Goa is drawing up plans to become a prime Ayurveda and wellness tourism hub on the strength of a slew of initiatives, Chief Minister Dr Pramod Sawant said today while inaugurating the curtain-raiser of the 9th World Ayurveda Congress (WAC) and Arogya Expo to be held here from December 8 to 11.
The state is eager to harness the benefits of the Ayush visa, announced by the prime minister recently, to develop tourism, health and wellness centres, and make Goa the best in the health tourism sector.
Sarbananda Sonowal, Union Minister, AYUSH, was the chief guest at the function, where Shripad Yesso Naik, Union Minister of State for Tourism, and Vishwajit P Rane, Goa Minister of Health, were also present.
The four-day event, supported by the central and state governments and the Union Ministry of AYUSH, will witness an assemblage of about 5000 Ayurveda stakeholders — industry leaders, practitioners, traditional healers, educationists, students, drug manufacturers, growers of medicinal plants and marketing strategists – from across the world.
‘Ayurveda for One Health’ is the focal theme of the event this year at Kala Academy, being organised by the World Ayurveda Foundation, an initiative by Vijnana Bharati.
Noting that WAC is the biggest event among traditional wellness systems, the chief minister said it will certainly catapult Ayurveda into the global arena.
Dr Sawant said medical and wellness tourism will ramp up in the state with the involvement of all ayurvedic doctors and practitioners, besides setting up exclusive health and wellness centres on the lines of primary health centres (PHCs) and Community Health Centres (CHCs).
He said about 41 such health and wellness centres will be set up where services of Ayush doctors will be available. “Two 50-bed Ayush hospitals under the National Ayush Mission (NAM) scheme will be set up soon. An Ayush hospital will be inaugurated on December 8 at Dhargal in Pernem taluk,” Dr Sawant said.
‘The positive impact created by WAC in its previous editions is going to be repeated here too. The event will set a good platform for students, stakeholders, practitioners and experts to learn and exchange views and ideas,’ he added.
Sonowal said the theme of the event ‘Ayurveda for One Health’ is very meaningful to the journey of life.
‘Traditional medicine has now been well accepted by the global community due to its credibility. WAC has to be used to promote Goa as a place for medical tourism,’ he said.
Sonowal said the Ministry of AYUSH, with all stakeholders of Ayurveda, celebrates Ayurveda Day every year on Dhanvantari Jayanti on October 23.
‘The motto of this year’s celebration is “Har Din Har Ghar Ayurveda” (Ayurveda every day, Ayurveda everywhere). All India Institute of Ayurveda, New Delhi, is the nodal agency for the implementation of the programme. Around 22 ministries and departments of the Government of India are collaborating in this event,” he said.
Noting that WAC has grown over the years, Shripad Yesso Naik said the World Health Organisation (WHO) has become part of WAC for the first time, and this will trigger immense interest among participants.
Vishwajit Rane said WAC was being held just as Ayurveda has acquired global status, and the state is keen on leveraging the benefits of medical tourism.
Rajesh Kotecha, Secretary, Union Ministry of AYUSH, said that through campaigns like Jan Sandesh, Jan Bhagidari and Jan Andolan, awareness about the benefits of Ayurveda will be created among the public as part of Ayurveda Day.