The All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Indian Traditional Sciences celebrated Ayurveda Day 2019 at a packed meeting in Houses of Lords on Tuesday 5th November.
In her opening note the Baroness Uddin welcomed fellow parliamentarians, the High Commissioner of Sri Lanka to the UK Her Excellency Hon. Manisha Gunasekera, and Hon. Manmeet Singh Minister Coordination and Ms Yamuna Counsellor from the High Commission of India in London and all the invited guests and exalted to the glory of longevity in Ayurveda, which had clearly shown that it had been time tested and therefore merited inclusion within the National Health Service.
The Baroness Varma spoke eloquently of her passionate interest in Indian Traditional Sciences and enforced her core message to the audience that this is a valuable time for the APPG Indian Traditional Sciences to present a manifesto on health to all political parties as the country is going for general election. She said ‘this is so important; I am emphasizing it as much as I can that the power for change lies with the people of the country.’
Amarjeet S. Bhamra, Secretariat of the APPG Indian Traditional Sciences thanked both the Baroness Uddin and the Baroness Verma for hosting this event at the last minute as the original event had to be cancelled on the same day but later in the evening in the House of Commons. Amarjeet prompted the audience to sign a petition calling on the European Union Commission to offer Freedom of Choice in healthcare to all citizens of Europe as well as inviting the audience to write to their MP’s urging them to lend their support to sign an Early Day Motion 80*, which has been tabled by Bob Blackman MP to consider that Ayurveda is a proven, effective, comprehensive system of medicine, and needs to be made accessible to all in this country, supported by the National Health Service. The links to both the Petition and EDM is accessible by visiting www.ITSappg.org website.
The opening address was given by the guest of honor High Commissioner of Sri Lanka to UK Her Excellency Hon. Manisha Gunasekera, who spoke about the prevention-oriented approach of Ayurveda, and her passion to promote health sciences of Sri Lanka through the established APPG Indian Traditional Sciences.
Special guest, Hon. Manmeet Singh Minister Coordination from the High Commission of India in London elaborated about the prevention-oriented approach of Ayurveda, and the steps taken by his government to promote Ayurveda in the UK and around the world, in particular the inauguration of a Centre of Excellence for Yoga Research and Indian Traditional Medicine in the UK last year, at a ceremony with both Prince Charles and the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi.
Dr Shantha Godagama member of the Herbal Medicines Advisory Committee (Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency) spoke of the formation of British Ayurvedic Medical Council. A ‘one voice’ for Ayurveda in the UK which will liaise with governments departments in the ever-challenging environment for traditional systems of medicines. Objections to the inclusion of Ayurveda centred on quality control on products from India and Sri Lanka, he urged the both High Commission of India and Sri Lanka to begin a dialogue with British authorities to align production standards from the sub-continent of India.
Siddhalepa Group is a household name in Sri Lanka for over six generations of Ayurvedic physicians and its managing director Mr Asoka Hettigoda expanded on the timeline of one of the largest producers of variety of Ayurvedic products.
Dr Mauroof Athique from the UK’s most iconic learning establishment shared the philosophy of Ayurveda on longevity.
The ever-enchanting Indian classical dance prodigy Ragarani Vinjamuri performed a dance relating to the herb – Tulsi.
Magali Mazzei, born in Dschibuti/Africa, raised in Greece and Germany, now living France gave an inspiring demonstration of the understanding of all the major Pranas of Ayurveda through movement which were followed by the audience.
Dr Indira Anand chair at the British Association of Accredited Ayurvedic Practitioners proposed that according to WHO, in the next 25 years, the population aged 65 and above is likely to grow by 88%. Therefore, in the coming years, maintaining health and quality of life in ageing populations will be vitally important, both socially and economically. It is high time our NHS decides to embrace Ayurveda with its unique rejuvenating and purificatory therapies, and seasonal regimens, individualised and holistic healthcare and a code of moral and social conduct based on common sense.
From India, Dr Hrishikesh Damle Founder, CEO and Managing Director of Atrimed explained his remit as a physician, trained in Ayurveda with post-graduation degrees in plant pharmacology and clinical pharmacology in India.
Dr Palitha Serasinghe summed up the presentation of the speaker’s contribution and offered the Dhanvantri Mantra together with Dr Venkata Joshi.
In her valedictory address the Baroness Verma thanked all the contributors of a very successful historical meeting celebrating the Ayurveda Day 2019 in the UK Parliament and praised the continuous relentless work of Amarjeet S Bhamra who has been tirelessly working for all Indian Traditional Sciences for the past decade.
Special ‘Ambassador for Pluralistic Medicine’ Awards were presented to:
The Baroness Verma, The Baroness Uddin, Shahnaz Husain producer of Ayurvedic health and beauty care products from India.
Coveted Ayurveda Ratan Awards were presented by The Baroness Verma and Amarjeet S Bhamra to
- Dr Hrisheikesh Damle, Bengaluru, India,
- Dr Raghunandan Sharma Hounslow, UK (Ayurvedic Medical Association),
- Dr Palitha Serasinghe Guildford, UK (Ayurvedic Practitioners Association) and
- Asoka Hettigoda.