Global Ayurveda Festival: The Vice-President, Shri Jagdeep Dhankhar underlined the role of Ayurveda as an ‘affordable, non-invasive, efficacious and wholesome solution’ amidst the surge in modern day non-communicable and lifestyle diseases. Highlighting Ayurveda’s emphasis is on prevention, balance and personalized care, he observed that “it aligns seamlessly with the global call for a sustainable and equitable healthcare system.”
Addressing the inaugural session of the 5thGlobal Ayurveda Festival in Thiruvananthapuram, the Vice-President noted that Ayurveda is much beyond treating ailments as it encompasses a comprehensive approach to wellness and well-being.
Lauding the Ministry of AYUSH for establishing AYUSH Health & Wellness Centres across the county under the Ayushman Bharat scheme, Shri Shri Dhankhar described this as “a landmark step” and emphasised that “wider use of traditional Systems of Medicine will help India move towards meeting the goal of universal healthcare by improving access and delivery in remote areas.”
Elucidating the ancient tradition’s extensive legacy of knowledge and practice spanning millennia, he underscored how texts like the Atharva Veda, Charaka Samhita, and Sushruta Samhita offer profound insights into the human body, its afflictions, and the therapeutic principles deeply embedded within Ayurveda.
Underling the importance of health, the Vice-President remarked, “There is no doubt howsoever gifted one maybe, howsoever talented one maybe, if one is not healthy then he cannot contribute for the society growth.”
In his address, the Vice President referred to ‘Yoga’ as the ‘gift of Bharat to the world\’ emphasizing the significance of the ‘International Yoga Day’ celebrated across the globe. He highlighted, “It is non discriminatory, it has a wide acceptability because it is in Indian ethos”. In this process, “Bharat has also emerged as soft power. People come to know about depth of our culture, richness that we are possessed of,” he added.
Recalling that the COVID pandemic led to the rediscovery of Ayurveda, Shri Dhankhar stated that all over the country there were people who were knowledgeable about Ayurveda efficacy in battling the disease and did “yeoman service to humanity.” He further noted that, “availability of AYUSH being extended through telemedicine and digital platforms” helped in tacking of the diseases.
Acknowledging the steps taken by the Centre and the States Governments for the promotion of Ayurveda, VP appreciated establishment of a dedicated AYUSH Ministry, the observance of National Ayurveda Day, and the integration of Ayurveda into the National Education Policy as testaments to the government’s commitment to Ayurveda’s advancement and its integration into the mainstream healthcare.
Stressing the importance of this ancient medical science beyond treating ailments, the Vice-President stated that, “it encompasses a comprehensive approach to wellness and well-being”. Emphasizing Ayurveda as the “only Science of Life”, the Vice-President noted that this ancient healing system, “keeps your soul, mind and body together in the mode of performance” and allows “you to be one complete whole” he added.
Talking about non-invasiveness and naturally affordability of Ayurveda, VP observed that, “It is connected to the nature. It makes us realise the importance of nature which over the years, we have devastated. We are trying to get back on it.”
Referring to Kerala as the ‘cradle of Ayurvedic excellence’ the Vice-President noted that Global Ayurveda Festival has served as a beacon of Ayurveda’s enduring legacy since 2012. He expressed confidence that “convergence of experts, practitioners, researchers, and policymakers from across the globe will go a long way in shaping the health infrastructure and health fulcrum of humanity at large”.
Reflecting on the recent trend of Wellness Tourism, where global travelers seek rejuvenation, peace, solace, and self-discovery, the Vice President emphasized, “The only place they find befittingly, imminently suitable for this, is our Bharat.” He further remarked, “Wellness tourism in India encapsulates a holistic approach to well-being, seamlessly intertwining traditional practices such as Ayurveda with the serene beauty of nature.”
Noting Kerala’s emergence as a favourite destination for Ayurvedic tourism, the Vice-President opined that the state can catalyse & become the epiccentre of big change towards attracting wellness tourism. Praising Kerala for its lush greenery & natural beauty, VP said “I enjoy being in Kerala every time and my sense of satisfaction is personal also. The teacher who mentored me Ms, Ratnavali Nair is from the State, in a sense, I am ever indebted to the State.”
Concluding his address, Shri Dhankhar expressed his hope, stating, “May Ayurveda’s timeless wisdom illuminate the path towards a world where health and well-being cease to be mere privileges but are recognized as fundamental rights for all.”
ShriV Muraleedharan, Minister of State for External Affairs & Parliamentary Affairs, Government of India, Shri Shashi Tharoor, Member of Parliament, Shri Antony Raju, Minister for Transport, Government of Kerala and other dignitaries attended the event.