Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Friends of Siddha Fifth National Conference

The fifth national conference on ‘Siddha Medicine for all Ages’ was held at the sprawling campuses of Loyola College, Chennai on December 8 and 9.

I was able to participate on the second day. I was fortunate enough to get a glimpse of some of the stalwarts in the Siddha medicine field, people who contributed selflessly to spread the awareness of the age old Siddha system. The conference was organised by Dr. Joseph Thas of ‘Friends of Siddha Medicine’. An allopathic doctor himself, Dr. Thas also practices the Siddha system and is a Siddha practitioner enlisted by the Government of Tamil Nadu. He has published several research papers and participated in many national and international conferences on Indian Medicine. He is also the member of Siddha Pharmacopoeia Committee, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Government of India, New Delhi.

The conference was inaugurated by Christodoss Gandhi, I.A.S in the august presence of Siddha Maruthuva Kaavalar K. Lakshmikanthan Bharathi I.A.S. Many eminent allopathy doctors chaired various sessions in which more than 100 papers were presented. One paper was about efforts towards digitising the whole Siddha literature and making it available in the net. A very commendable effort.

The souvenir released on the occasion of the conference carried various interesting articles about the development in the Siddha system. One article that impressed me very much was by Dr. Joseph Thas “Siddha Approach to Mental Health” which elaborated on the scientific approach of the Siddha sages centuries ago in treating mental diseases.

The papers presented at the sessions of conference bore testimony to the efforts going on in the Siddha community to bring the system to a firm scientific footing, with many clinical trials being conducted extensively to test the efficacy of various Siddha remedies. Scientific study of the various herbs also abound.

There is no doubt that selfless efforts of many a personality like Dr. Joseph Thas have borne fruit and the humanity at large are reaping the benefits of their toil. May their tribe increase!

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