Ayurveda’s popularity fails to carve niche

Pranita Roy
Thursday, 27 July 2017

Pune: Although many professionals are turning towards Ayurveda for its holistic approach for treating various maladies, this branch of medicine has lesser takers as students have been taking up modern medicine in large number.

Pune: Although many professionals are turning towards Ayurveda for its holistic approach for treating various maladies, this branch of medicine has lesser takers as students have been taking up modern medicine in large number.

City-based Ayurveda experts have said that these days, doctors practising Allopathy   have started prescribing Ayurvedic medicines as an alternative to patients. This is because there are limitations in modern medicine to counter non-communicable disease like diabetes, cancer, heart disease and chronic respiratory diseases. Hence, there has been an increase in demand of Ayurveda among doctors, scientist and researchers.

Yet, it shows that students mostly give first preference to modern medicine over Ayurveda because of less scope in it. “Students usually look for wider career opportunities which modern medicines offer. Courses like MBBS and BDS have a larger scope than Ayurveda in terms of employment. 

Therefore, naturally students tend to incline towards modern medicine sector,” said Bhushan Patwardhan, Director of Centre for Complementary and Integrative Health (CCIH) of Interdisciplinary School of Health Science at SPPU.

The experts have also said that another reason towards the stagnant condition of the sector is due to low priority given by the government. 

“The government dedicates 97 per cent of the budget to modern medicine sector while only three per cent is allocated for Ayurveda. This has left a little scope in development of this sector,” said Dr Vishnu Joglekar, professor of Tilak Ayurveda College.

“So far, Ayurvedic treatment did not fall under insurance category. It is now that the government is considering of including it under the insurance policy in National Health Policy,” said Girish Tillu, Vaidya-Scientist and researcher at CCIH of Interdisciplinary School of Health Science in SPPU. 

However,  the government has now come out with several schemes under Ministry of Ayush. This will probably help in improving the situation.

Pune is the only city in the country which has seven Ayurveda colleges. There are  seven colleges, two government-aided colleges Ashtang Ayurveda College and Tilak Ayurveda College and five private colleges Sumatibhai Shah Ayurveda College in Hadapsar, Bharati Vidyapeeth Deemed University’s College of Ayurveda, College of Ayurveda and Research Centre in Akurdi, Dr DY Patil College of Ayurved and Research Centre and Bharatiya Sanskriti Darshan Trust’s Ayurveda College in Wagholi.

According to Patwardhan, there is a lack of trained researchers in the field of Ayurveda. 

“There are no scientific documentation or evidence available to support the scientific reasoning of Ayurveda. We require researchers who can do research in the field which will help in credibility, promotion and popularising of the subject,” said Patwardhan.

“Therefore, through more research, we can raise awareness about Ayurveda and convince that it is effective and has scientific relevance in life,” added Patwardhan.

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