In land of Ayurveda, India hosts G20 1st Health Working Group Meeting

MoS V Muraleedharan welcomes delegates for the meeting in Thiruvananthapuram

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Updated: 18 January, 2023 11:45 am IST
Union Minister of State V Muraleedharan (in green shirt) delivered the keynote address

V Muraleedharan, Minister of State for External Affairs, welcomed delegates to the G-20’s 1st Health Working Group Meeting in Thiruvananthapuram on January 18.

In his keynote address, the Rajya Sabha Member of Parliament highlighted Kerala’s association with Ayurveda and its strong public health tradition.

“Being a native of Kerala, I welcome you all with pride to Thiruvananthapuram, the city of Lord Sri Padmanabha. I hope you will enjoy your stay here,” MoS said in his keynote address.

Muraleedharan urged the delegates to experience Ayurveda in its birthplace, saying, “You are in a land where Ayurveda originated and was widely practised in its purest form. Your visit cannot be complete if you have not encountered or experienced Ayurveda.”

“Ayurveda translates to the science of life. The practice of Ayurveda includes the use of herbal medicines, massage therapy, and dietary changes to maintain or restore perfect balance in the body,” he added.

“I am confident that after you explore, you will understand why it is named God’s Own Country,” Muraleedharan, who is also the MoS for Parliamentary Affairs, said.

Highlighting Kerala’s strong public health tradition, the former Kerala state president of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) said, “Even before Independence, Kerala had a strong public health tradition. In 1813, a vaccination department was established here in Thiruvananthapuram by the Travancore queen, Rani Gouri Lakshmi Bai. It was against smallpox.”

“As people showed signs of fear against vaccination, the queen set herself an example by getting all members of the royal family vaccinated first, to reassure her subjects. That is our legacy and it is apt to have this meeting here,” he added.

MoS Muraleedharan also pointed out how social reformers also played a key role in developing the Kerala model of the health system.

“This state had social reformers like Sree Narayana Guru, Chayttambi Swamikal, Saint Kuriakose Elias Chavara, all of whom stressed the importance of education and health. The modern Kerala model of health care system evolved from this strong premise,” he pointed out.

Reiterating Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of making India’s current G20 presidency on the lines of ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’, Universal Brotherhood, the Union minister said, “Three thousand years ago, a great poet of India, Kaniyan Poongundranar wrote in Tamil, Yaadhum Oore Yaavarum Kaelir… It means ‘we belong to all places, and everyone’.”

“PM Narendra Modi said that ‘adding this sense of belonging beyond borders was unique to India’. And our G20 theme is based on universal brotherhood, i.e. ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’. It reminds us to see the world as a family working towards a healthier tomorrow. It is in the interest of humankind that we be prepared for any health emergency in the future,” he added.

On a lighter note, wishing all the delegates successful deliberations, MoS Muraleedharan urges them to enjoy the beauty of the state as well as its famous cuisines.

“This is the land that is known for its picturesque landscapes, beautiful and extensive beaches, and rich cultural heritage. I would miss something, if I did not mention its beautiful backwaters and tasty local cuisines like Appam, Puttu, Aviyal, banana chips, Idiyappam, etc.,” he said.

“While you attend important meetings and produce important outcome documents, I urge you all to explore the beautiful places, cherish local cuisine and shop for unique handicraft items,” MoS Muraleedharan added.

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