Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday inaugurated the first ever All India Institute of Ayurveda (AIIA) and said his government was focusing on integrating the public healthcare system with ayurveda and yoga.
"Ayurveda is not just a method of treatment. It encompasses social health, public health and environmental health," Modi said while inaugurating the institute set up on the lines of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS).
Underscoring the importance of Ayurveda, PM Modi said time has come for a "health revolution" under the aegis of the traditional medicine system and pitched for affordable and accessible healthcare.
Addressing a gathering after dedicating the first AIIA to the nation, noted that the world is heading "back to nature and wellness".
Marking 'Ayurveda Divas' today, he described the medicine system as India's strength and urged those working in the sector to revive it. He also asked experts from the field to find medicines which can, like allopathy, give immediate relief to people but without side-effects.
The prime minister also urged private players to use part of their corporate social responsibility funds to help strengthen Ayurveda.
"We have seen the IT revolution in last 30 years. Now, time has come for a health revolution under the aegis of Ayurveda. Let's pledge to strengthen, revive Ayurveda," Modi said at the event.
According to the prime minister, efforts were allegedly made to destroy "India's strengths" during the "era of slavery" (pre-independence period). Ayurveda, he added, did not become a priority after independence too.
Listing steps being taken by his government to revive and strengthen the system, Modi said Ayurveda-related hospitals should be set up in each district of the country.
He said the Ayush ministry would ensure that there was a good Ayurveda hospital in each district.
Noting that people across the world were getting attracted towards good health as well as wellness, the prime minister suggested that time was ripe for an atmosphere of Ayurveda to evolve.
He said there was need for a relook of the Ayurveda syllabus and underlined the requirement for standard guidelines and treatment in the medicine system so it is not overpowered by Allopathy.
The government, Modi added, respects all health and medicine systems.
He said the Ministries of Ayush and Agriculture can guide farmers to sow medicinal plants in their fields. This will also help farmers boost their income in line with the government's plan to double their income by 2022, when India attains 75 years of independence.
Modi also reiterated the importance of cleanliness as part of preventive healthcare.
It is critical for ayurveda's expansion that there is a hospital linked with it in every district which offers quality healthcare services, the Prime Minister said.
"AYUSH Ministry is swiftly working in that direction and in just three years, over 65 AYUSH hospitals have been set up," he added.
Modi said no country can progress if it forgets how to take pride in its heritage.
He said attempts were made during the British rule to weaken India's traditional methods, including that of medicine, farming and science.
"But in the last three years, the situation has been reversed to a large extent," Modi said. "Our heritage, which is superior, is being established in the minds of the people."