ANI Photo | Sarbananda Sonowal launches major initiatives to boost Ayush sector in Northeast

Union Ayush minister Sarbananda Sonowal launched four major initiatives to boost the Ayush sector in Northeast India on January 12. Sonowal inaugurated the northeast region’s first dedicated Panchakarma block at the Central Ayurveda Research Institute (CARI) in Guwahati and dedicated the block to the nation.

He also inaugurated the region’s first state-of-the-art pharmacology and biochemistry lab for Ayush.

The union Ayush minister also laid the foundation stones, virtually, for the permanent campus of the Regional Research Institute for Homoeopathy (RRIH) along with the Integrated Ayush Wellness Centre to come up in the Azara area of Guwahati. The Integrated Ayush Wellness Centre is a first-of-its-kind centre in the country.

Speaking on the occasion, Sonowal said: “Under the dynamic leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the traditional system of medicine has been revamped so that it adds strength to the healthcare delivery system in the country. Given the proven results of our rich healing systems of medicine like ayurveda, yoga, unani, siddha, homoeopathy, naturopathy and sowa rigpa, their centuries-old treatments must be incorporated into modern medicinal practice.”

“This is going to result in a powerful integrated medicine that will heal both physical ailments and provide avenues for mental well-being. The new Panchakarma block as well as the state-of-the-art laboratories for Ayush are steps that will enable the Ayush healthcare delivery system in the region, which will be particularly beneficial for the people of Assam and the Northeast,” Sarbananda Sonowal said.

It is to be noted that the foundation stones for the two buildings — Panchakarma Block and Pharmacology and Biochemistry Lab –were laid by Sarbananda Sonowal less than two years ago on February 12, 2022, to boost capacity at Central Ayurveda Research Institute (CARI) in Guwahati.

“PM Modi once said that our government ensures the completion of projects that were started by us. Once the foundation stones are laid, it is evident that they are executed well within time so that they are dedicated to the nation. The inauguration of the Panchakarma block and the pharmacology and biochemistry lab are yet other examples of how, under the visionary leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, we continue to embark on this journey for swift development of initiatives, ensuring speedy growth,” said Sonowal.

“I would like to assure you that PM Modi’s leadership will inspire us to deliver the permanent campus of the Regional Research Centre for Homoeopathy as well as India’s first Integrated Ayush Wellness Centre within its stipulated time so that we continue our tradition. We are also actively considering elevating the Central Ayurveda Research Institute into a national institute,” Sarbananda Sonowal added.

Assam health and family welfare minister Keshab Mahanta; Gauhati Lok Sabha MP Queen Oja; Dispur MLA Atul Bora; and West Guwahati MLA Ramendra Narayan Kalita were also present on the occasion and joined the union Ayush minister at the launch of these big-ticket initiatives for the promotion of Ayush in the region.

The event also witnessed the presence of many leading personalities from the civic society, senior officials of the Ayush Ministry, local administration and students.

The union Ayush minister, in a press statement, said that the dedicated Panchakarma Block (G+3) at CARI will be providing the best panchakarma therapies to people at reasonable rates. The researchers will also be examining the role of panchakarma in healing patients as well as enriching their quality of life.

He further mentioned that, with an area of 9453.30 square feet, the new building will conduct scientific validation of panchakarma therapies. A panchakarma training course will also be undertaken here to train panchakarma technicians, ensuring quality resources for the Ayush market.

The G+3 building was built at a cost of more than Rs 7.72 crore. The building is equipped with dedicated rooms to perform key Panchakarma therapies, like the Snehana and Swedana room, Shirodhara room and Basti room. A medicine lab to prepare medicines used in the panchakarma, like Kwath preparation and the making of Basti Dravya, has also been created.

Space has also been made for dedicated classrooms to train panchakarma technicians under the panchakarma technician course, said the union Ayush minister.

Sarbananda Sonowal further said the G+3 building is also equipped with a conference hall, a special therapy room for VIP guests, a living room, a guest room, a waiting room and a canteen. Various machines, like the new panchakarma droni, bashpa swedana yantra (steam chamber), nadi swedana yantra, sarvangadhara yantra, shirodhara yantra, basti yantra, nasya applicator, avagaha tub, sauna chamber and other key instruments, are also being installed for effective panchakarma treatment.

The pharmacology and biochemistry lab is equipped with facilities for drug standardisation, safety and efficacy evaluation of Ayurvedic formulations. The lab will scientifically validate the therapeutic and safety potential of classical Ayurvedic formulations, ethno-medicinal plants and plant-based formulations. It will further work to develop cost-effective novel polyherbal formulations from Ayurvedic plants, especially those found in the Northeast region. The G+2 building was built at a cost of more than Rs 2.71 crore.

A modern animal house to probe pre-clinical studies for the safety and efficacy of Ayurvedic formulations; a state-of-the-art pharmacology lab with sophisticated equipment like a rotary evaporator and soxhlet extractor; an automatic haematology analyzer; a biochemistry analyzer; a coagulation analyzer; an analgesiometer; a UV-VIS spectrophotometer; a laboratory deep freezer; and a plethysmometer, among others. The chemistry lab is to work on the standardisation of Ayurvedic formulations and to ensure the quality of the drugs.

Modern instruments like high-performance thin layer chromatography (HPTLC), high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS), and X-ray diffractometers (XRD), among others, spread over an area of 3491.62 square feet in the new lab (G+2). The modern machines were installed at a total cost of more than Rs 6.42 crore.

The new campus of the Regional Research Institute of Homoeopathy (RRIH) has a sprawling 18,610-square-foot area. Built at an estimated cost of Rs 53.89 crore, the project is scheduled to be completed by 2026, said the Ayush Minister.

The new campus will be equipped with a 50-bed IPD unit and OPD services with speciality clinics, he said, adding that a clinical lab with state-of-the-art equipment, an emergency unit and a minor operation theatre will be part of the new campus.

India’s first integrated Ayush Wellness Centre will have treatment and OPD facilities in the streams of Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy.

The centre will also impart therapies of Panchakarma, Naturopathy, Unani and Siddha for the benefit of the people. An herbal garden will also be created at the centre

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