The Ayurvedic and Unani Tibbia College in Delhi, set up in 1921, seems to be on the path of revival after being a picture of neglect for several years. The college and hospital located in Karol Bagh has been producing Ayurvedic and Unani doctors since 1921. The recent revival in the fortunes of the college has also revived hopes for traditional Ayurvedic and Unani medicine “systems”, which have been steadily losing importance due to the advance of “modern medicine”. Unani and Ayurvedic medicines are made from plants, animals and natural metal extracts.
A doctor in the hospital who did not wish to be named said, “This college has a long history. During the partition, the college was ransacked. It was not revived and kept on getting neglected. The science of Ayurveda and Unani also started to lose importance with the advance of modern medicine, but in the past 10-15 years, this college and hospital has seen revival, with new infrastructure, medicines and promotion of research works.”
Prof Banshiram, Associate Professor in the college’s Department of Ayurveda, said that since the setting up of the Ministry of AYUSH by the Union government, this college and hospital has started to gain importance once again, with no dearth of funds.
“It has started attracting new and brighter students towards these fields of medicine,” Prof Banshiram said, adding that the prospects of medical students are always bright as they can choose from a range of career options available to them.
The Ayurvedic and Unani Tibbia College, affiliated to the University of Delhi and managed and partly funded by the Delhi Government, has about 40 seats each in both Unani and Ayurveda and provides its students with degrees in BAMS (Bachelors of Ayurvedic Medicine and Surgery) and BUMS (Bachelors of Unani Medicine and Surgery). Along with bachelors’ degrees, the college also has post graduate courses in several specialisations. The college also has separate hostels for boys and girls catering to the need of outstation students.
Prof Mohammad Idris, Dean, faculty of Ayurvedic and Unani Medicine, Delhi University said: “For our admissions, the Ministry of AYUSH approves after an inspection of the college. The permission normally comes by September each year and classes start from November. This year, we have applied for an increase of 20 seats in both Unani and Ayurveda.”
Asked about the future prospects of doctors in Ayurveda and Unani, Prof Idris said, “We have placed many students in private hospitals. Many get absorbed in this hospital and some even go for research and teaching jobs. In 30 years in this profession in this college, I have never had a student coming up to me saying I have remained unemployed.”
S. Kirti, a student doing her internship from the Department of Ayurveda, told this newspaper, “I always wanted to become a doctor and had an inclination towards Ayurvedic system of medicine because it is pure and natural and this drove me to this college. The course structure here is also well designed to make you a professional doctor.” Along with the college, the campus has a 240-bed hospital dedicated for Unani and Ayurvedic treatments. It also has 14 OPDs (Out Patient Department) in different departments with a daily footfall of about 1,000-1,500 patients in its OPDs. Dr Aysha Raza, Medical Superintendent of the college and hospital, told The Sunday Guardian, “Measures are being taken to see that the hospital is well maintained. We take due care to see that patients do not suffer when they come to us.”
Prof Mohammad Idris said, “While allopathy uses synthetic materials and treats symptoms, we use pure and natural elements and treat the root cause which causes imbalances of the body’s fluids and temperament. To be honest, we are only capable of treating lifestyle diseases like diabetes, hypertension, piles, joint pains, and skin-related problems. For patients, the beauty of these treatments is that they do not recur.”