Union Ayush Minister Shripad Naik had humble beginnings. Having begun as a village sarpanch, he rose to occupy important positions in the Vajpayee cabinet, and now in the Modi government. In an interview with BW Businessworld’s Suman K. Jha, he explains how he plans to popularize Indian forms of medicine, and take them to the world.
Within six months of the formation of the Modi government, the Ayush ministry was constituted. How do you look at the last three and a half years of journey?
The objective of the Modi government is to be appreciated. We have, under PM Modi, very high goals. After taking over, the PM, within six months, formed a ministry that was dedicated to Indian forms of medicine — ayurvedic, yoga, naturopathy, homeopathy, unani, siddha. These schools are thousand years old but are neglected. Today an attempt has been made to take it to the farthest corners of the country.
Yoga is a soft power of the country. After the efforts of the PM, it was taken up by the UN. Today, we celebrate an international day for yoga. We are taking to the masses the Indian schools of medicine.
Yoga is integral to the Indian way of life. We will shortly have the World Yoga Day. Which city will be selected and what will be different this time round?
After Delhi, Chandigarh and Lucknow, this time we have given Rajasthan, MP and Karnataka as options to the PM. He will take a call.
You have constituted Ayush AIIMS. You are taking Ayush hospitals to 100 districts of the country. What’s the progress in this?
About six months ago, the PM inaugurated the Sarita Vihar AIIMS project, which was pending for a long time. Today, postgraduate studies, research, OPD, just like the regular AIIMS, are being run at this centre.
Also, in Delhi, two institutes of naturopathy and unani have been approved. From the Northeast to Kerala, we are undertaking a campaign. In Jhajhar in Haryana a naturopathy institute is coming up. In Pune, the National Institute of Yoga and Naturopathy is being renovated. In Goa, two institutes, National Institute of Yoga, and National Institute of Naturopathy, have been started. In Meghalaya, two institutes have been started — National Institute of Ayurveda and National Institute of Homeopathy. A homeopathy regional centre has been started in Tripura.