‘Empowering this sector is a priority'

To promote yoga and naturopathy, the State Government is planning to start AYUSH-based (Ayurveda, Yoga, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy) outpatient units in all taluk hospitals in a phased manner. These units will be set up in association with organisations involved in promoting Indian Systems of Medicine (ISM), Chief Minister D.V. Sadananda Gowda said here on Friday.

He was speaking after inaugurating the second day's sessions of the five-day International Conference on Yoga, Naturopathy and Arogya Expo 2012 at the Gayathri Vihar on the Palace Grounds.

Asserting that the State Government had recognised the importance of yoga in daily life, the Chief Minister said empowerment of this sector was a priority.

The Department of AYUSH, in collaboration with the Shantivana Trust of Dharmasthala, had opened outpatient units in 10 taluk-level hospitals in the State on a public-private partnership model. “These units have proved to be useful. We intend to extend this concept to all the districts in a phased manner,” he said.

This apart, yoga and naturopathy would be promoted through educational initiatives. “The government is planning to set up yoga and naturopathy schools and colleges. We have established a full-fledged yoga and naturopathy college in Mysore. This institute is offering several useful courses,” he said.

“Sedentary lifestyle, erratic food habits, stressful life, overuse of medicines and pollution are affecting people's health. World over, people are looking for a safe, effective and multi-dimensional healthcare system based on yoga and the government is committed to promoting this system,” he said.

Medical Education Minister S.A. Ramdas said that to promote AYUSH among the rural masses the government had issued an order to adopt 10 gram panchayats as yoga and naturopathy panchayats. “Each such panchayat will be entitled to a grant of Rs. 1 crore to provide comprehensive healthcare based on AYUSH. Yoga and naturopathy institutes are welcome to partner with the government to implement this initiative,” he said.

V.S. Gaur, Union AYUSH Joint Secretary, said that the 12th Five Year Plan (2012-2017) would lay special emphasis on AYUSH. “There is a proposal to set up a yoga and naturopathy hospital in every district of the country. In addition, the government is setting up the All India Institute of Ayurveda in New Delhi. We are in the process of streamlining AYUSH-related education,” he added.