The Growing Riches Of A Traditional Wealth

Good health weighs more than pieces of gold and silver. Ayurveda is making many people look at health as real wealth. For Patanjali’s Acharya Balkrishna, a healthy way of life is a treasure meant to be shared with people who look for alternatives from a wide range of plants, herbs, and products sourced from the produce of Indian farmers. It also makes him rich. Very rich. Acharya Balkrishna, Chief Executive Officer of Patanjali, the man in white accompanying Baba Ramdev at yoga shivirs and on their Ayurveda  mission  “to turn effort and thought to nurture and develop the science present in our tradition, and spread it to the benefit of the masses”, has become one of India’s 100 richest people, making it to the annual Forbes list. Balkrishna, ranked 48th in the list, has gone places with his humble appearance on television and yoga camps, telling people about the medicinal benefits of herbs and plants, their use, remedies and benefits.

Patanjali, their Haridwar-based firm, he says, is “not here to threaten anyone” and is looking at the betterment of people involved. His message, it seems, had reached his wide audience long before his presence in the coveted list generated interest and curiosity. He explains, “We saw that farmers who grew many traditional fruits like Amla (Indian gooseberry) and aloe vera do not have a market or get a fair price. The effort to get them the price and market, and help the masses get help from nature to cure their pain was the genesis of Patanjali.” Balkrishna points out that the effort is to make farmers get a good price for their produce and consumers the products at lower cost. He adds, “Importantly, we should believe in what our farmers produce — this was and remains the philosophy of Patanjali.”

While Balkrishna, the reclusive man with his locally-grown riches is now looking at making an impact in the international market and tapping more farmers and youth, Ayurveda, our tradional wealth,  is making a foray into the festive season. The warmth of oil lamps on the occasion of Dhanteras – an occasion associated with wealth, the buying of gold and investments during the Diwali celebrations, would now be spreading to awareness on Ayurveda, diseases, and their prevention. India will observe the first National Ayurveda Day on October 28. The Ministry of Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy (AYUSH),  has announced its decision to mark Dhanvantari Jayanti, popularly known as Dhanteras, as National Ayurveda Day every year. The theme, this year is ‘Ayurveda for Prevention and Control of Diabetes’.


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