Under the impetus of the Government of India, the ministry of Ayush is taking further strides into its objective to augment the scope and reach of the integrated medicine system in the country. In one such initiative, the ministry of railways signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the ministry of Ayush on tuesday. Ayush represents the traditional medicine ecosystem of Ayurveda, Yoga, Unani, Siddha, and Homeopathy.
Assuring the wellness of the Indian railways employees was the primary basis for taking this up, as minister of state for railways, Manoj Sinha, remarked. “he traditional knowledge of Ayush systems could be harnessed to particularly help the vast majority of railway staff who were required to put in stressful field duties on site." he said. Minister of State for Ayush, Shripad Yesso Naik was also present on the occasion besides the railway board members and other dignitaries of both the ministries.
The Ayush ministry has been actively promoting Ayurveda and other traditional systems of medicine since its inception in November 2014. A sanction of 1.7 crore for building a 50-bedded integrated hospital in Visakhapatnam, a fiscal budget increase of 13%, the conception of a bridge course for Ayurveda practitioners, the proposal for four Ayush Hospitals in Goa, national medical council bill, first International Arogya conference, a Central Research Institute in Jaipur (for homeopathy), setting up of Ayush directores in various states, and many other proposals and projects have been approved by the ministry in the last few years. National Ayush Mission (NAM), which was started to promote the traditional medicine systems through cost-effective services, strengthen the educational institutions, and enforce quality control of related drugs and raw materials, has been extended till 2020 with an allocation of 2,400 crores that would be spent on such objectives.
Dr. Ashwani Aggarwal, a seasoned Ayurveda practitioner with over 46 years of experience, spoke to Nirogstreet about the ministry’s initiatives. He lauded the efforts being done the Ayush ministry and stressed on the need for such tie-ups. “Collaborations with big organizations is certainly a positive step toward taking health-related goals ahead. Reach is highly important so that more people become aware of alternative medicine systems. Such an endeavor will carry the message itself.” Dr. Aggarwal said. “Ayurveda alone is a vast system and it is going to take a lot of such efforts. The Ayush ministry and the institutions should also come out with a mechanism to bring the latest updates and breakthroughs to the market and industry so that everyone is benefitted by the new information and progresses. Services should have a wide reach and the industry should be aware of everything new that is being accomplished in the field of Ayurveda and other traditional medicine systems,” he added.
In the memorandum signed, Railway Hospitals in five cities -- Mumbai, New Delhi, Chennai, Kolkata, and Guwahati -- have been initially earmarked for up-gradation of Ayush services. Central Hospital of the Northern Railway, J R Hospital of the Western Railway, B R Singh Hospital of Eastern Railway, perambur Railway Hospital of the Southern Railway, Central Hospital of the Northeast Frontier Railway are the ones designated under this initiative.
The Ministry of Railways will facilitate infrastructure and logistics support as per the MOU. It will provide land, building, equipment, furniture, manpower, the required consumables, as well as the Ayush medicines. It is notable that the Indian Railways currently operates around 40 Ayurveda Chikitsalaya and 126 Homeopathy Clinics, which is managed through its staff benefit fund.
The MOU would not only offer the advantage of Holistic Healthcare for the Railways Employees but also enhance the reach and awareness of these highly effective traditional medicine systems such as Ayurveda into a larger stratum of society.