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NIS Chennai asks Centre to set up four National Institutes of Siddha; one each in north, west, east & north-east

Peethaambaran Kunnathoor, Chennai
Friday, December 31, 2021, 08:00 Hrs  [IST]

Underlining the significance of Siddha medicines in addressing viral fevers and managing chronic diseases and degenerative conditions, the director of the National Institute of Siddha (NIS) in Chennai is gearing up to give a proposal to government of India demanding setting up of four institutions like NIS Chennai in the north, west, east and north-eastern part of the country.

Last week, as part of the National Siddha Day (NSD) celebration, Union Ayush Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, minister of state Mahendra Munjapara, state health minister Ma Subrahmaniam and senior bureaucrats of the central and state governments assembled at the NIS at Tambaram in Chennai.

In the meeting, Sonowal appreciated the efforts being taken by the NIS in research and clinical areas for the development of the traditional system. He also acknowledged and recognized the efficacy of the Siddha drug Nilavembu Kudineer in curing viral fevers like dengue and chikungunya. The minister wanted the NIS to do more research in various Siddha medicines to address the newly emerging viral fevers.

Highlighting the efficacy of the age-old traditional medical system of Tamil Nadu, the director of the NIS, Dr. R Meenakumari, raised the demand for establishing four NIS in the four corners of the country. Unlike institutions like All India Institute of Ayurveda (AIIA) New Delhi, NIS is a centre of excellence for treatment, research and education. Currently, there is only one institution in the country and that is, NIS Chennai.

Briefing Pharmabiz about her proposal, which is in the pipeline, Dr. Meenakumari said she is targeting four important places in the country to be suggested for locations for establishing NIS. They are Delhi in north India, Ahmedabad in Gujarat, Kolkata in West Bengal and Guwahati in the north east. A team of doctors, academicians and researchers from NIS Chennai have prepared the proposal to be sent to the Union Ministry of Ayush.

Talking about the scope of Siddha system in the north and north east, Dr. Meenakumari said there is big scope for traditional medicines in the north east where the people are very much interested to avail alternative medicines. “Ayurveda has established its position in all the states, now the turn is for the Siddha system. Everybody knows the efficacy of Siddha drugs,” said Dr Meenakumari.

When asked about the educational programmes being conducted in NIS, the director said as an educational course NIS is conducting only post graduate course (MD) in Siddha medicines. Every year, 50 Siddha PGs are coming out from NIS Chennai and the same number of masters is coming out from the other two state government controlled Siddha medical colleges located at Arumbakkam in Chennai and at Palayamkottai in Thirunelveli.

Meanwhile, the Centre for Traditional Medicines and Research (CTMR) in Chennai has responded that the way NIS Chennai conducted the National Siddha Day was wrong as they conducted it privately without inviting the Siddha fraternity or media of the state. Dr. T Thirunarayanan, secretary of the CTMR said although his name was printed on the notice, since he being a member of the committee, he and all Siddha fraternity in Tamil Nadu boycotted the programme, but celebrated Siddha Day in each one’s office. He further said several Siddha associations have sent complaints to the Central government against the way NIS conducted the NSD celebration.


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