Monday, March 24, 2008

Ayurveda students demand stipend

Mumbai: The Maharsatra Ayurvedic Student Association (MASA) has demanded stipend for students who are pursuing postgraduate programs in government aided ayurvedic colleges in the state.

Maharastra has about 56 ayurvedic colleges out of which only four are run by government. Since last two week students of post graduate government aided ayurvedic colleges in the state are demanding stipend. Dr Reema Patil, president MASA asked, “If MBBS students are entitled to stipend, why not us?”

Principal secretary of medical education Amitabh Chandra said that the government was looking into their demands. “We have to look into the financial implications and then decide,” he said.

Their demands also include better job opportunities for the 3,500-odd Bachelor of Ayurvedic Medicine and Surgery (BAMS) graduates passing out every year. Students believe that the government has been hypocritical in its approach towards promoting ayurvedic medicine.

A government resolution of 1981 states that BAMS degree is equivalent to MBBS, “however, not a single BAMS doctor finds any place in government projects,” said Patil.

It should be mentioned, the National Rural Health Mission has sought the services of ayurvedic doctors as MBBS doctors are unwilling to practice in rural areas. “We have recruited 2,000 ayurvedic and unani practitioners to rural areas,” said Madhukar S Chaudhari, mission director of Maharashtra Rural Health Mission.

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