Vice President of India M. Hamid Ansari today said that Yoga is a science, not a dogma and it helps improve the levels of fitness and the overall health profile. He was addressing the audience after inaugurating a two-day International Conference on ‘Yoga for Body and Beyond’ in New Delhi today.
The Vice President said that there is a stark relationship between poverty and ill health. The importance of good health, and of sanitation, was well understood by the leaders of our Freedom Movement, he added.
Minister of State for AYUSH and Health & Family Welfarre Shripad Yesso Naik, Yoga Guru Swami Ramdev, Dr. Pranav Pandya, Swami Amrita Suryananda, Swami Chidanand Muni and Prof. H.R. Nagendra were also present on the occasion.
The Vice President said that poverty creates ill health because it forces people to live in environments that make them sick, without decent shelter, clean water or adequate sanitation. For this reason, the world community’s Sustainable Development Goals for the period 2016 -2030 enumerate poverty, hunger and good health as the first three targets to be achieved.
The Vice President said that all systems of faith or belief have within them the practice of meditation. The convergence or parallelisms are striking even if rituals or modalities of enunciation may vary, he added.
It has been estimated that the cost of Non-Communicable Diseases for India is about 5-10 per cent of GDP. Similarly, the production function approach estimates that India stands to incur a cost of 4-10 per cent in annual economic output due to such diseases.
Ansari said that over all, India stands to lose $4.58 trillion by 2030 due to Non Communicable Diseases and mental health conditions. Cardiovascular diseases, accounting for $2.17 trillion, and mental health conditions at $1.03 trillion, will lead the way in economic loss.
A report prepared by the World Economic Forum and the Harvard School of Public Heath in 2014 had concluded that cardiovascular diseases, cancer, chronic respiratory diseases, diabetes and mental illness account for more than 63 percent of deaths worldwide.
He said that given the inability or unwillingness to augment public health funding in developing countries including India, the quest for complementary health approaches assumes urgency. Amongst these is Yoga, which has acquired a following worldwide, he added. He further said that these complementary approaches do not prevent or cure but certainly assist the process of retarding the degeneration of those functions of the human body that allow the diseases to make inroads.