Celebration of Unani Medicine Day at UK Parliament

Organised by the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Indian Traditional Sciences, UK on 11th February 2019

Main Presentation by Hakim M Salim Khan

Parliamentary Unani Day Celebration, and tabling of an Early Day Motion for the Integration of Traditional Medicinal Systems into Mainstream Healthcare

The event, Chaired by Bob Blackman and Virendra Sharma (Both MP’s and Co-Chairs of All Party Parliamentary Group – Indian Traditional Sciences) was well attended and included MP’s, Doctors, Researchers, Profession heads and interested parties.  David Tredinnick MP of Bosworth Constituency in Leicestershire opened the event.

Unani Medicine Day, held at Portcullis House, Palace of Westminster, London on Monday 11th February 2019 was intended to celebrate the ancient practice of healing and medicine and to synchronise the efforts of recognition that are taking place in various parts of the world, especially India.

The event began with keynote speaker, Mohammed Salim Khan, Principal of the ‘College of Medicine & Healing Arts’, who expressed his gratitude to the Ministry of AYUSH of the Government of India, and Mr, Amarjeet S. Bhamra, in bringing about this occasion and creating an opportunity for Unani Medicine to find exposure among the British populace.

He explained that in 2018 he was at a celebration in New Delhi, where the Government of India were celebrating the launch of a special book to celebrate the birth of Hakim Ajmal Khan, his fight for freedom and his life as an educator.

Salim Khan recounted a brief history of his own journey to, and experiences within, the Unani realm. He touched upon the life and contributions of Hakim Ajmal Khan, including his family who arrived in India as physicians in 1526, where they opened a hospital that is still functioning today. That hospital led to the 1908 launch of a school which was opened by Lady Dean, and became a leading school for Unani Medicine that was a ground-breaking venture as it trained women in this field. Later that same year, Hakim Ajmal Khan created an Ayurveda and Unani Society, and in 1910 he helped to organise the All India Ayurveda and Unani Conference. In 1916, Lord Harding laid the foundation stone of the College, which was opened in 1921 by Mahatma Gandhi. This heritage of Ayush, and in particular Unani Medicine, has a considerable pedigree in internationalising Unani Medicine.

Salim Khan emphasised the importance of incorporating Unani Medicine in modern society and lifestyle. So far, he explained, the research shows that 70 – 80% of modern disease is preventable via lifestyle.

Other speakers who added equal splendour and impact to the event included the following:

  1. Professor Monique Simmonds, Director of Medicinal Plants at Kew Gardens.
  2. Deputy High Commissioner of India to the UK, Hon. Charanjeet Singh.
  3. His Excellency, the Ambassador of Senegal to the UK Hon Prof. Cheikh Dieng.
  4. His Excellency, the High Commissioner of Mauritius to the UK Hon. Mr. G. Nunkoo.
  5. Richard Johnson, director of Maharishi Foundation UK (who read the Early Day Motion (EDM) 2052 on Unani Medicine Day tabled by Virendra Sharma MP).
  6. Mr. Thomas Pfeiffer from the Czech Republic.
  7. A special message received from Hon. Shripad Yesso Naik, Union Minister of State in the Ministry of Ayurveda, Yoga & Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy (AYUSH), Government of India, supporting the initiative of the APPG Indian Traditional Sciences was read out.
  8. Organiser Amarjeet S. Bhamra.