Pride in India’s traditions like Yoga & Ayurveda- Sarbananda Sonowal

Sarbananda Sonowal
25 Oct 2021

Indian systems of medicine are millennia old and offer overall wellness. Changes in the health paradigm have led to an unprecedented resurgence of interest in Ayush systems over the years. Established in 2014, the Ministry of Ayush has amplified the role of India’s traditional systems of medicine in realizing the vision of Hon’ble Prime Minister Narendra Modi of taking Ayush to the world.

Prestigious international collaborations in important fields like Pharmacopoeia are indicative of the galloping acceptance of Indian traditional health systems. A key initiative in this regard is Ayush’s role in the fight against COVID-19. The Ministry of Ayush has undertaken several R&D and public healthcare initiatives to harness the potential of Ayush systems in mitigating the impact of the pandemic.

Campaigns such as Ayush for Immunity promoted awareness about improving immunity and advised simple home remedies easily accessible to the general public. Institutes like All India Institute of Ayurveda (AIIA), New Delhi were made dedicated COVID Health Centre. The Ayush Ministry constituted an inter-disciplinary R&D Task Force and released the National Clinical Management Protocol based on Ayurveda and Yoga for management of COVID-19.

Over 127 research studies were initiated at 152 centers across the country, which have shown promising outcomes in reducing the incidence of COVID among Ayush prophylactic care users. The Ministry launched nationwide the clinically proven AYUSH-64 and Kabasura Kudineer. Ayuraksha Kit was given to 80,000 Delhi Police frontline personnel. Meanwhile, Ayush Ministry and WHO have entered into a Technical Service agreement to undertake study for integration of Ayush into Public Health System for combating COVID-19.

8,32,445 Ayush practitioners, paramedic staff, and students enlisted as COVID warriors. 1,75,603 Ayush doctors were trained through iGOT. Over 37,000 Ayush staff was deployed for COVID-19 related healthcare services.

Due to large-scale sensitization and steps taken towards mitigation of Covid over the past two years, the AYUSH sector has witnessed 44% growth. This figure underline the wide recognition and public acceptance of Ayush systems. Moreover, the income of farmers who cultivated medicinal plants has also increased during this period.

It is also a matter of pride for all Indians that the WHO has chosen India for establishing its Global Centre for Traditional Medicine. DG WHO, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, gave a video message on 5th Ayurveda Day on 13th November 2020 and praised the Prime Minister’s commitment to universal coverage under Ayushman Bharat and evidence-based promotion of traditional medicines to achieve health-related objectives.

Our ancient practice of Yoga has become a global lifestyle and wellness system in recent years. It has recently been recognised as a competitive sport and has become a mainstream degree. One prominent indicator of this has been India’s first Yoga university, Lakulish Yoga University, which has witnessed a three-fold increase in the number of admissions. To propagate the practice of Yoga digitally, the Ministry of Ayush has launched the Namaste Yoga app. In addition, the Yoga Break app was also launched. The Union Cabinet recently also approved the continuation of the National Ayush Mission with a financial implication of Rs. 4,607.30 crore.

(Writer is Union Minister of AYUSH and Ports, Shipping & Waterways of India)

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