It is time to promote Ayurveda with honesty and transparency -Acharya Manish

Since time immemorial, Ayurveda has been an integral part of the Indian way of life. As the science of life, Ayurveda propagates nature's gifts in maintaining a healthy and happy living. Ayurveda's extensive knowledge base on preventive care derives from the concepts of – Dinacharya or daily regimes, and Ritucharya, or seasonal regimes to maintain a healthy life. It is a plant-based science. The simplicity of awareness about oneself and the harmony each individual can achieve by uplifting and maintaining their immunity is emphasized across Ayurveda's classical scriptures. Unfortunately, Ayurveda has not got as much attention as is required to serve the people. Ayurveda guarantees treatment to all disorders (diseases), which afflict the human body without causing any side effects. It is a cheap, sustainable, and reliable treatment method, but serious efforts are missing from the government and other stakeholders to promote Ayurveda holistically.

There are several hurdles in the path to promote Ayurveda, but the required efforts to remove them have been missing for a long. For example, a long pending demand to amend or scrap the two archaic and anti-Ayurveda medical laws has not met with a meaningful response from the powers-that-be. These are the 1897 Epidemic Act and the 1954 Magic Remedy Act. Unfortunately, as a nation we are still living with a mindset that smacks of the British colonial era. Even today, we are governed by laws like the 1897 Epidemic Act, which the British rulers framed to subjugate Ayurveda and its practitioners. When the plague hit India in the 1890s, the Ayurveda practitioners treated it easily through their concoctions, which the Britishers couldn't digest. It had impacted the use of allopathy and its spread in India. Because of this, they imposed the Epidemic Act in India and started registering cases against those practicing Ayurveda and putting them behind bars.

Even after 74 years of Independence, we are still carrying the baggage of an Act, which was framed in 1897. We have not been able to either amend or scrap it despite the fact that this legislation is finishing Ayurveda in our country. The Britishers wanted to brand Ayurveda as an unscientific and backward medical method. Under the garb of this Act, the British hatched a conspiracy to eliminate Ayurveda from India. The Epidemic Act still exists and only promotes the use of allopathy.

Similarly, the 1954 Magic Remedy Act does not allow us to talk about these protocols. An Ayurvedic practitioner can't speak freely on any disease, while on the other hand, allopathy undertakes huge endorsements of particular treatments and allopathic hospitals promote themselves in a big way. Allopathy-based hospitals get patients due to the ease of passing medical bills through different insurance mechanisms. It is almost impossible to do so by Ayurveda-based hospitals and clinics. Why is this step-motherly treatment being meted out to Ayurveda in the country where Ayurveda was born!

Ayurveda is a rare legacy that has been passed on from our great forefathers, which we have to pass on to the coming posterity. There is a need to expand activities, research, and promote Ayurveda to keep our people fit and fine. I have founded Shuddhi, an Ayurvedic Clinic and Research Centre at Zirakpur outskirts of Chandigarh under which over 150 Ayurvedic centres are being run across the country. We need to promote and patronise path-breaking initiatives that harness nature's power and goodness to heal health problems. Ayurveda works on the root cause of the diseases leaving no side effects. In addition to this, herbal products relieve the body of toxins and help it recoup. This process allows the body to fight off any disease. The government must help us unfold many secrets from Ayurveda's age-old gift for the betterment of humanity.

There is a need to have an Ayurveda Board with all powers to decide and execute the policy decisions. The Central government must set up a dedicated research wing, which should be more vibrant and effective than the Indian Council of Medical Education and Research (ICMR), which carries out research and promotes quality teaching as well. Ayurveda treatment should be on par with any other mode of treatment. 

Ayurveda practitioners should be treated as qualified doctors, which is not the case today though they have to study more to get a bachelor's degree than what a student does to get the MBBS degree. This dichotomy has to be addressed. The Union Ministry of AYUSH must engage us in forging partnerships for promoting and developing the AYUSH systems of healthcare. The All India Institute of Ayurveda (AIIA), New Delhi, has to prepare a long-term vision document to carry out quality research and a journal of global standing.

Needless to say that the Union Ministry of AYUSH is playing a bigger role in introducing and promoting the Indian system of medicine globally in the current pandemic scenario, but a lot needs to be at the grassroots level as well. Ayurveda has made a mark by providing prophylactic solutions, viability of many of which has been established through scientific studies. The Ministry has accepted the need for forging partnerships with like-minded and stake-holding institutions to increase the depth and scope of AYUSH health solutions available to the public. We all must work together to evolve knowledge and procedures that will be of use to the national healthcare system and ultimately to health solutions that will be of relevance at a population scale.

It is time to promote Ayurveda with honesty and transparency -Acharya Manish It is time to promote Ayurveda with honesty and transparency -Acharya Manish Reviewed by Twinkle on 01:43:00 Rating: 5
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