By Zehera Sultana
BANGALORE: Sept 28, 2011. The lot of students aspiring to take up Unani medicine as their career and seeking admission in government Unani college Bangalore for the year 2011-2012 are wondering about their future as the recognition of the only government Unani College in Karnataka was cancelled by the Central Council of India Medicine (CCIM).
A team of the Council, functioning under the Department of AYUSH in the Union Ministry of Health, had inspected the college early this year and recommended de-recognition on the grounds that the college did not meet the minimum standards in terms of resources. Inadequate number of teaching staff and occupancy of beds by the patients were cited as the reason by the department. When contacted, Dr Iqbal Memon, principal of government Unani College said, “It is unfortunate that this has happened. I cannot comment much on this but I assure you that cancellation is temporary and steps have already been taken to get the recognition back. The positive developments in this regard are expected soon.”
An official of the department on condition of anonymity said, “This college is functioning since 1975, this had never happened before in past 35 years. The students and parents are worried and are regularly visiting us in search of answers and assurance of hope for their future. Many students who cannot afford exorbitant fees in private colleges depend on government colleges like ours. The authorities should reconsider their decision and re-check our records which satisfactorily fulfill all the obligations.”
Unani being one of the oldest systems of medicine is trusted by a large number of people for their treatments. Despite all modern developments and medical facilities today, people in developed countries prefer alternative medicine as this is safer and have no side effects. Survey says that Unani medicine as career is one of the safest and the noblest choice that one can make. A Unani medical graduate never goes unemployed. Considering the demand for the Unani doctors across the country and the world there is a large number of vacancies that need to be filled in the government and private hospitals. After pursuing course in the field of Unani medicine, one can practice as Unani Hakim, doctor, or pharmacist. One can also join any central Government or state Government dispensaries, Unani hospitals, health centers, private nursing homes, research centers or opt for teaching profession at any Unani institute.
Mrs. Rafia Begum supports these facts and further adds “Looking at the future prospects of Unani medicine, the government should reconsider their decision and should do justice by immediately recognizing this college. A lot of work has been done in the field of Unani. Where the western medicines have been proved ineffective in controlling chronic diseases, Unani has answer to it. There is a lot of awareness about Ayurvedic medicine but very few have knowledge about the Unani medicine. We are working to create awareness but the government should also support in making this a viable career option for younger generation. ”
According to sources, as on 16.09.2011, totally 159 Ayurvedic and Unani colleges all over India have been de-recognized by CCIM for the year 2011-12. Along with the Government Unani Medical College, Bangalore and Taranath Government Ayurvedic Medical college recognition of 34 of private Ayurvedic and Unani medical colleges have been cancelled in Karnataka alone.
Most of the students who are seeking admission in these government colleges belong to the minority communities who cannot afford the exorbitant fees of the private colleges. Both the colleges have submitted a plea in the interest of poor and meritorious students and are expecting a positive reply from the central committee of AYUSH.
In an appeal to the Central and State governments, Unani practitioners and organisations have urged for the grant of speedy recognition.
Dr Fakhruddin Quazi says “I am particularly worried about the students, their future is on stake. This is a very serious issue and no one seems to understand its sensitiveness and its loss to the students. In spite of having qualified staff in required number along with all the facilities, this kind of decision is inappropriate. Elections are held every now and then, everyone seems to make fake promises. People in power need to look into the matter too. This matter isn’t there in media at all. No one seems to have any idea that 50 students of our college are going through this agony. This matter should have been looked into long time back but now it is affecting 50 students’ life. Now they can neither jump for a different course nor can pursue B. Sc.”
“Karnataka Muslims” being a responsible publication recognized the seriousness of the issue that would lead to loss of one entire academic year of the 50 students and brought forth the matter. In response to which Member of Parliament from Bidar and ex-Chief Minister, Dharam Singh has wrote to Hon’ble Union minister of Health and Family Welfare requesting cancellation of de-recognition.
Being the only Government Unani medical College in Karnataka, It was responsibility of the government of Karnataka to maintain the standards of CCIM and provide the hospital and the college with adequate requirements. When de-recognition is ordered on government college questions arise on the credibility of the government. This is when public starts losing confidence in the government institutions, we see the government itself creating a room for the private institutions to exploit the noble professions of education and health and thereby playing with the hopes and careers of the youngsters.
The need of the hour is the support of the government to revoke the cancellation of affiliation. Besides winning the confidence of the public in government, this will also restore the dying hopes and boast the moral of the students.