By OUR SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT

While thanking Unani physicians for their services during the deadly Covid epidemic, Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde promised that 10% reservation quota will be fixed in the state’s public hospitals and primary healthcare facilities for Unani doctors. He also promised that a government-run Unani medical college will be sanctioned shortly. He made these commitments through video message during the 40th National Unani Medicine Conference, hosted by the Nagpur branch of the All India Unani Tibbi Congress on December 25. He assured the conference that every effort would be made to advance Unani medicine in the state.

Dr. Wajahat Mirza, a Congress MLC and head of the Maharashtra State Waqf Board, welcomed the Chief Minister’s decision in his speech and assured the gathering that he would exert all of his political power to see that the proposed government Unani Tibbi College would be realised.  Echoing his views, former Congress Minister and MLA Nitin Raut said Unani medicine is a very efficient and cost-effective treatment and that it should be given every chance to flourish.

Dr. Anis Ahmad, a former Minister of Maharashtra, proposed building a Unani House with full facilities. He also offered to provide a plot of land for the intended centre.

Presiding over the session, AIUTC national president Professor Mushtaq Ahmad noted that this was the first time the Maharashtra government has made a significant announcement about the development of Unani medicine.

In his keynote address, Dr. Syed Ahmed Khan, general secretary AITUC provided the snapshot of the organisation’s activities. He listed problems faced by the Unani fraternity at national and state levels. He pointed out that Unani representation was overlooked in the new decision-making process as it was clubbed with a regional medicine system. He called upon the Unani fraternity to make concentrated efforts for the advancement of Unani Tibb.

Organising chairman of the conference Dr. Niyazuddin Siddiqui said Maharashtra state is a model state for Unani medicine because it enjoys the support of the state government. He claimed that there are 200 Unani doctors practising in and around Nagpur city and demanded the revival of the Unani Tibbi College, which was shut down in 2004. He claimed Nagpur had become a hub for Unani medicine.

Special Guest Dr. Vaidya Jayant Devpujari (Chairman, NCISM Government of India) said that our primary goal is to standardise medical colleges. He said, “Such a conference is very important for the promotion of Unani medicine, and the role played by Unani medicine in Covid-19 is commendable.”

The 40th Conference on the Role of Unani Medicine in Present Scenario held sessions on specialised lectures on some major diseases.

It also passed several resolutions including the Directorate of AYUSH, Government of Maharashtra, must create posts of Deputy Director – Unani and Assistant Director – Unani in the Directorate to represent the Unani System of Medicine in the State of Maharashtra.

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