Secretary to the Union ministry of Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy (AYUSH), Vaidya Rajesh Kotecha said that there is a tremendous opportunity for commercial growth in the AYUSH sector as many people in India have turned to Ayurveda and followed Ayush guidelines to keep themselves safe during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Kotecha said this while addressing a session on “Future lies in the past – Leveraging India’s embedded knowledge to pivot the country’s growth story” during the ASSOCHAM Foundation Week in New Delhi on Friday.

The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM) organized the programme.

Also read: AYUSH hospital to be used as COVID care centre: Manipur minister

Quoting a study done by the Union ministry of Ayush on the impact of Ayush guidelines during the pandemic Kotecha said, “More than 86 percent people have used Ayush guidelines and medicines during the pandemic for self-care.”

The ministry had surveyed around 1.47 crore people online, of which 15,000 were infected by the virus.

“Two-third of the infected people who had followed the guidelines suffered from only mild infection,” he said.

The secretary explained the Ayurveda industry showed a 44 per cent growth during those times. The industry, farmers who grow medicinal plants and the state governments should work together to develop the industry.

The National Medicinal Plants Board (NMPB) has signed eight memorandums of understating (MoUs) with various companies in this regard.

“We should follow the Kerala model wherein the medicine industry buys produce directly from the plant growers or farmers thereby benefiting each other,” he said.

The secretary also stressed commercializing the concept of ‘Ayurved Ahar’ (Ayurvedic meal)  under which various indigenous recipes can be standardized.

Currently, 104 studies are underway at 35 locations in India, of which 3 are clinical studies to gauge the effectiveness of various Ayush medicines on the people.

Joint secretary to the Union ministry of tribal affairs, Naval Jit Kapoor said that Covid -19 has taught us the importance of traditional knowledge to increase immunity.

The pandemic occurred in only 3 per cent of the 177 tribal districts in the country and the Covid-19 virus was transmitted by migrants who came back from different cities.

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