BENGALURU: The state government is giving a major push to native Indian medical systems to boost medical tourism, and bring Karnataka on a par with Kerala.
The state has already allocated `100 crore for this sector, and is seeking additional funds from the Centre to strengthen AYUSH (Ayurveda, Yoga, Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy), Health Minister U T Khader said here on Wednesday.
“I have appealed to the Union Health Ministry to hold an international AYUSH expo in the state,” he said while speaking at a four-day AYUSH Arogya Expo here. The expo was inaugurated by Union Minister of State in charge of AYUSH Shripad Yesso Naik.
Various AYUSH products are available for sale at the exhibition, and visitors can get a free medical check-up as well. The event has been organised by the state AYUSH Department and the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry.
Naik said there are about 515 AYUSH institutions in the country where at least 27,000 students enrol every year. Even foreign students are keen to take up the course, he added.
AYUSH facilities are available from Primary Health Centres to AIIMS. “Our aim is to use AYUSH in primary health care and implement it in national health schemes to prevent and control non-communicable diseases,” Naik said.
India will sign MoUs on bilateral ties with other countries to set up Indian alternative medicine centres. So far, Hungary, Bangladesh and Nepal have signed MoUs, the minister said.
Art of Living founder Sri Sri Ravi Shankar said a survey conducted by Kerala’s sports ministry found that of 100 students in a school, only one is physically fit.
“This can be addressed through AYUSH,” he said and added that since India is becoming the diabetes capital of the world, AYUSH is the only way to good health.
Over 150 stalls have opened at the expo. Products such as honey, amla juice and over-the-counter drugs are being sold at the mela.
Simple yoga asanas for various ailments are also taught by experts at the stall put up by the Central Council for Research in Yoga.
Spokesperson of the State AYUSH Doctors’ Association Dr Mohammed Hakim said herbs can be used in daily cooking to improve health. District AYUSH Officer Dr Ramalingiah said most parts of a plant that are discarded are of medicinal value.
“Eating four watermelon seeds a day is believed to regulate blood pressure. By eating right one can prevent ailments,” he said.