Wellness India 2017 expo: Mapping a positive path

The three-day Wellness India 2017 expo which got off to a great start at Pragati Maidan, New Delhi  on August 29, was a great experience  for the exhibitors and the visitors. The expo, incorporating Health India expo, Biotech India expo and Organic India expo,  was  an excellent platform to know what’s new and next in natural remedies, alternative medicines, Ayurveda, nutrition, organic, herbal and natural personal care products, biotech and so much more! The event provided a unique opportunity for gaining invaluable industry knowledge, building new contacts and liasoning and networking with thousands of attendees including government representatives, industry pioneers, large corporates, leading technical universities and research institutes, health practitioners, SMEs and a new generation of innovators shaping the future of healthy and sustainable products

The Wellness India 2017 expo was officially  inaugurated  by the Union Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare, Shri Faggan Singh Kulaste.

Stating at the inaugural function that many of the Government of India schemes to provide affordable and quality healthcare in the country have been successful, Shri Kulaste said , “We have increased our health budget to about 1.4% of GDP. We would like to increase it to 2.5% by 2025. In FY 2017-18, we allocated Rs 47,352 crore, which is 27% more than what we allocated in 2016-17.”

“We are committed to strengthen the healthcare system, and ensure availability of quality healthcare facilities in far flung areas. The government has opened six AIIMS, and we plan to open 12 more. Government hospitals will also provide the latest technological services.”

While speaking about mainstreaming the AYUSH system, he said, “I am very happy that wellness as a topic is being addressed officially in this coveted expo. In my opinion, health is of prime importance and one should take positive steps towards maintaining good health.”

Citing the example of Sikkim that became India’s first fully organic state, Dr Jitendra Singh, Minister of State for Development of North Eastern Region, said, “The booming Wellness industry will soon be the fastest growing job creator, and the government is willing to support all entrepreneurs, who invest in this industry in the North Eastern region.”

Padmashree Vaidya Rajesh Kotecha, Special Secretary, Ministry of Ayush, and Ayurveda expert said, “Wellness is not limited to elite people who go to spas. The concept of wellness is a more inclusive construct.” He further specified that the National Health Policy 2017 is inclusive of everything, and that makes it unique.

Ms Asiea Naqash, Minister of State for Housing and Urban Development, Health, Medical Education and Social Welfare, spoke about how people are dependent on high doses of antibiotics to treat diseases, while ignoring traditional medicine. “In Jammu and Kashmir, we have been creating awareness at the grassroots level about the advantages of Ayurvedic and Unani medicines, which was earlier a private enterprise, adding, “It’s great that the Government is now taking an interest in these ancient forms of healing.”

The comprehensive industry gathering focussing on thought leadership, idea sharing, and industry vision received further endorsement from Shri Jagat Prakash Nadda, Minister of Health and Family Welfare. “Prevention and awareness about non-communicable diseases, which are largely linked with present lifestyle habits, will go a long way in ensuring that people become awareof healthy lifestyle choices.”

Urging the masses to focus more on business and entrepreneurship, Shri Kalraj Mishra, Minister for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, said, “The MSME segment is playing key role in domestic manufacturing, and is leading the Make in India campaign,” while adding, “The expo’s focus on health, alternative medicines, natural lifestyles, yoga, biotech and organic is significant as it concerns all sections of society.”

The exposition takes forward the Indian Government’s mission to promote traditional medicine that includes incorporating all aspects of alternative, herbal and natural medicines into the national healthcare system. “Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s efforts to get June 21 declared as the International Yoga Day by the United Nations in 2014 shows that India can emerge as a global soft power in propagating wellness through Indian culture and exporting our heritage,” stressed Shri Prem Behl, Chairman, Exhibitions India Group.

Mr Cherian Thomas, National Director and CEO of World Vision India, a child-focused organisation that works across 191 districts in 25 states and impacting 26 lakh children, said, “ Malnutirtion is a complex issue and requires a multi-sect-oral  response and our agricultural related programmes  are working to address the underlying causes of malnutrition and one of which is food security. We have factored organic farming with an aim to provide sustained and safe food to our children.”

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