Siddha graduates in Kerala want equal consideration with Ayurveda under govt sector Peethaambaran Kunnathoor, Chennai Wednesday, March 09, 2016, 08:00 Hrs [IST] Stating that Agasthya Muni, the first among the 18 Siddhars, who is also considered as the father of Siddha medical science, has geographical connection with Kerala, the All Kerala Siddha Doctors Forum (AKSDF) has urged the state government to give due consideration to the graduates of Siddha and to the system of treatment just as given to Ayurveda and to the practitioners in that field. AKSDF, an association of Kerala Siddha graduates who did BSMS course in Santhigiri Siddha Medical College at Thiruvananthapuram, argues that Ayush/ISM does not mean Ayurveda alone. It includes Siddha, Unani, Homoeopathy, Naturopathy and yoga besides Ayurveda. In Kerala, the government, department of Ayush as well as the common people is forced to think that Ayush means Ayurveda, or Ayurveda is the major stream in Ayush. This misconception was inculcated among the people and the authorities by a group of Ayurveda physicians in the state. They do not want other streams of Ayush to grow or to be promoted in Kerala. This tendency has to be opposed and every system has to be given ample chances for growth and practice, said Dr. Arun Baby, the president of Kerala Siddha Doctors Forum. While briefing Pharmabiz about the forthcoming strikes and agitations planned to be conducted across the state by the Siddha graduates, he said the Ayurveda practitioners association could succeed in convincing the government that Ayurveda is the only traditional treatment system of Kerala. “It is a mistaken belief. Ayurveda was not originated in Kerala. It is described in classical Sanskrit literature. The language and the Aryans were migrated to India from central Asia and the eastern part of the Europe. Whereas, Siddha system is described in old Tamil classical literature and claims a divine origin of Indian back ground,” says Dr. Arun Baby. Regarding geographical connection with Kerala, he points out that Agasthya Muni is also called ‘Ananthasayanam Kumbha Muni’ as Agasthyar’s attainment place is ‘Ananathasayanam’ which is otherwise known as ‘Ananthapuri’, presently called Thiru-Aananthapuram. This means that the first Siddhar spent his last days in the southern part of Kerala adjacent to Tamil Nadu. Agasthya Koodam hills is in Trivandrum district, and the tribal people of that hill area are still worshiping Agasthyar. These are all indications of the traditional system’s connection with Kerala. The varma and massage treatments were generated in Siddha and later absorbed by Ayurveda. The specialists in 108 varma methods are found in Kanyakumari district only. During the last period of Agasthyar, he handed over the knowledge of Siddha to many of his disciples in the southern parts of Kerala. These places are now in Tamil Nadu. With this tradition, the Siddha doctors’ forum will make demand for equal consideration for Siddha system under Ayush department. Healthcare institutions such as dispensaries, primary health centres, hospitals, medical colleges and research centres should be established and posts of doctors and para medical staffs should be created. Currently, about 600 graduates in siddha are seeking jobs in the state. Out of this, 600 BSMS holders, 450 were graduated from Santhigiri and 150 from the Siddha Medical College at Palayamkottai in Tamil Nadu. In Kerala, there is only one government Siddha hospital and it is located at Vallakkadavu in the state capital. Further, there are eight dispensaries. The government sanctioned the last dispensary in 1986. After that, in the last 30 years no dispensary or hospital for Siddha has been sanctioned. The present UDF government has sanctioned 77 Ayurveda dispensaries and 150 Homoeo dispensaries in various Punchayaths. Kerala is going to become the first state in the country with Ayurveda and Homoeo dispensaries in all the Punchayaths. At present Kerala has 127 hospitals, 815 dispensaries, 20 sub-centres and three medical colleges under government, and 14 private medical colleges, and two self-financing medical colleges for Ayurveda system.