The experts of Siddha system of treatment in the southern parts of Tamil Nadu have commented that more effective programmes and policies are required to foster this traditional system of treatment in the state, especially in the southern districts, else the system will vanish from the field before long.
Though some government support is there, the concerned authorities are not taking much interest to chalk out and implement various programs by coordinating the stakeholders from one end to another. Village wise awareness programme on the use of Siddha medicines and free medical camps are the primary things to be implemented to promote and develop the system. The District Siddha Medical Officers (DSMOs) should sincerely act up on this and conduct village level promotional programmes, they opined.
“The acceptance of Siddha medicine is large among all kinds of people, especially those in the village areas. If we do not implement some sort of awareness program, free medical camps etc., very few people will come forward to accept and follow Siddha system. Nowadays, people are more interested to follow modern system. So the government agencies that are responsible to support and encourage this method should not withdraw from their duties and focus on fostering it,” said Dr Ganapthi Raman, retired director of Central Research Institute of Siddha.
While talking to Pharmabiz from Madurai, he said even in the temple city of Madurai, which is a prominent location in the national tourism map in southern Tamil Nadu, there are only two dispensaries of Siddha. No full-fledged hospital for Siddha is working there. In both the dispensaries, an average of more than 200 patients visit every day for treatment.
Dr Raman said there is no shortage of medicines anywhere in the state, but people do not know all medicines are available in each Siddha dispensary and they are effective for curing all diseases. He said awareness on the efficacy of Siddha medicines and their availability in the nearby clinics has to be shared with the rural people. Programmes should also be chalked out to attract them to the hospitals and avail the medication.
Dr Joseph Thas, a retired Siddha professor from Thirunelveli, said there is slow improvement in Siddha system in the southern part of the state. According to him, the graduates of Siddha have to be motivated to stick on practising Siddha system. He said several Siddha graduates are not interested to practice the system after the completion of their course as the chances of job opportunities and income are getting less every day. So, the government should give some kind of incentives to all the practising Siddha graduates in the state and encourage them to continue practising it for long.
Dr Thas, who retired from Palayamkottai Siddh Medical College, opined that along with awareness programs and medical camps, Continuing Medical Education programs must also be conducted for the graduates and post graduates with the support of government and department of Ayush. Likewise, the services of the graduates should be recognized and honoured. He said there are a lot of NGOs working for Siddha system and such organisations should initiate this kind of activity. Dr Joseph Thas is the president of an NGO, Friends of Siddha, centred in Thirunelveli.