Chief minister Virbhadra Singh on Saturday exhorted the students of the Ayurveda system of medicine to serve in remote and far- flung areas of the state to ensure better health services to villagers.
“Today I want you to pledge to dedicate the initial years of your services in the remote areas,” the chief minister told students of the Rajiv Gandhi Government Ayurvedic College at Paprola in Kangra district.
The chief minister was in the college to preside over the concluding ceremony of Ayurutsav 2014-15, a sports and cultural fest organised by students.
The chief minister said the state government has been promoting Allopathy, Ayurveda and Homeopathy for the benefit of the people and added that more than 50 health institutions were opened or upgraded in the past two years. “Apart from it three medical colleges have also been sanctioned for Hamirpur, Chamba and Sirmaur districts,” Singh said.
But Ayurveda, the chief minister said, was an important part of the Indian culture and traditions and that is the reason he retained it as his portfolio. “During the last two years four lakh medicinal plants were distributed and Ayurvedic medicines worth Rs 5.4 crore were supplied free of cost through various health institutes,” Singh added. “As many as 66 posts of Ayurvedic doctors through direct recruitment and 57 batch-wise were filled during the period,” he added.
The chief minister further said Bachelor of Ayurveda, Medicine and Surgery (BAMS) seats in the college would be increased from 50 to 60 from the upcoming session of 2015-16. “To attract the foreign students to the college an MOU was signed between the college and DKS Bastyr University in US for a student exchange program,” the chief minister added.
Virbhadra Singh said that 35 kanals of additional land had been sanctioned to the college for expansion of infrastructure. The college has been recognised as a centre of excellence by the department of ayush besides being given status of regional centre of excellence in geriatric health care.
He assured the Ayurvedic students that their proposal for a hike in the stipend would be examined.
Earlier, the chief minister laid the foundation stone of the proposed parking and road extension to be constructed at a cost of Rs 55 lakh. He also dedicated the newly built Dhanvantari temple and planted 'santalum album' (shwet chandan) in the campus of the Ayurvedic college.
The chief minister also gave away prizes to the meritorious students and winners of sport and cultural events. The students of the college also presented a colourful cultural program on the occasion. The chief minister was accompanied by urban development minister Sudhir Sharma, CPS Jagjivan Pal and MLAs Ajay Mahajan, Kishori Lal and Yadvinder Goma.