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Ayurveda Day 2020 : Virtual Symposium on role of Ayurveda and Opportunities for India - Philippines Cooperation

Posted on: November 17, 2020 | Back | Print

Embassy of India

Ayurveda Day

For the first time ever in the Philippines a bilateral symposium on Ayurveda, the Indian system of medicine, was held on Friday 13 November 2020. The event brought together Indian and Filipino experts to discuss potential cooperation between India and Philippines in this field. The virtual event also focussed specifically on the role of Ayurveda in COVID-19 management.

Ayurveda, literally the ‘science of life’ is a medical system with its roots in ancient Indian civilisation. It has been practised for thousand of years, making it the oldest living system of health. In recent years, renewed emphasis on holistic and sustainable systems of medicine, Ayurveda and its complementary practices especially yoga and meditation, are gaining increasing global attention.

2.         For the first time in the Philippines, the Embassy of India in Manila organised a virtual symposium on ‘The Role of Ayurveda and Opportunities for India-Philippines Cooperation’. The event sought to raise awareness about strength of Ayurveda, its unique treatment principles towards reducing the burden of disease and mortality.

3. India has been celebrating ‘Ayurveda Day’ every year since 2016. This year, for the 5th Ayurveda Day, the theme was Ayurveda for COVID-19’. The event, which was supported by Ministry of AYUSH(Ayurveda, Yoga, Unani, Siddha, Homeopathy), the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) and the India Foundation, brought together organisations like the Philippine Institute of Traditional and Alternative Health Care (PITAHC), the Asian Centre, University if the Philippines, and National Youth Commission to interact with Indian experts in the field.

4. In her inaugural address, Mrs. Lalitha Kumaramangalam, Director, India Foundation share insights into recent developments that have increased global recognition of  Ayurveda as a health science. She noted that due to its sophisticated and rigorous knowledge system, which is in harmony with nature, the system of Ayurveda offers unique pathways to health and wellbeing. Ayurveda expert Dr. Rajmohan V, Government Ayurveda College, Kannur, Kerala in his keynote address described Ayurveda as “the ultimate personalised health framework for maximising longevity with good health in physical and mental dimensions. It is a personalised prescription that includes one or more of diet, lifestyle, medicine and therapy. Talking about the purpose of Ayurveda he said, “Ayurveda essentially focuses on three things: reversal of disease process, disease management and promotion of well-being of an already healthy person”. He also noted that India and Philippines, rich in biodiversity, have tremendous scope for cooperation in use of medicinal plants.

5. Specifically addressing the role of Ayurveda in COVID-19 management, Dr. Rajamohan noted that India’s experience has shown that Ayurveda and Yoga can play a pivotal role to augment the standard preventive measures for COVID-19. Taking note of this, expert committees drawn from Indian National Institutes and research institutions have developed an Ayurvedic ‘National Clinical Protocol for the management of COVID-19’ which is now being used widely.

6. Dr. Annabelle Pabiona - De Guzman , Director General, Philippine Institute of Traditional and Alternative Health Care (PITAHC) shared her vision of integrating traditional and alternative medicine into the national health-care delivery system of the Philippines and highlighted the considerable potential for cooperation between India and the Philippines in terms of research, capacity-building, and human resource development in the area of traditional medicine. Addressing the Symposium from the perspective of the Indian Ayurvedic products industry, Mr. Srinivas Reddy, Regional Manager of Himalaya, a leading Indian Ayurveda company with a growing presence in the Philippines, outlined the rapid development of the Ayurvedic industry in India, and the widespread global recognition for its capabilities cutting across the medicinal, nutraceutical and cosmetics segments.

7. In his remarks, the Ambassador of India to the Philippines, Mr. Shambhu S. Kumaran called for practical measures by the two government to expand structured engagement on Ayurveda and traditional medicine. He welcomed ongoing discussions for a Memorandum of Cooperation between PITAHC and the National Institute of Ayurveda in Jaipur, India. The Ambassador conveyed India’s  keen interest to set up AYUSH chairs and centres in Filipino universities so as to expand institutional engagement and promote research and academic cooperation on Ayurveda. The Ambassador also hoped that the Philippines side would consider conducive and simplified regulatory procedures to facilitate access to the Philippines market for Ayurvedic products.

8. India is fast emerging as a leading healthcare and wellness destination. Due to its established strengths in the pharmaceutical industry, the country was able to supply COVID-related medicines to over 120 countries, reinforcing its global reputation as ‘pharmacy of world’. India’s world-class medical professionals as well as health care and diagnostics facilities also continue to be in growing demand across the globe. The revitalisation of its traditional systems of medicines, especially Ayurveda, combined with complementary age-old Indian practices such as yoga and meditation provide useful avenues for humankind in its effort to find holistic as well as ecologically and socially sustainable models of health and well - being. The virtual Symposium marked an important beginning in the dialogue between India and the Philippines in this area.


13 November 2020