Medical Pluralism hits Business Minds

post-edit 8 comments
A new institute, with help from the Tatas, will integrate ayurveda with modern medicine to take medical pluralism forward.

Earlier this month, something unusual happened in India’s high-tech city of Bangalore. Tradition and modernity met in harmony and with a desire to look forward, not back. Ratan Tata, a Parsi, belonging to the most anglicised among Indian communities, and head of a multi-billion-dollar business empire that draws its life blood from knowledge born out of science, inaugurated a research centre that had ‘ayurveda’ as part of its tag line.

The Institute of Ayurveda and Integrative Medicine (I-AIM), with a 100-bed hospital, funded by Tata Trust, will try to create a new space for medical pluralism by integrating modern allopathy with the traditional systems of medicine recognised in India - ayurveda, siddha, unani, homeopathy and Tibetan medicine (Sowa-rigpa).

It will cover the entire range of
activities that a public research hospital does - treat patients, conduct research, train medicos and carry out an outreach programme that will seek to rope in large numbers of families in promoting preventive public health in a new cost-effective way, using traditional practices.

At the inauguration, Tata referred to the general perception that traditional medicine belonged to the world of witch doctors and acknowledged that most were unaware of the rich tradition of Indian ayurvedic medicine. He then went on to express the hope that the next 20 years would be able to pay a tribute to the scientists working at the center for their role in putting “India on the international map in an area that is rich in Indian tradition”.

The need that the centre is trying to address is the dilemma being felt by modern medical science. The patent pipeline — particularly for blockbuster drugs that help fund future research — is drying up. That means, new powerful cures are not being discovered. But simultaneously there seems to be no breakthrough for conditions like cancer, diabetes or even the common cold. So existing knowledge has, obviously, reached a plateau.

The boundaries of knowledge, all that is acceptable to the keepers of received wisdom, have to be necessarily redrawn — something that Darshan Shankar, the founding spirit behind the whole exercise, has been doing for nearly three decades. In the early eighties he discovered a till-then unknown tribal health tradition among the Thakurs in coastal Maharashtra. This led to the setting up of NGOs, medical colleges and research centres that were covered under the rubric of Lok Swasthya Parampara Sambvardhan Samiti.

Then a chance meeting between Darshan Shankar and Sam Pitroda, the telecom icon and knowledge leader, changed the future of the former’s work. Foundation for the Revitalisation of Local Health Traditions (FRLHT) was born to take the work of the Samiti forward.

FRLHT has since 1993 done signal work in securing and safeguarding the knowledge and practices of India’s traditional systems of medicine. Known sources of information, like manuscripts, have been secured and the knowledge of medicinal plants stored and digitised.

News Courtesy: Business Standard

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8 comments:

I would like to do a correspondence course in Siddha medicine just for my own knowledge and not to practise. I heard of a Diploma course in Chennai and was wondering if you could guide me in this.
Thank you.

April 6, 2011 at 10:27 AM comment-delete

Well, you may refer these links

www.varmam.com

www.siddhaquest.com

April 6, 2011 at 10:57 AM comment-delete

Well, please refer these links

varmam.com
siddhaquest.com

April 6, 2011 at 1:40 PM comment-delete

Thank you. Which one would you recommend?

April 9, 2011 at 9:34 AM comment-delete

re: herbalnet.heathrepository.

Under the name of Nayuruvi Camulam the description & botanical name given is that of Nannari and not Achyranthes Aspera.

April 9, 2011 at 6:23 PM comment-delete

Regarding courses, I can't recommend anyone b'cause I have no experience with both courses.

Regarding Siddha Pharmacopoea, It is a mistake, and pls omit the very first (introductory) paragraph. Rest of the things are ok.

April 13, 2011 at 4:58 PM comment-delete

re: herbalnet.heathrepository.

Under the name of Nayuruvi Camulam the description & botanical name given is that of Nannari and not Achyranthes Aspera.

July 22, 2011 at 11:58 AM comment-delete

I would like to do a correspondence course in Siddha medicine just for my own knowledge and not to practise. I heard of a Diploma course in Chennai and was wondering if you could guide me in this.
Thank you.

July 22, 2011 at 11:58 AM comment-delete
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