AYUSH visas soon to treat foreigners: PM Modi
Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the three-day Global AYUSH Investment and Innovation Summit in Gandhinagar along with Mauritius PM Pravind Jugnauth and director general of the World Health Organization Dr Tredos Ghebreyesus.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday announced that a visa category will be created soon for people who want to travel to India for AYUSH therapies, and added that to promote the traditional medicine industry, the government will launch an “AYUSH mark” for certification.
The Prime Minister inaugurated the three-day Global AYUSH Investment and Innovation Summit in Gandhinagar along with Mauritius PM Pravind Jugnauth and director general of the World Health Organization Dr Tredos Ghebreyesus.
“India will soon introduce the AYUSH mark, which will give authenticity to quality AYUSH products of the country. The mark will be given to products vetted using the latest technology. This will give confidence to people of the world that they are purchasing quality AYUSH products,” the PM said.
“Very soon, India is going to introduce a special ‘AYUSH visa’ category. This will facilitate people to travel to India for AYUSH therapy,” the Prime Minister said as he spoke about the “Heal in India” initiative.
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AYUSH stands for Ayurveda, Yoga, Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy. India has a central ministry dedicated to these alternative medicine systems.
Modi also gave a Gujarati name, “Tulsibhai”, to Ghebreyesus. “When he met me in the morning, he said he has become a Gujarati. He asked me to give him a Gujarati name. A few minutes ago, he reminded me on the stage, whether I had decided on a name for him. In this pious land of Mahatma Gandhi, I would call my best friend ‘Tulsibhai’,” the Prime Minister said.
Modi said he got the idea to organise the summit amid the Covid-19 pandemic battle.
Recalling the efforts made by India to tackle the Covid-19 pandemic, the Prime Minister noted the work done by pharmaceutical companies and vaccine manufacturers.
“Traditional medicine helped increase tourism in Kerala. This power is in the whole of India, in every corner of India. ‘Heal in India’ can become a big brand of this decade. Wellness centres based on Ayurveda, Unani, Siddha, etc., can be very popular,” the PM said.
“Before 2014, the AYUSH sector was less than $3 billion. Today, it has also crossed $18 billion,” he said.
There are also possibilities of investment and innovation in supply chain management, AYUSH-based diagnostic tools and telemedicine, Modi said.
The PM said India has become the best destination for other countries in the field of medical tourism. Many investment opportunities have also emerged in this sector, he added.
Wellness centres based on Ayurveda, Unani, Siddha, etc. can be very popular, he said.
To promote this further, the Prime Minister said, the government is taking another initiative for foreign nationals who want to come to India to be treated under AYUSH using traditional methods.
Modi said that India of the 21st century wants to move ahead by sharing its experiences and its knowledge with the world. “Our heritage is like a legacy to the entire humanity,” he said.
WHO director-general Dr Ghebreyesus stressed on the areas of development and said, “Long term strategic investments and government commitment is needed to support innovation and innovators. The government needs to develop traditional medicine in a sustainable way, bringing traditional medicine to market must make sure communities that gave this knowledge also benefits out of it”. He also said that he feels “privileged to come to the land of Mahatma Gandhi.
Mauritian PM Pravind Jugnauth said that it is a matter of pride for him to participate in the AYUSH Investment and Innovation Summit. “According to WHO, 80% of people in the world use traditional medicine. The knowledge of this medicine should not only be respected but should also be protected and promoted”, he said.