September 2017 \ Interviews \ POLITICAL INTERVIEW
“Acceptance of AYUSH is becoming wider”

Soft-spoken Shripad Yasso Naik is Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) in the Ministry of Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha, Sowa-Rigpa and Homoepathy (AYUSH). He won his Lok Sabha seat of Panaji first in 1999, and has held it ever since, winning in 2004, 2009 and 2014. He speaks to India Empire’s Editor and Publisher Sayantan Chakravarty at his Lodhi Estate residence

What steps are being taken to augment and increase infrastructure for serving more people in AYUSH sector?

We are focusing on developing national institutions, like the one in Ladakh for which funds have been released. In Pune we have a small naturopathy institution, we’ve declared it as a national institution with a budget of Rs 100 crore. There are around 200 beds, plus a research centre, hospital, OPD. In Goa we are starting two national level institutes. One will be for Ayurveda. The other will be for Yoga and Naturopathy and will be specially designed for tourists who come there. It will have diploma courses. Tourists can avail boarding and lodging and complete their course. Likewise, on the lines of AIIMS, we have commissioned the OPD wing of the first All India Institute of Ayurveda in Delhi’s Sarita Vihar. A 200-bed hospital will be starting there within a couple of months. This is keeping in line with the vision of our great leader and former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee Ji. We are also tying up with primary healthcare centres to ensure that at least one AYUSH doctor is available at each place. We’ve a target of setting up Yoga Parks in every district of the country, and eventually every village. When people witness growth in infrastructure, they will become naturally inclined towards AYUSH.