Shortage of nursing course students ails the National Institute of Naturopathy (NIN), an autonomous body under the Department of Ayurveda Yoga, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy (AYUSH). Against 82 seats, a mere 30 have been filled, pushing the director to now conduct walk-in interviews for candidates from across the country.
A personal note has been displayed at the main office by NIN director Dr Babu Joseph, regretting that patients had to wait in long queues. “We will shortlist candidates from across the country, and while the walk-in interview has been scheduled in Pune on June 14, other states have chalked out their own dates,” Joseph said.
Located at a historical place called ‘Bapu Bhavan’ on Tadiwala Road, the institute was named after Mahatma Gandhi for he stayed here for 156 days when he visited Pune in 1944. The institute, set up in 1986, promotes naturopathy as a system of medicine and a way of life, and has recently registered a daily attendance of 300 patients at its out-patient department in the new building.
Mud baths, massages, yoga classes, steam baths, sauna, personalised training by qualified naturopathy practitioners at the gym and specialised training for rehabilitation of paralytic patients are among the various facilities offered at the institute.
“Our OPD has been receiving a good response and there are 16 doctors. A majority of the patients are those who suffer from arthritis, diabetes, obesity, skin ailments and hypertension,” he added.
However, the nursing courses do not have many takers. The NIN conducts a two-year nursing diploma in naturopathy and yoga therapy, and the eligibility criteria is Class 10+2. Free accommodation and food is offered to students of these programmes. No course fee is charged from the students. The institute also offers a one-year certificate course in naturopathy and yoga. The Treatment Assistant Nursing Course even offers a stipend of Rs 3,000 per month.
“We have faced problems in the last two batches. However, as a precautionary measure, walk-in interviews will be conducted by naturopathy hospitals at other states on June 7. The interviews in Pune will be held on June 14,” Joseph added.