HASSAN, DEC. 25. There is a need to give a push to Ayurveda and other traditional systems of medicine in the country, Dr. R. Seethalaxmi, Director of Medical Education, have said. Presiding over the “Shishyopanayam” ceremony, organised by SDM College of Ayurveda, here on Tuesday, she said these systems of medicine were major contributions of India to global healthcare system. Concerted effort to scientifically promote herbal and Ayurvedic medicine was necessary at a time when these systems of medicine were gaining global recognition and acceptance. The advanced nations accepted only time-tested and replicable drugs which had the potency to cure a wide range of diseases; she said and urged the teachers to carry out more research. Stating that the Government had started an outpatient department for traditional systems of medicine at the Victoria Hospital, Bangalore, on a pilot project basis, Dr. Seethalaxmi said the experiment would be tried out in other major hospitals in the State soon.

Advocating the need for a holistic approach to treatment, she said Ayurveda treated the human as one single entity and treated afflictions accordingly. She advised the managements of medical colleges to provide value and ethics-based quality education to students. Lauding the SDM College for conducting a unique initiation ceremony for its students, she said it only imbibed the traditional “guru-shishya” system of India. Prof. K.R. Sharma of Benaras Hindu University (BHU) said the “shishyopanayam” ceremony, first started by late Prof. P.G. Deshpande at the BHU, was, of late, being practised by most Ayurvedic colleges in the country. He advised the undergraduate and postgraduate students to keep their minds open for knowledge always, and added that one never ceased to be a “student”.

Dr. S.D. Rai, BHU, urged the students to be sincere in academics as well as their patients. Ayurvedic students had more responsibility compared to their allopathic counterparts as they had to study the human being in his entirety apart from the mere manifestation of illness. Dr.

M. Sahu, Professor, BHU, regretted that research into Ayurveda was bereft of the use of modern advancements in the field of science. He blamed this deficiency for problems confronting Ayurveda. Dr. Muralidhar Sharma of SDMCA, Udupi, spoke.

Prof. B.G. Gopinath, Medical Superintendent of SDM Ayurvedic Hospital, Hassan, highlighted the importance of the initiation ceremony and its background. Dr. Prasanna N.Rao, Principal of the college, welcomed the gathering and presented a report of its functioning. Dr. Mona R. proposed a vote of thanks