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‘Need to change lifestyle, limit our needs to bring us closer to nature,’ says K Satyalakshmi

The aim is to prevent diseases by altering diet and lifestyle. One of the objectives of NIN is to raise to the level of a university — a dream of Mahatma Gandhi.

There are several days to celebrate various streams of medicine and at AYUSH it was decided to observe November 18 as the Naturopathy Day, said Satyalakshmi.

A Gandhian solution is required to address the issue of global warming and climate change, says DR K SATYALAKSHMI, Director, National Institute of Naturopathy (NIN), in an interview with The Indian Express on the occasion of Mahatma Gandhi’s death anniversary.

With increasing focus on dietary habits, what is the role that naturopathy can play?

The present-day society is embroiled in a dilemma as to what to eat, how much to eat and when to eat. Every individual should take responsibility of one’s actions as it may result in global warming and climate change. There is a need to change our lifestyle and limit our needs to bring us closer to nature. The guiding principles that should be kept in mind while choosing appropriate food for a given society are: to eat locally grown foods that the soil would support on a sustainable basis, chemical-free, energy-efficient foods and foods that are grown out of environmentally sustainable agricultural practices. Eat only when hungry.

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Climate change can affect the ability to grow food. Do you think there is a need to adopt Gandhi’s vision for sustainable development?

Nature can provide every need but not greed. According to Gandhi, whatever is being consumed today is in a way being borrowed from the future generation. We have inherited nature from forefathers and need to pass it on properly to the next generation. It is the society’s and governments’ responsibility to see that the health of the people is not compromised in the name of growth and development. NIN celebrated the first Naturopathy Day on November 18 last year.

What was the aim?

The aim is to prevent diseases by altering diet and lifestyle. There are several days to celebrate various streams of medicine and at AYUSH it was decided to observe November 18 as the Naturopathy Day.

How many patients avail of naturopathy treatment?

The average number of patients treated at NIN is around 700 to 800 per day. Predominantly people suffering from several diseases, including diabetes, hypertension, obesity, joint complaints, allergies and asthma, are seeking naturopathy and yoga therapies at NIN.

What are the future plans of NIN?

One of the objectives of NIN is to raise to the level of a university — a dream of Mahatma Gandhi. For the ongoing Nisargram project, 25 acres of land has already been taken under NIN’s possession. The estimated project cost is around Rs 200 crore. The project includes a hospital with a capacity of 250 indoor patients and 500 outdoor patients. Also, a college with necessary infrastructure for UG and PG courses, Gandhian studies and hostels is on the radar.

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