6/21/2018 3:09:43 PM
|written By : Team India Se|
Indian High Commissioner to Singapore, Jawed Ashraf, speaking
Can traditional Indian medicine enjoy the same recognition as traditional Chinese medicine in Singapore?
Ambassador Kesavapany speaking
Singapore’s Ambassador K Kesavapany and member of Parliament Vikram Nair noted the steps needed to be taken while India’s High Commissioner to Singapore, Jawed Ashraf, hoped for a successful outcome. They were speaking at the fourth International Conference on Traditional Medicine held in Singapore on June 21. The conference was organised by the High Commission jointly with the Siddha Practitioners Association of Singapore and the Ayurvedic Practitioners Association of Singapore.
Vikram Nair, MP, speaking
The conference began with the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi stressing the benefits of yoga in a videorecorded speech to mark the International Day of Yoga. June 21 has been the International Day of Yoga since 2015 as proposed by Mr Modi to the United Nations General Assembly.
Yoga promotes not only good health but peace of mind and concentration, said Ambassador Kesavapany.
The ayurveda business is sustainable in Singapore, with ayurveda treatment centres existing not only in Little India but elsewhere too, he said. Noting the benefits of ayurveda, however, he also said it was a challenge for it to gain the same recognition as traditional Chinese medicine. Traditional Indian medicine had to reach beyond the Indian community, adapt to non-Indians, too, he said. It could be promoted within the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean), he added.
Mr Nair, a ruling People’s Action Party member of Parliament elected from the Sembawang Group Representation Constituency, noted how India had put traditional Indian medical knowledge in the public domain instead of protecting it with patents as pharmaceutical companies purveying Western medicine did. But he stressed the need for more research and investment. Western medicines had to go through rigorous clinical trials before being made available to the public. Singapore is happy to be a place for clinical trials and could be a launching pad for experimental medicines, he said.
The Indian High Commissioner, Jawed Ashraf, said ayurveda wasn’t just a medical system but a way of life. It did not only treat illness but promoted well-being and wellness. Singapore has outstanding practitioners of ayurveda, yoga and siddha, he said. He highlighted how the Indian government had been promoting traditional Indian medicine with it being taught and researched at an increasing number of institutions, including premier institutes. The government has developed a comprehensive pharmacopoeia of traditional Indian medicines and signed memorandums of understanding with other countries to promote traditional medicine, he said. He hoped insurance policies in Singapore would one day cover traditional Indian practices just as they cover traditional Chinese medical practices.