P R Krishnakumar, the doyen of Ayurveda and Managing Director of The Arya Vaidya Pharmacy (Coimbatore) Limited (AVP) breathed his last on Wednesday night. He was 69.

Son of P V Rama Varier, the founder of AVP, Krishnakumar had soon after completion of studies from Shronur Ayurveda College taken to promotion and propagation of Ayurveda as his life mission.

He initiated the first-ever clinical research in traditional medicines in partnership with WHO and ICMR in 1977 to study the efficacy of Ayurvedic treatment on Rheumatoid arthritis. His perseverance to bring quality research to this conventional system of medicine has brought rich accolades to the institution.

The clinical wing of AVP is today recognised as one of the eight good institutions in the country.

That was not all. The AVP MD implemented several Ayurveda-related projects, which were approved by the Department of Science and Technology and Department of Environment.

AVP today manufactures around 450 products in two GMP certified factories.

At the AVP Research Foundation, founded by the late physician, clinical, literary, field and drug researches are being conducted. The foundation launched the RUDRA clinical documentation programme in 2003 to promote practice-based evidence in Ayurveda.

This programme, sources in the know of development say, could give a firm footing to Ayurveda as “a credible and authentic system”.

This Padmashri awardee was successful in establishing a business, academic and research tie-ups in the USA, UK, Malaysia and Canada. AVP operates five treatment centres in Malaysia.

During the initial days of the nationwide lockdown, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had held video conferencing with the AVP MD to discuss the prospects of Ayurveda in Covid-19 management.

Krishnakumar incidentally was also the Chancellor of Avinashilingam Institute for Home Science and Higher Education for Women, Coimbatore, and chairman of CARe Keralam (Confederation for Ayurvedic Renaissance –Keralam Pvt. Ltd.