Hyderabad: Nizamia Tibbi students protest govt’s Ayurveda push, sidelining alt medicine

Hyderabad: For the last one week, students of government Nizamia Tibbi College in Charminar have been protesting against a recent government notification, that students and medical practitioners allege will be the end of different traditions of alternative medicine: Unani, Homeopathy and Naturopathy.

The government order stated that candidates who studied Unani, Homoeopathy and Yoga are not eligible to apply for the positions of Mid-Level Health Professionals (MLHP). It also stated that existing MLHPs with the same qualifications should be terminated from duty after their term ends.

Students allege that this move is being done to promote Ayurveda while simultaneously pulling down other alternative disciplines. Medical practitioners and students alleged that this is going to be the end of careers for many practitioners of the traditional disciplines and render them unemployable.

A final year Unani student of Government Nizamia Tibbi College, Hajra Fatima, told Siasat.com, “We have come here fairly through competitive exams. We wrote NEET to come here but now we are being sidelined.”

Dr Zubair Alam, a house surgeon, remarked, “We are protesting against the scheme of the National Health Ministry (NHM). He added that until now ‘AYUSH’ and ‘Allopathy’ were given the same importance and students were recruited equally but this year those who study Unani, Homeopathy and Naturopathy, etc. are being termed ‘not eligible’ in AYUSH, and those who are on jobs related to these fields are being terminated.

“Cancelling other forms of alternative medicine and only retaining Ayurveda under ‘AYUSH’ is nothing but discrimination,” Dr Zubair remarked.

Dr Susherita from homoeopathy, who has been terminated from her job alongside other colleagues, told Siasat.com, “The government took all the services from us in the last one and half years and they are now saying that they don’t need our services. This is not fair.”

She was appointed as a CHO under PHC Srirangavaram in Medchal, Malkajgiri district, as per a notification given in 2021.

On Wednesday, students of GNTC gave a letter to Hyderabad member of parliament Asaduddin Owaisi which he later submitted to the union government.

On Friday, the Telangana commissioner of AYUSH, Dr Prashanti, visited the campus of GNTC and explained to the students that the matter is not in the hands of the state government.