Thursday, April 16, 2009

KUTCH: India’s Naturopathy Hub

Who could believe that a desert like area would ever become a hub of naturopathy centres. People normally relate nature to greenery and think that for building a Naturopathy centre, a high rainfall area with lot of natural flora would be ideal. This notion is misplaced as Nature comprises of 5 elements water, soil, fire, air, space and greenery is just one of the topographical presentations of nature.

Kutch has emerged as the hub of Naturopathy in India. Dry climate of the area lends itself well to faster healing and a conducive environment propagates Naturopathy.
It has the highest concentration of naturopathy centres in the country, 5 prominent ones at last count.

Credit for this should go to two dedicated doctors who gave up their lucrative practices to establish and promote naturopathy in Kutch. Dr Savla (now involved full time with Vipassana center at Bada, Kutch) was the first qualified paediatrician of Kutch. He practiced in Bhuj and charged handsome fee for his very effective but simple treatments. Legend has it that more than 3 decades back, he charged someone Rs 100 for curing their son by simply feeding water. To avoid any misinterpretation, I must say, even then it was less than the money spent by the couple for taxi to Bhuj and back. He believed in Nature’s power and its simplicity.

Soon he started a Nature cure centre in Bhuj, with an aim to apply his rigorous medical training and understanding of Nature’s means to treat people using simple Natural therapies. He would treat people for all kind of diseases and disorders using mud, water, fire (heat), air, and space. He also used yoga, massage and some elements of Ayurveda.

Then one day, he had an unusual patient, a doctor. The doctor was a qualified Ayurveda physician and going with the trend, used to practice allopathic medicine in a remote village of kutch. Due to lack of medical infrastructure in the area, he had a roaring practice. Unfortunately he cut his tongue and no treatment would work. Someone suggested Dr Savla’s clinic and he was cured mainly using ice and water.

The doctor became a convert, closed down his practice and joined Dr Savla as his assistant. His name is Dr Jay Sanghvi, one of the most prominent and renowned Naturopaths in the country. Their Nature Cure Centre in Jubilee colony, Bhuj attracted poor and rich alike. They always found ways and means to treat people with chronic diseases, many a times called irreversible conditions in modern medicine. Kidney disorders, heart problems, arthritis, fibromyalgia, ulcerative colitis and several other medical conditions were treated in this centre using Natural remedies and warmth of the doctors. Though the centre no longer runs in its previous form, people treated fondly remember the time spent there. Isn’t it unusual for a hospital!

Soon the place became hub of activity for all naturopathy related activities in the area. As they say, ‘log judte gaye aur karva banta gaya’, (people kept coming together and caravan was formed).

They along with Late Sri Sugnaram ‘Dada’ Ladkani started ‘All India Natural Life Association’ to spread the goodness of Naturopathy beyond Kutch and Gujarat. They started ‘Tulsi School of Naturopathy’ to train youth in skills of treatment through Naturopathy. They collaborated with Dr Nipun Buch to incorporate more elements of Ayurveda in their suites of treatment.

More importantly they motivated huge number of people to adopt Natural remedies and lifestyle through camps in several cities as well as in foreign countries, radio talks, talks and lectures to youngsters in colleges, rotary club members, Mahila Mandals etc. They motivated several philanthropists to set up Nature Cure Centres and guided them through their immense knowledge and experience. They really used 360° communication to propagate Naturopathy in Kutch and beyond.

Today there are 5 prominent Nature Cure Centres in Kutch. Navjivan near Mandvi, one each in Bidada and Mundra, Sarvamangal in Bhuj and youngest among them, Ananddham in Kharoi near Bhachau.

Ananddham is yet another unique experiment of Dr Sanghvi. He collaborated with Sanjay Singh, an IIM Ahmedabad graduate to float Swas Healthcare, which runs this centre to serve poor as well as financially well to do on a commercially sustainable basis. The logic, commercial viability is important to expand quickly and take its benefits to large number of people. Recently Swas has opened a City Clinic in Rajkot to improve accessibility of its services. Jury is still out on whether Naturopathy would remain a philanthropic activity or society would be willing to pay directly for its benefits, but if this model succeeds, Kutch would be remembered as its birth place.


    sanjay ji
    I am a classical homeopath and a vipassana meditator and have a deep respect and gratitude for dr savlaji. I have told jaybhai about my idea of starting an international quality naturopathy teaching set-up at ananddham. the model that I have in mind can be set up with ZERO investment and will put ananddham on the international map INSTANTLY + spread of dhamma + spread of genuine naturopathy + LEGALLY certified naturopathic doctors of INTERNATIONAL standards. I would like to selflessly serve the cause of naturopathy and dhamma and genuine classical homeopathy (and share my research findings with all) as it would help many people. I may be happy to share my ideas (in detail) with you any day. I am still waiting for jaybhai's reply - so, writing to you and the www here. hope it attracts the right kind of people and dhamma works! you may please speak to dr savlaji and jay bhai and work this out. I may be happy to serve the co-ordination process. you may be knowing there are various legal problems with naturopathy certification in india and well as USA and other countries. so we need LEGALLY certified naturopaths.
    2. as you may be knowing there is a great need of standardised education in naturopathy of international standards. postal / short courses are not OK.
    3. as you will agree - 'natural' pills and using machines in not pure naturopathy. similarly - with due respect to ayurveda - although I strongly believe (unlike some naturopaths) that the ayurveda knowledge of doshas/prakriti must be applied to naturopathy - using acupunture or ayurveda is not pure naturopathy. we need pure naturopathy.
    4. how many people know the dynamics of HOW vipassana works and heals diseases? (how and not documentation of healings). do patients or doctors know how and why vipassana will interact with different healing systems (naturopathy, homeopathy, allopathy, ayurveda etc.). I have personally researched this for many years.
    5. all that need sto be done to meet above objectives and also spread of pure dhamma and also establish ananddham financially is...contd...

  2. PART 2

    = form a society called "ineternational school of holistic medicine" [ISHM] at anand dham.
    = use the vipassana english newsletter to send a message to vipassana meditator naturopaths [with guruji's and savlaji's permission]that ACCREDITED naturopathic colleges world wide that wish to incorporate vipassana in their teaching syllabus and other naturopaths / conservationists / organic farmers / nutritionists / classical homeopaths who may wish to serve this cause of incorporation of dhamma into holistic healing and formulation of a clear healing program may email and contact...........
    [ dr savlaji / jay bhai / vijay bhai shah of nutech farm may already be knowing people worldwide who may be interested]
    [I am wiling to serve this cost and share my entire research findings]
    = now the entire international quality teaching and licensing needs have already been met by the mother teaching institutes in the parent country.
    ISHM at ananddham may have a long list of international affiliation. these colleges will teach (FOUR YEAR COURSES. no shorties) and license the naturopaths. they will promise to encourage at least 2 vipassana courses in their country during the 4 year study.
    = AFTER (or even during) the 4 year study - the students from all over the world may converge for a 2 month or 3 month program at anand dham to learn more dhamma at dhammasindhu (one 10 day at least) + learn tradtional naturopathy from dr jay bhai and dr joshi.
    = ISHM issues one more certificate to the successful students as 'doctor of naturopathy' or 'doctor of holistic medicine'
    = ISHM may also issue ND certificates to those from india who have done 4 year courses and also certify allopaths and homeopaths and ayurvaids(case-to-case basis)on basis of long experience in DHAMMA and/or naturopathy who finish the 2 or 3 month course at anand dham
    = lectures by conservationists / organic farmers / nutritionists / classical homeopaths etc. during the the 3 month period will further enrich the learning experience and broaden the perspective + initiate a DIALOGUE process.
    = standardize the 3 month teaching program + have an annual GATHERING at ananddham for a week or so with great food, great lectures and great dhamma (at dhamma sindhu and with respected dr savlaji)
    = try to rope in people like dr kavita mukhi [nutritionst], vandana shiva[Navdanya], dr prafull vijayakar [classical homeopath. bombay]. vijay bhai shah [nu tech farm. kutch] etc. that would be great.
    btw - do you know this?
    = how does that sound? dream possible?
    = and yes - please make anand dham GREEN. the pictures seem to look very barren.
    dr manish agarwala

  3. PART 3
    I have already written all that needs to be said. you may speak to respected savlaji and pujya guruji and MUST TRY (upaya kosalla) to find a way to work this out. may pure dhamma spread! may NO ONE suffer bad health and thus have problems in meditation. may doctors and patients CLEARLY learn HOW and WHY and WHEN to use WHICH medicine system with vipassana meditation. no whims. no guesses. no biases. I would like to share my findings about HERING LAWS AND HOMEOPATHY AND VIPASSANA with one and all. may dhamma, organic farming, eco-conservation, naturopathy, genuine classical homeopathy come together under the umbrella of dhamma. may ananddham and dhammasindhu be the international mecca of all such sensitive people worldwide. may the annual gathering dialogues help in the global learning process. in case you need to get in touch with me - shri jay bhai has my email id and mobile no. shri vijay bhai shah also has may contacts (you or anyone else may email dhammasindhu and contact me).
    some useful weblinks for your study [please look at this before we talk. please discuss in detail with dr jay bhai and vijay bhai and others]:

    dr manish agarwala

  4. Dear Sanjayji,

    Does Swas Healthcare offer Anapana and Vipassana as well? Will appreciate an early response at My wife has a chronic kidney ailment.