2000 artemisia plants in Darzo by September of this year.

This will allow every citizen of Darzo to be treated as though they have malaria (5 cups of artemisia tea per day for one week). This should kill any parasites, including dormant malaria. Then, to be sure, one takes a cup a day for the following month and finally a cup a week for 11 months.

Finally, any visitors to Darzo will be asked to drink artemisia tea while in Darzo to make sure malaria is not re-introduced. It is our hope and belief the this will defeat malaria in Darzo forever.

As artemisia can be grown almost anywhere in the malaria-prone world, this could be the model of ridding the world of this scourge!

A longer term goal is to see artemisia grown all of Mizoram with the aim on eliminating malaria throughout Mizoram. This would be a tremendous witness to the world.