Waikato University officials interact with Siddha practitioners

A four-member team from Waikato University, New Zealand, headed by Maui Luke Hudson, Deputy Director, Kotahi Research Institute in the University, visited Sri Putru Maharishi Padhinen Siddhar Temple in Sathuvachari near here on Wednesday to learn about traditional medicine under the Knowledge Exchange Programme of the Foundation for Revitalisation of Local Health Traditions (FRLHT), Bangalore.

The team visited the herbal exhibition where 83 different herbs and books on herbal medicine, organised by rural botanical expert P. Selvam, were on display.

Traditional medical practitioners Dambachari and Raja demonstrated to the New Zealand team the methods of preparation of herbal medicine and various forms of traditional medicine.

Later, the team members, including James Whaanga, Albert Stewart and Iwi Pulhi Tipene engaged in a dialogue with the members of the Tamil Nadu Parambariya Siddha Vaidhya Maha Sangam, led by Assistant Director Hariharamoorthy.

K.P. Arjunan, president of the Sangam spoke of the history of Siddha medicine and its fundamental principles.

Mr. Hariharamoorthy said the visit of teams from various countries under the Knowledge Exchange Programme of FRLHT enabled exchange of knowledge on traditional medical practices among the practitioners of the different countries.

Teams from Canada, Peru, Uganda, Malaysia, Singapore, South Africa, Sri Lanka and Bolivia have already visited Vellore under the programme, he said.

Mr. Hudson said when New Zealand and other countries were under the British rule, the British government imposed allopathy on the people of those countries in a systematic manner, resulting in the traditional medical systems of those countries losing patronage and fading out.

It was heartening that the traditional systems of medicine were getting revitalised through the efforts of organisations such as FRLHT.

He hailed the efforts of the Tamil Nadu Parambariya Siddha Vaidhya Maha Sangam in propagating the greatness of Siddha medicine through various awareness programmes.

The team visited Puthur in Andhra Pradesh on Thursday. From there, it reached Bangalore. It would be leaving Bangalore on Friday for Bhopal where it would be participating in the Fifth International Ayurveda Congress to be held on December 8, according to Mr. Arjunan, who will also be attending the Congress.