Meghalaya: Hawkers selling allopathic medicines sets off alarm bells in Garo Hills
Hawkers selling medicine in South West Garo Hills

Tura: An NGO working in the West Garo Hills region has raised questions on the Taxation department of the Garo Hills Autonomous District Council (GHADC) after it continued to provide a Trading for Non-Tribals (TNT) license to hawkers of allopathic medicines.

The matter came to light on Tuesday after the Durama Imbama Norimbi Dikkimbi A’chik Magiparang (DINDAM) NGO visited the weekly market at Garobadha in South West Garo Hills (SWGH) where they found three hawkers selling allopathic medicines to people. 

All three hawkers were from Mankachar in Assam.

“We were informed through an anonymous call about hawkers selling allopathic medicines in the weekly market. They were selling these to unwitting villagers, acting as doctors and prescribing medicines without approval from any of the departments concerned, except for a TNT from the GHADC,” said DINDAM founding member Jaynie Sangma.

YouTube video

The activist questioned the right of the GHADC to issue medical distribution licenses to hawkers without even an iota of thought of the implications that it could have on the general public.

“We feel that this is possibly the first time in the country that such illegal acts have been allowed to prosper with such impunity. These hawkers have no authority or permission to operate from the various departments but shockingly have been given Trading by Non-Tribal (TNT) licenses from the taxation department of the GHADC, which has no authority on the sale of medicines,” the NGO added.

“What is the point of getting so many clearances and licenses to open a pharmacy when you can get a hawking license instead? This is ridiculous, to say the least, and sets a dangerous precedent. When we visited the drug inspector at Ampati, she too was shocked by what was happening and promised to look into the matter immediately,” Sangma added.

On May 31, the NGO tried to meet the deputy commissioner of WGH, Jagdish Chelani, in his office chambers to submit a complaint. However, the DC was unavailable due to prior commitments.

DINDAM added that Garobadha was just the tip of the iceberg as this practice was prevalent in almost all the weekly markets where hawkers were given a free hand at being doctors and pharmacists just to fill the coffers of the GHADC.

Dear Reader,
Over the past four years, EastMojo revolutionised the coverage of Northeast India through our sharp, impactful, and unbiased coverage. And we are not saying this: you, our readers, say so about us. Thanks to you, we have become Northeast India’s largest, independent, multimedia digital news platform.
Now, we need your help to sustain what you started.
We are fiercely protective of our ‘independent’ status and would like to remain so: it helps us provide quality journalism free from biases and agendas. From travelling to the remotest regions to cover various issues to paying local reporters honest wages to encourage them, we spend our money on where it matters.
Now, we seek your support in remaining truly independent, unbiased, and objective. We want to show the world that it is possible to cover issues that matter to the people without asking for corporate and/or government support. We can do it without them; we cannot do it without you.
Support independent journalism, subscribe to EastMojo.

Thank you,
Karma Paljor

“Most villages are unknowingly buying these medicines. This not only is a health hazard and illegal in nature, but it also has the potential to become catastrophic in nature. No law of the land, we are sure, allows for medicines to be sold openly without consultation, prescription or legal sanction by authorities,” added the NGO in their complaint.

Attempts to contact the Drugs Inspector of the South West Garo Hills proved futile. 

Also Read | Meghalaya govt reconstitutes committee reviewing the state reservation policy

Trending Stories

Latest Stories

Leave a comment

Leave a comment