after a series of insightful sessions and addresses by industry leaders, experts, hon’ble ministers, and foreign delegates, international arogya 2017 event co-partnered by nirog street concluded on dec. 7. the event-cum-exhibition on ayush systems of medicine which started on dec. 4 at vigyan bhawan, new delhi, was attended by thousands of practitioners, students, and people in general. it offered significant takeaways on the integral value of traditional systems of medicine and its relevance to overall wellness and health, the future of integrated medicine, and the many ongoing researches and initiatives which would make alternative medicine the most reliable treatment and prevention care for everyone.
international arogya 2017 started with an inaugural session headed by the hon’ble ministers mr. suresh prabhu and mr. shripad yesso naik. it highlighted the major reforms in practice and education taking place under the leadership of mr. naik and encouraged by mr. prabhu. dr. sanjaya baru, secretary general of ficci, delivered the welcome address in which he mentioned that more than 250 manufacturers and foreign delegates from over 70 countries took part in the global conference. he said that the acceptance of india’s own indigenous system of medicine, ayurveda, accelerated in the last half a century. the fact that allopathy has failed to address all the health issues of humanity effectively is a major reason behind it. ayush systems are non-toxic as well. government initiatives including the event would bring more organization and hence investment in traditional medicine research. the export of ayurvedic products from india has already increased by 15 percent. more than 45,000 different medicinal plant species grow in india across 16 different climate zones. india and china together export 70% of the total herbal products in the international market.
hon’ble minister mr. shripad yesso naik began his inaugural address by aptly describing the warming presence at the conference as a testimony of the huge interest that people have in alternative medicine. he said that the poor people rely on traditional medicine. there are vast resources of medicinal plants in asia, africa, and latin america. it provides an immense scope. he urged for more cooperation from all the countries, emphasized on the need for careful financing and organizational roles. he also pointed out that sustainable development, multi-dimensional policies, and evidence based approaches are the key areas to look into.
hon’ble minister mr. suresh prabhu too spoke to the participants, underlining the importance of the concrete plan of action prepared by the ministry of ayush, which would eventually lead to a healthy society. he raised the question of health over wealth and implied that wellness should always be one of the top priorities for people and must not be compromised. he expressed concern at the alarming rate of increase of lifestyle diseases. mr. prabhu briefly elucidated on the indian heritage of civilizational wisdom of thousands of years that ayurveda is and remarked that this should spread beyond all boundaries and benefit the whole world. emphasizing this important point, he rejected the idea of knowledge as a monopoly and stated that the quest of humanity is to be better and healthier. he made the observation that people tend to look for a quick fix for their health problems and forget about the traditional knowledge. he noted that ayush teaches respect and value of nature. harmony with nature is essential for a healthy lifestyle. in fact, biodiversity is highly critical for medicines. further, he added that the blended knowledge of ayush could become highly effective toward living a longer and better life. he said that curing a person before curing the disease is important. he ended his speech by saying that health is important but can be completely attained only if the happiness too is utmost.
mr. ravi uday bhaskar, director general of pharmexcil, also addressed the inaugural session at the event. he highlighted that india exports ayurveda and herbal products to more than 100 countries. countries like the u.s., japan, italy, etc. are the major export destinations. herb extracts alone have seen a 10% growth in exports. he stressed at the need to revisit ayurveda education and revive it with the help of modern technology. this can be achieved by introducing standardizations, certifications, and thorough supervision by experts and reputed ayush institutes. he added that the conference would definitely help bring the active wisdom of ayurveda for the better of mankind.
another house address was delivered by mr. a. jayakumar, secretary general of vigyan bharti. he lauded the international arogya 2017 as a unique and comprehensive event. he emphasized the significance of participation of students in the event. he said that research has paramount importance in medicine and tie-ups with organizations like csir would benefit industry in many ways. he lamented the neglect of ayurveda in the past years and urged for its revival for the benefit of not only the indian community, but for the people across the world.
mr. arvind varchaswi, the managing director of sri sri tattva, too spoke to the attendees. he called for physical and emotional stability and highlighted the advantages of yoga, pranayam, and meditation as integral part of ayurveda. he said it is time that this 5,000 old science gets its due now. top quality standards, health with happiness, and the need for viable ideas were the key inputs from his speech. he called on for the revival of ayurveda in its true form.
keynote was delivered by secretary of the ministry of ayush, vaidya rajesh kotecha. remarking on the historic day, he appreciated the large participation and stressed on the commitment of the government of india to bring benefits for the people. he said that extracts, essential oils, psyllium husk, etc. are the major herbal exports from india and the actual ayush products are yet to be promoted, which creates a huge scope for the industry. he said that the traditional system of medicine advocates both health and happiness. he told that agreements have been signed with the u.s., germany, and other countries for research studies and there are 28 ayush cells in 28 countries so far. he also encouraged and welcomed international students to enrol in the ayush courses in india.
the inaugural session was wrapped up by mr. g. geetha krishnan, ayush expert at w.h.o. he pointed out that one-fifth of the world population is supported by traditional systems of medicine. in india about 80% people depend on ayurveda and other alternative medicine, which only increases our responsibility as a nation. around 207 trillion is spent by the u.s. on healthcare and he implied that it is required that we too spend more on health in india, especially on traditional medicine which is proving to be more effective against a number of non-communicable and lifestyle diseases. he drew his speech to a close by making a call for revival and advancement of the ayush systems and resources for a better world.
among other highlights of the international arogya 2017 event, many sessions and discussions were held with imminent personalities, academicians, and business experts from the industry. a large number of organizations and companies from the ayush industry showcased their products and services in the exhibition. nirog street as a knowledge partner, welcomed the ayurveda practitioners and delegates to arogya 2017 and engaged with them in intuitive discussions on trends, development, education, research, and the scope of future opportunities related to ayurveda.