Greetings to everyone.
My colleagues in the Ministry, Kiren Rijiju ji, Muralitharan ji, Global Ayurveda Festival Secretary General Dr. Gangadharan ji, FICCI President Uday Shankar ji, Dr. Sangeeta Reddy ji.
I am glad to be speaking at the fourth Global Ayurveda Festival. It is wonderful to note that many experts are going to be sharing their views and experiences. The number of countries being represented is above 25. These are great signs. It shows a growing interest towards Ayurveda and traditional forms of medicine. From this forum I would like to appreciate the efforts of all those working on Ayurveda across the world. Their passion and persistence will benefit the entire humanity.
Ayurveda is closely linked to the respect Indian culture gives to Nature and the environment. Our texts have described Ayurveda brilliantly when it was said: हिता-हितम् सुखम् दुखम्, आयुः तस्य हिता-हितम्। मानम् च तच्च यत्र उक्तम्, आयुर्वेद स उच्यते॥ Ayurveda takes care of many aspects. It ensures good health and a long life. Ayurveda could rightly be described as a holistic human science. From the plants to your plate, From matters of physical strength to mental well-being, The impact and influence of Ayurveda and traditional medicine is immense.
It is said: 'स्वस्थस्य स्वास्थ्य रक्षणं, आतुरस्य विकार प्रशमनं'। It means: Apart from curing existing ailments, Ayurveda also protects the overall health of the body. No wonder, that more than Rog, Ayurveda talks about Nirog. Back in the day, if someone went to a Vaidya, he or she not only got a medicine but also a few Mantras like: भोजन करें आराम से, सब चिंता को मार। चबा-चबा कर खाइए, वैद्य न आवे द्वार॥ It means: Enjoy your food, without any tension. Relish every bite of the food, chew it patiently… this way you will never have to call a Vaidyaraj home again.
In June 2020, I came across an article in the Financial Times. The headline was - Coronavirus gives 'health halo' products a boost. The piece referred to turmeric, ginger and other such spices whose demand is steadily rising in the context of the COVID-19 global pandemic. The current situation presents a right time for Ayurveda and traditional medicines to become even more popular globally. There is growing interest towards them. The world is seeing how modern and traditional medicines both are important to further wellness. People are realizing the benefits of Ayurveda and its role in boosting immunity. People are making Kaadha, Basil, black pepper integral parts of their lives.
There are many flavours of tourism today. But, what India specially offers you is Wellness Tourism, I repeat again Wellness Tourism. At the core of wellness tourism is the principle of - treat illness, further wellness. And, when I talk about Wellness Tourism, its strongest pillar is Ayurveda and traditional medicine. Imagine yourself getting a detox in lush green surroundings in the beautiful state of Kerala. Imagine yourself performing Yoga by a gushing river, by the mountain winds in Uttarakhand. Imagine yourself in the middle of the lush green forests of the Northeast. If your life's deadlines and timelines are stressing you out, it is time to tap into the timeless culture of India. Whether you want to treat your body, or a retreat for your mind, come to India.
Thanks to Ayurveda's popularity a strong opportunity awaits us. We must not lose that opportunity. There have been many gains by combining the traditional with the modern. Youngsters are using a wide range of Ayurveda products. There is a growing consciousness to integrate Ayurveda with evidence based medical sciences. Likewise, other things getting popular are: Ayurveda supplements. Personal care products centred around Ayurveda. The Packaging of products has been greatly enhanced. I would call upon our academicians to deepen research on Ayurveda and traditional forms of medicine. I would urge our vibrant start-up community to specially look at Ayurveda products. One thing for which I want to specially appreciate the youth is that they have taken the lead to present our traditional forms of healing in a language that is globally understood. No wonder I strongly feel that the ethos of our land and the enterprise spirit of our youth can do wonders.
On behalf of the Government I assure full support to the world of Ayurveda. India has set up the National Ayush Mission. The National AYUSH Mission has been started to promote AYUSH medical systems through cost effective AYUSH services. It is also working to strengthen educational systems. It is also facilitating the enforcement of quality control of Ayurveda, Siddha Unani & Homoeopathy drugs and ensuring sustainable availability of raw materials. The Government is undertaking various quality control measures as well. Our policy regarding Ayurveda and other Indian systems of medicine is already aligned with the Traditional Medicine Strategy 2014-2023 of World Health Organisation. The WHO has also announced the setting up of the Global Centre for Traditional Medicine in India. We welcome this step. You would be happy to know that already, students from various countries are coming to India to study about Ayurveda and traditional medicines. This is the ideal time to think about world wide wellness. Perhaps a global Summit could be organised on this theme. We should also think about Ayurveda and Aahar in the times to come. Food items relating to Ayurveda and food items that further good health. Many of you would be aware that a few days ago the United Nations declared 2023 to be the International Year of Millets. Let us spread awareness on the benefits of millets.
Let me conclude with a quotation of Mahatma Gandhi. I quote: I think highly of Ayurveda. It is one of the ancient sciences of India, which ensures the health of the millions in her thousands of villages. I advise every citizen to live life in accordance with the principles of Ayurveda. The Pharmacy, the dispensary and the Vaidyaraj, all have my blessings that they may be enabled to render the best possible service to Ayurveda. Unquote. Mahatma Gandhi said this more than a hundred years ago. But his sentiment is relatable even now. Let us keep building on our achievements in Ayurveda. Let Ayurveda be a driving force, which brings the world to our land. May it also create prosperity for our youth. I wish this conference all success. My best wishes to all participants.
Thank you very much.