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US doctor visits North Lakhimpur

NORTH LAKHIMPUR, May 17 – The American doctor whose personal interest and initiative saved three lives in the mushroom poisoning incident in Lakhimpur this April visited North Lakhimpur recently and met the survivors, besides meeting local medical professionals and interacting with the media.

Dr Todd S Mitchell of the University of California, Santa Cruz, visited North Lakhimpur from May 8 to 10 and met the survivors of the mushroom poisoning that hit Lakhimpur district in early May.

On the first day of his visit, Dr Mitchell met Jitumoni Deori (11), Khagen Deori (13) and Philip Deori (36) – the patients who survived the mushroom poisoning on April 1 after he directed Dr Phool Konwar Deori, a young pediatrician of North Lakhimpur Civil Hospital, through teleconferencing.

On May 9, Dr Mitchell was felicitated by the All Assam Medical Services Association in the conference hall of North Lakhimpur Civil Hospital. Addressing the public and media, Dr Mitchell delivered a two-hour long presentation on ‘amatoxin’ in mushrooms and its various aspects worldwide. Later, talking to this correspondent, Dr Mitchell said that mushroom poisoning in this area of the world had been very common since 1940s as traditionally it was consumed by most of the local communities and due to lack of modern facilities in the health sector, many people were dying every year.

However, he also noted that mushroom poisoning was very common in Eastern Europe as well and similar cases were also found in America in 2007. Dr Mitchell proudly said that whatever was conducted in North Lakhimpur this April was remarkable and it was the world’s first ever instance of conducting an operation under Billiary Drainage on the gallbladder on the patients of mushroom poisoning.

He said that there would be a united approach towards this problem and added that whatever had been conducted in North Lakhimpur by Dr Phool Konwar Deori and his team would be significant for the whole world. He also stressed the role by the media in promoting awareness on mushroom poisoning and its cure.
It may be recalled that the Bahgora and Kathjaan Deorigaon of Lakhimpur district were severely affected by mushroom poisoning on April 1 last in which eight persons lost their lives.

However, three victims could be saved when pediatrician Dr Phool Konwar Deori was contacted by Dr S Todd Mitchell, who had followed the news of mushroom poisoning deaths in Lakhimpur on the WHO’s updates and asked him to perform certain methods to save the lives of the victims.

The methods and tests, machinery for which is not available in North Lakhimpur Civil Hospital, was conducted individually by Dr Deori with the help of some his colleagues and as a result the victims survived quite miraculously.

Dr Deori with the help of pathologist Dr Rohini Borah and surgeon Dr Diganta Dutta successfully conducted Billiary Drainage on the gallbladder of the patients and drained out the poisonous contents from their body before it could enter their livers, as instructed by Dr Mitchell.

Facts of Deori


The Bor Deori is the most respected person in the village

Patorganya – undisclosed missing among Four Groups

Only the people of Dibongiya class can speak their own mother tongue

In 14th century A D. The Deoris were royal priests of The Chutiyas Kingdom

The Deoris are believed to have come to Sadiya before the first century

The Deori people believe in `Kundimama` which is the supreme power.

The Second Marriage in Deori Tribe is called "Suje Luguba"

The Deori Tribe of Assam came to India via Tibet and Burma

Each village of Deori people features a place of worship called ‘Deo-ghar'

The Deoris are divided into 24 clans.

The Deoris proudly introduce themselves as Jimo-Chhayan, meaning they are the children of the sun and the moon

Deori's use to make a Narbali (human sacrifice) in terms to win the war, battle and to prevent the villagers from the evil atmosphere like floods, drought etc. This practice make them pure owing to satisfy the supreme Goddess. Only the class of Patorganya people were eligible for sacrificing.

The Deoris women have no tradition to put sindur in their forehead as a mark of married women.

Deoris belonging to the Tengaponia sub clan do not take mutton or flesh of goat as it is forbidden according a legend clan.

The term "Deori" appears to be a later coinage derived from "Deva" which means a God.

Deori is a plain tribe of Assam, the worshipper of Kundimama (Kundi - Siva, Mama - Parvati)from ancient time maintaining their own custom and tradition.

According to 2001 census the total revenue villages of Deori in Assam are 133 and their population are 2,45,000.