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Govt to boost ayurveda as trustworthy system

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The Union Health Minister, Mr Shatrughan Sinha (left), the Kerala Health Minister, Mr P. Sankaran, and the Union Minister for State for Urban Development, Mr O. Rajagopal (right), at the inaugural session of the World Ayurveda Congress 2002 in Kochi on Friday.

KOCHI, Nov. 1

THE four-day World Ayurveda Congress jointly organised by the Swadeshi Science Movement and Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has got off to a colourful start here on Friday with a call for a holistic approach to ayurveda among the world community in the globalisation era.

Inaugurating the conference, the Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare, Mr Shatrughan Sinha, said that the world being haunted by the toxic effects of modern medicine drugs is already on the look out for complimentary and alternative medicine. In this scenario, the Union Government is taking firm steps to establish ayurveda as trustworthy system of medicine in view of its enormous potential.

``We all know ayurvedic system of medicine has potential. Demand for safety and efficacy and evidence are not altogether unjustified. We have to prove it by adopting scientific methodology'', he said.

He said the UK Government was planning to introduce a recognised course in ayurveda in the UK and it had worked out a curriculum for 1,700 hours containing all the essential subjects of ayurveda. This would help in the proper development and acceptance of this traditional system of medicine among the world community.

``Many countries are coming out with proposal to start ayurvedic courses. We have good opportunities to spread ayurveda all over the world in authentic manner with an objective to serve the humanity at large'', he added.

He said protection of Indian traditional medicinal knowledge would be undertaken through progressive creation of digital library for each system and eventually for unmodified knowledge leading to innovative and good health outcomes. A beginning has already been made to establish traditional knowledge digital library for ayurveda.

In addition, the Department of Indian Systems of Medicine and Homeopathy is developing many new schemes in the 10th Plan. A scheme of Home Remedy Kits would be introduced in the country on pilot basis. Under this scheme, 100 villages in each of the 20 identified States would be provided and each kit would contain medicines for very common ailments. These kits were designed to address common ailments of village people who do not have access to any healthcare service.

The Government also proposed to secure for ISM industries priority status and green industry status. Efforts would be made to secure fiscal incentives and tax concessions to ISM industry within overall taxation policy, he said.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr P. Sankaran, Minister of Health, State Government, said that the potentiality of ayurveda has come to benefit the common people now thanks to the technological advancements in this field. An exclusive body for research and developmental activities was the need of the hour to propagate this traditional system of medicine from the State as Kerala is believed to be the cradle of ayurveda.

He also called upon the Union Government to recognise ayurveda as a national system of medicine as the country had national flag, national flower, national bird and national animal.

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