All Ayurveda lovers and the eminent personalities present here,
Best wishes to you all and to the whole Nation on the occasion of Dhanvantari Jayanti and the Ayurveda day.
In fact, the celebrations for the festival of Deepavali have also started. I wish all my countrymen as well as the Indian community spread across the world, a very happy and prosperous Deepavali.
I was told that many Ayurvedic colleges in the country are connected to this programme through technology and I welcome them all. I congratulate you all for the establishment of the country's first All India Institute of Ayurveda.
I thank the AYUSH Ministry and all the eminent personalities associated with this Ministry for the establishment of this Institute and for celebrating Dhanvantari Jayanti as the Ayurveda day.
Friends, even with a lot of efforts a country cannot progress unless it knows its history, heritage, culture, glorious traditions and if it doesn't take pride in them. Those countries that move ahead forgetting its legacy shall certainly lose its identity.
Friends, if we look at the history of our country, we will find that India was once a prosperous and a powerful country. The other countries realised that it was impossible to compete with India's knowledge and intellect. Therefore they adopted a different path. They thought that whatever best things we had, should be destroyed. They were bent upon to try and erase our achievements rather than creating their own.
So, during the era of colonization our traditions, sages, farmers, scientists, knowledge, yoga, Ayurveda were ridiculed. They tried to weaken these strengths of our country so much so that even our own people began to lose faith in them.
After the liberation from slavery we hoped that whatever had survived should be preserved and be modified with time but unfortunately it was not prioritised. Everything was left to itself.
In the time of colonization, an attempt was made to destroy our strength and even after independence we continued with this. In a way we had turned away from our legacy. Because of these reasons many of our information and knowledge that once used be our grandmothers' prescriptions, were patented by other countries and thus, slipped into the hands of those countries.
Today those have become intellectual property right of someone else. Today I feel proud that several attempts have been made to change this situation in the last 3 years. The reputation of our superior heritage is once again being established in the minds of the people today.
Today while celebrating the Ayurveda Day or the International Yoga Day on 21st June, the people feel proud of their cultural heritage. When we look at the images of lakhs of people from different countries performing yoga, we feel that lakhs of people are trying to connect with India's heritage which is yoga. In every age, the inheritance of the humankind starts transforming with the contribution or some addition of every period and in every part of the country. Yoga, which has been originally the heritage of India, has now started spreading to the entire human race as its legacy.
This transformation is a result of the efforts of the past 3 years and the AYUSH Ministry too has played a significant role.
Friends, Ayurveda is not just a medical practice. It has a wide range of scope and includes subjects like social health, Public Health, environmental health etc. Realising this need, the government is now focusing on the integration of Ayurveda, yoga and other Public Health Care systems of AYUSH. The government has kept Ayush under four of its priority areas. Apart from making a separate Ministry, we have also framed rules for the integration of Ayush system with other Healthcare Services while formulating our National Health Policy.
Friends, the government believes that the integration of AYUSH with the Healthcare system will not remain confined to the files like before but will be implemented effectively. The AYUSH Ministry has started several initiatives in this direction. Several initiatives like National Health Protection Scheme, National AYUSH mission, Mission Madhumeha, AYUSH gram have been discussed by Mr Shripad Naik.
Friends, in order to expand the penetration of Ayurveda in the country it is essential to have Ayurveda hospitals with all the facilities in every district. The AYUSH Ministry is working at a fast pace in this direction and within 3 years more than 65 AYUSH hospitals have been opened.
The inauguration of the AIIMS like institution which is the All India Ayurveda Institute, is also a part of this endeavour. At the initial stage, more than 750 patients are coming here every day. In the coming days, the number of patients is estimated to be doubled. Usually in every programme it is said that your volume of work should increase; but I do not want the number of patients to be increased. So, I hope that an atmosphere of wellness is created so that the people do not have to come here. This Institute has been built with modern infrastructure. This will be helpful in the Ayurvedic treatment of many serious diseases. I am happy that today with the establishment of this Ayurveda institute, the knowledge of Ayurveda is once again reinforced and is getting a new energy.
It is also very promising to note that the Ayurveda Institute will work together with AIIMS, Indian Council of Medical Research and some other international organisations. I hope that the All India Ayurveda Institute will be the main centre of interdisciplinary and integrative health practice while treading this path.
Friends, Ayurveda is highly beneficial with a long list of its properties. The world today not only wants to be healthy but also wants wellness which can be fulfilled only by Ayurveda and yoga. Today the feeling of 'back to the basics' and 'back to the nature' is becoming stronger in all the countries of the world. More and more people are tilting towards it. The people are getting attracted towards those systems that are directly associated with nature. In such a scenario, a favourable environment is being created for Ayurveda. There is a need to increase the utility of Ayurveda as much as possible as per today's requirements.
How many of those who have studied Ayurveda are hundred per cent devoted towards this science? When he opens a hospital and a OPD and a patient asks for a quick remedy as he has to go for work as early as possible, the Ayurveda doctor feels that it is better to give him an allopathic medicine along with an injection. However, the sign board outside says that it’s 'Ayurvedic Health Centre'. This shows that the devotion towards Ayurveda is not hundred per cent. In order to re-instil the confidence of the people in the effectiveness of Ayurveda, first of all there should be a feeling of hundred per cent devotion towards Ayurveda. We should first develop the confidence in the system. We use to hear a joke in our childhood. There was a man who went to an eatery but the owner was not available. When the man enquired about the owner to his servant, the servant replied that the owner had gone to a nearby eatery to have food.
In such a scenario who will visit his eatery? Therefore friends, it is essential that the scientists associated with Ayurveda should expand its services. They should also think about the areas where Ayurveda can become more effective. One such area is that of sports. Recently there has been a sharp increase in the demand for physiotherapists. Every player has a personal physiotherapist. Sometimes these renowned players unknowingly get entangled with the pain killers. We all know that Ayurveda and yoga can be effective in this field. Ayurveda and yoga based Physiotherapy will not cause any such risk of consuming a banned drug.
Yoga and Ayurveda are important for our security forces just like these are effective in sports. Our soldiers protect the country in difficult situations. Sometimes they are posted in the mountainous areas, in the deserts or in high seas and sometimes in the dense forests; in different seasons and situations. In such a situation, Ayurveda and yoga can save them from many diseases. Mental stress can be dealt with easily. Yoga and Ayurveda can be very effective in strengthening the immunity system and it can help to increase the concentration.
There is a need to focus on quality Ayurvedic education. Rather, its scope should also be increased. The entire supporting chain of Ayurveda like Panchakarma therapist, Ayurvedic dietician, paralysis analyst, Ayurveda pharmacist, should also be developed.
Apart from this, I suggest that there is a need to reroute the different courses being taught at different levels in Ayurvedic education. A Student with the Bachelor of Ayurvedic Medicine and Surgery (BAMS) learns about natural, Ayurvedic diet, Ayurvedic Pharmaceuticals. After completing his course of 5 years he gets his degree and then practices on his own or finds a job or goes for higher studies.
Friends, is it possible to design the BAMS course in such a way that the student gets a certificate at every passing level of the exams? It has two advantages. Those students, who would like to start their practice along with higher education, will be comfortable and students who have missed studies for some reason will also have a certificate of some level of the course. This will be helpful in his life and those who complete the 5 Year Course will also have better employment opportunities.
Just now, Shripad Naik ji was mentioning about the collaboration with Spaulding Rehab Hospital and Harvard Medical School. I was really delighted to hear this and I congratulate both the sides. I hope that this collaboration will help in developing sports medicine, rehabilitation medicine and a possibility of Ayurvedic treatment for prevention of pain.
Brothers and sisters, I have launched Standard Guidelines and Standard Terminology Portal for treatment with Ayurveda a short while ago. Both these initiatives will generate a large amount of data, which can be used for getting scientific recognition according to the modern methods of Ayurveda. I believe that this initiative will prove to be milestones in the field of AYUSH science. The universal acceptance for Ayurveda will also increase with its help.
Standard guidelines and standard terminology in Ayurveda are therefore essential. The absence of these leads to the suppression of Ayurveda by the allopathic world. In our country, the same disease is described in different words in different parts of the country. The treatment is more or less same but the description is different. Therefore, we are not able to reach out to the world in a right way. This portal can be of great use in this direction. Once, a commission of the Indian government in its report had mentioned that Ayurveda is far away from the people's homes; because this method is not favourable in today's time. So, on one hand there are the allopathic medicines that can be quickly and easily consumed; on the other hand, there is this Ayurveda system, which is usually avoided by the common man because of the long and time consuming process of making the medicine. In this age of fast food, the old style of packaging of the Ayurvedic medicines is not going to work. As soon as the packaging of Ayurvedic medicines becomes modern, the standards of the treatment procedures are fixed and the terminology becomes uniform, you will see the rapid progress in this system.
In today's time, people want immediate results. With immediate results, people do not care about the side effects. But this kind of thinking is wrong. So, the need of the hour is that we should focus on the research that will help developing the Ayurvedic medicines that not only give immediate results but also help in preventing side effects. We should think on these lines and build them.
Brothers and sisters, I have been told that under the Ministry of AYUSH, the pharmacy standard of over 600 Ayurvedic medicines has been published. Greater publicity will lead to greater penetration of Ayurvedic medicines.
Today there is a huge market for Herbal medicines. India has to use its full capabilities here. Herbal and medicinal plants are becoming important sources of income.
In Ayurveda, medicines are made out of a plethora of such plants which do not require much water or a fertile land. Some therapeutic plants grow without any specific requirement. Unaware of the significance of some of these and mistaking them for scrubs or weeds, these are uprooted. We need to think about how to avoid this loss due to lack of awareness.
New employment opportunities are also opening up with the cultivation of medicinal plants. I would like to urge the AYUSH Ministry to develop a short term course for the farmers and the students in this direction in collaboration with the Ministry of Skill Development. Has any research been done on the use of seaweeds in Ayurveda? India's coast is a great asset. Can it be of any use in Ayurvedic medicine? I know that I am not an expert in this subject but if we do research in these new areas then we can make a difference in the lives of those fishermen. We can serve those interested in wellness by further enriching the vegetable based medicines. If the farmer utilizes the land in the edges of his conventional farm land and cultivates the medicinal plants, his income will increase. We want to double the farmers' incomes by the year 2022 which will mark 75 years of independence. This can also become an additional source of income for the farmers if the AYUSH Ministry and the Agriculture Ministry together guide the farmers to cultivate these medicinal plants at the edges of their farmlands.
Friends, this sector requires a lot of investment now for development and expansion. The government has approved hundred per cent Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) in Healthcare system. Efforts should also be made so as to provide the benefits of FDI to Ayurveda and yoga in the Healthcare system.
I would like to urge all the companies and the private sector of the country to come forward for yoga and Ayurveda as well, just as they have done for allopathic based hospitals. Contribute a part of your corporate social responsibility fund to the Ayurveda and yoga also.
We should keep in mind that the knowledge that our ancestors had acquired thousands of years ago was based on a lot of hard work and inspiration for the welfare of mankind. The desire for experimentation and innovation gave birth to the miracles like yoga and Ayurveda. But as soon as we started ignoring innovation, the conditions began to change and our impact started to decline.
There is a need to change the situation completely. It is the need of the hour as also of the entire humanity that India should change this situation. Today the world is searching for a Holistic Health Care but the breakthrough is still awaited. It is looking up to India and its Ayurvedic and yogic power with a lot of hope and expectation. It is confident that India's experience of yoga and Ayurveda can be used in the welfare of the entire world. India should not lose time now. We should move ahead with this resolution and prove it right.
Friends, India's thinking: ‘Ekam Shata Vipra Bahudha Vadanti’ i.e. “That which exists is one, sages call it by various names” is applicable to all kinds of pharmaceutical systems or health systems too. We respect every health care system and wish for each one's progress. Just like the Indian democracy, every health system has its democratic right. Every system has the right to progress and be respected. The government aims to extend all kinds of health systems to the poor, to provide cheap treatment to the poor and to make the treatment easily available to the poor.
Therefore, our emphasis on health sector has been consistent on two major things - firstly, preventive healthcare and secondly, to increase the affordability and access to healthcare.
With an emphasis on preventive health care, we started Mission Indradhanush in order to cover all those children with vaccination by 2020 who were left out in the normal immunization campaign. The government decided that such children should be immunised completely from 12 types of diseases. Under Mission Indradhanush more than 2.5 Crore children and about 70 lakh pregnant women have been vaccinated.
It is only because of the government's efforts that the pace of vaccination in the country that was growing at a rate of 1% annually, has now reached approximately 6% since we started this campaign 3 years ago. Whenever a target is set within the same machinery we will get results. We are indeed getting the results. This month itself the government has made this mission even more focused. Intensified Mission Indradhanush has been started under which vaccination coverage will be focused on those districts which have been left behind till date. Till the next year the immunisation campaign will be run in 173 districts of the country every month for 7 days in a week continuously. The government aims to achieve full immunization coverage in the country by December 2018.
Friends, earlier it was believed that healthcare is the responsibility of the Health Ministry. But our thinking is different. Under Intensified Mission Indradhanush, we have now tied up with 12 different ministries of the government, even the Ministry of Defence.
Brothers and sisters, another cheaper and healthier way of Preventive Healthcare is cleanliness. The government has taken hygiene to the masses as a people's movement. The government has constructed more than 5 crore toilets in 3 years. The way the people's perception about cleanliness has changed can be depicted by an example. Some people have started calling toilet as an 'Izzatghar' or 'Abode of dignity'. You might have read a report of UNICEF a few days ago. The report says that when a person builds a toilet in his village for his family, he saves Rs.50000 annually on medical expenses. Just imagine that a poor person benefits by saving 50000 rupees after building a toilet.
The government is trying to promote preventive healthcare along with taking a Holistic approach for increasing affordability and accessibility to healthcare. PG medical seats have been increased for medical students studying in medical colleges. It will be beneficial directly to our youth as well as the poor who can have easy access to the doctors. New AIIMS are also being established in various states to provide better treatment and Health Services to the people of the country. There has been a heavy cut in the price of stents. The price of the stents varies from 50000 rupees to 1 lakh to 2 Lakhs and sometimes even 2.5 lakhs. If a person from a middle class family has a heart problem and he needs a stent, then he won't be able to afford it even if he keeps his entire house as collateral. The government talked to them and asked them why these were so expensive. After discussion, the price was reduced by 30- 40%. These days many senior citizens require knee operation and knee implants. We also reduced the cost of knee implants. We tried to make available cheaper medicines through Jan Aushadhi stores to the poor. Therefore, we also opened up Jan Aushadhi stores in hospitals. Today the best medicines which earlier used to cost 12 rupees are now available at one and a half rupees.
Friends, I have been told that our foreign missions in almost 24 countries are celebrating Ayurveda Day this year. The IT revolution has swept the world in the last 30 years. Now there should be a health revolution under the leadership of Ayurveda. Let us take a pledge on this auspicious day: ' we will practice Ayurveda; we will keep Ayurveda alive and we will live for Ayurveda'.
Friends, I conclude my speech with the best wishes to you all on behalf of All India Ayurveda Institute on the Ayurveda day. Once again my best wishes to you all.
Thank you very much!!!