“Minister of AYUSH, Sh. Sripad Naik Ji, Secretary (AYUSH) Vaidya Rajesh Kotecha Ji, Joint Secretary Sh. Roshan Jaggi Ji, Padmashri Dr. V.K. Gupta, Director General of Central Council for Research in Homoeopathy, Dr. Raj K. Manchanda, and all the learned scientists, doctors and enthusiastic students of Homoeopathy— I deem it an honour to be present here on the occasion of World Homoeopathy Day.
I always feel privileged when I attend a gathering of doctors as they are the crusaders of building a healthy nation. Nowadays, when we talk of health, we don’t talk of freedom from disease alone. It is not how world looks at it anymore. WHO says ‘Health is inclusive of all three components of well being– physical, social and mental. But where do you find this ‘whole health’? I know your answer and mine is same – holistic methods of treatment – what we call complementary medicine, alternative medicine, traditional systems, and in India, we refer to them very precisely through the acronym AYUSH systems. Each of the AYUSH systems, be it Ayurveda, Homoeopathy, Yoga or Unani are unified on this concept of ‘holistic treatment’.
Homoeopathy had its origin in the late 18th century and by the mid 19th century, it had created a wave in Germany, USA, UK and even India. Many people in India grew accustomed to its use for their day-to-day and chronic complaints eventually necessitating the enactment of Homoeopathy Central Council Act in 1973. As the demand for homoeopathy grew, there was institutionalisation for education, research and registration of Homoeopathic practitioners.
Homoeopathy treatment is now offered in many primary and secondary health centres in India as also in some tertiary setups. At many places, it is an integral part of health programmes like Swasthya Rakshan Programme.
I am told that the program on ‘Homoeopathy for Healthy Child’ is aimed at screening, early diagnosis and management of common diseases of children and adolescents. Under the National Programme for Prevention and Control of Cancer, Diabetes, Cardiovascular Diseases & Stroke (NPCDCS), homoeopathy has been integrated in some districts to prevent and treat lifestyle-based, non-communicable diseases.
I am aware that Homoeopathy is witnessing a major demand in India. Of the total AYUSH dispensaries of the central Government, 30% are Homoeopathic dispensaries. The number of institutionally qualified registered practitioners is also going considerably up, and now we have about 2.8 lakhs homoeopathic doctors in our country. As regards its acceptance among people, I think it has got a lot to do with its similarity to Indian ethos, which always propagated the concept of treating man and not only the disease. Even its basic tenet ‘Let likes be treated by likes’ is mentioned as ‘“Vishaya Vishmoshashi” in ancient Indian text, meaning poison annihilates the poisons.
As part of strengthening our traditional and complementary medicines, we have to take Homoeopathy to masses in the interior, remote places, where it is practically difficult to dispense medicines, owing to lack of logistics, or due to limited resources. Homoeopathy is cost-effective, easy to administer and has no side-effects! It provides an apt solution for many challenges we are facing in health due to paucity of resources today. Dr. Samuel Hahnemann, whose birthday we celebrate as World Homoeopathy Day, was a man of great insight and one of the most analytical minds of his times. He put into exercise the law of simila, which means ‘let likes be treated by likes’, the hint of which we see in ancient Indian and Greek literature too. Homoeopathy is one of the greatest discoveries of the 18th century and the mankind cannot thank this great man enough for gifting it to us!
But, at the same time, we have to remember, that in the world where everything you use is science-based, right from your latest mobile phone to the GPS-technology we are all so glued to these days, scientific validation is a must, a checkpoint for everything. And more so, when we are dealing with lives and health of people.
I want to ask you all – Do you think Homoeopathy is scientifically validated? Most of you would nod, because you are practitioners and you have tried it on hundreds or thousands of patients. But it is not the nods that matter. We need scientists and health researchers to give their thumbs up on its effectiveness.
I congratulate the Ministry of AYUSH and CCRH for organizing this convention with the stimulating theme: ‘Innovate; Evolve; Progress’. Yes, we all need to innovate, progress and evolve with the changing times and contribute to health research.
I am delighted to know that many homoeopathic doctors have digitalized themselves and are using software for better record keeping. I am told that there are homoeopathy-based mobile apps to guide you in your case studies, literature review and you even have internet-based clouds for storing, and sharing your cases with the homoeopathic community worldwide. This is really commendable, as this is what I would call real-time adaptation.
I am informed that scientists from Physics, Chemistry, Biogenetics and Pharmacology have taken the onus of bringing out many little or yet unknown facts of Homoeopathy to the fore for everyone to see, and that some of them are present with us in this hall today. Science is science, and it is nobody’s friend and nobody’s enemy. It only demands evidence.
This year also marks the completion of 40 years of untiring work of Central Council for Research in Homoeopathy. I am aware of the Council’s achievements, and how it has evolved and grown with branches in 26 states, tie-ups with national and international organisations for research and development in the field of Homoeopathy. Over the years, Council has revolutionised its approach towards conducting research by adopting internationally accepted research designs and by constituting committees and sub-committees of experts from various fields for technical auditing at every stage. I am particularly glad to note that Council’s laboratories in Kolkata and Noida have state-of-the-art facilities for cutting edge research. It’s collaborations with reputed institutes of science, like IIT Bombay, School of Tropical Medicine and Bose Institute, Kolkata, are just a few examples of many such collaborations. Of course, there is a lot more that can be done in the field of homoeopathy research, and you know this better than I do. So keep up the good work!
Before concluding, I would like to say a few words for the Homoeopathy students, our aspiring doctors. I can only say that conventions like these are your window to future. As youngsters, you have the energy and the zeal to pick your area of interest and work on it. Find out the scope from your seniors, identify mentors who can guide you to your goal, and most importantly, be confident about your vision. Homoeopathy is a relatively novel science, but its used by over 80 countries in the world! And you have to further spread its reach, by your work. I know that each one of you is capable of delivering if you set your goals right.
In the end, I would like to compliment the Ministry of AYUSH and Central Council for Research in Homoeopathy for organising this scientific convention and I hope each delegate of this convention will go back with a pledge to innovate, evolve and progress for the sake of Science!