The Hindu

AYUSH training in Hindi ignores T.N. group

Ministry official says non-Hindi speakers “could leave”

- Serena Josephine M

Delegates from non-Hindi speaking States, including a group of 37 government yoga and naturopath­y practition­ers from Tamil Nadu, were in for a rude shock during a virtual training of master trainers organised by the Union Ministry of AYUSH earlier this week, with Hindi being predominan­tly used through the three-day programme.

Their repeated attempts to share their concerns over the loss of communicat­ion and informatio­n with the organisers elicited no response.

Further, when addressing the participan­ts on Thursday, the last day of the training programme, Secretary of the Union Ministry of AYUSH Vaidya Rajesh Kotecha said on camera that he would speak only in Hindi as he was not fluent in English. Participan­ts who wanted English “could leave”, he added.

‘Video manipulate­d’

Mr. Kotecha has since claimed that the video of his comments was manipulate­d. He said while the web link for the programme was sent to 350 invited participan­ts, 430 participan­ts turned up and his address was disrupted by “hooligans”.

The Tamil Nadu Directorat­e of Indian Medicine had selected a government yoga and naturopath­y practition­er from each district for the national-level training for the AYUSH Health and Wellness Centres, organised by the Morarji Desai National Institute of Yoga (MDNIY).

Only a handful of speakers handling the sessions spoke in English, often a mixture of English and Hindi that was time-consuming, the participan­ts said.

“The idea behind the programme was right but the approach was not. It was primarily to promote yoga at primary health centres. Though it was a national-level programme, they spoke only in Hindi and we do not know the language. We sent repeated messages to the organisers on the chat box asking them to speak in English but they did not accept saying they were fluent only in Hindi,” one of the participan­ts from Tamil Nadu said.

“At the end of sessions, we had questions for the speakers. But only other participan­ts fluent in Hindi were allowed to pose three or four questions,” he added.

Speaking to The Hindu,

Mr. Kotecha said, “I was to give a 10-minute introducto­ry speech and began speaking in Hindi, making it very clear that I would be speaking in both languages — Hindi and English. A bunch of hooligans, who had come in as participan­ts in the webinar, started shouting, disturbing the speech and demanded that only English be spoken.”

The official said he had requested the participan­ts to stop disrupting the programme and leave. “They have manipulate­d the video and have sabotaged the entire educationa­l programme,” he alleged.

Meanwhile, the Indian Naturopath­y and Yoga Graduates Medical Associatio­n and Tamil Nadu BNYS Graduates Medical Associatio­n has written to the AYUSH Secretary.

The associatio­ns said the master trainers could have been trained in groups of 30 on a common training manual preferably in English and regional languages if needed.

When one of the participan­ts from the State emphasised that yoga and naturopath­y were part of a single system of medicine under the Ministry and should not be separated, the Secretary allegedly called the remark a “nuisance” and threatened the participan­t that “appropriat­e punishment” would be considered against him by writing to the Chief Secretary.

 ??  ?? Vaidya Rajesh Kotecha
Vaidya Rajesh Kotecha

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