In a move to empower Indian citizens against Ayurveda-based health misinformation, THIP Media and Amrita Centre for Advanced Research in Ayurveda today announced their collaboration to check fake claims, myths, misinformation, and dis-information around Ayurveda.
THIP Media, the media arm of The Healthy Indian Project, is a health information and Fact check platform and is a signatory of International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN).
Amrita Centre for Advanced Research in Ayurveda (ĀCĀRA) is a part of Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham; a NAAC accredited A++ grade, multi-campus, multi-disciplinary teaching and research institution in India. It is ranked 4th by NIRF and has been accorded the Institution of Eminence status by UGC. THE Impact Rankings – the only global indicator to assess universities’ progress towards the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), has ranked Amrita, 1st in India and 41st in the world. ĀCĀRA works towards providing scientific backing for traditional medical practices and paving the way for developing an evidence-based integrative approach to health care.
Speaking on the partnership, Sudipta Sengupta, Founder and CEO of The Healthy Indian Project, says, “India’s pluralistic medical systems, less penetration of doctors, and regional language barriers create a perfect breeding ground of misinformation and disinformation about health, which often thrives on social media and WhatsApp forwards. Ayurvedic medicine remains one of India’s traditional health care systems and enjoys massive popularity. But, it is necessary to call out common myths and home remedies being claimed as scientifically proven Ayurveda facts. We are proud to be able to collaborate with ĀCĀRA for this initiative. With this alliance, we take a step forward to get support from ĀCĀRA’s knowledgeable and respected Ayurveda medical practitioners and researchers to build THIP Media as a verified health information and fact check platform.”
Commenting on the collaboration, Dr. P. Rammanohar from Amrita Centre for Advanced Research in Ayurveda says, “Ayurveda has been highly misunderstood concerning its medicines and treatment procedures. Unregulated advertisements, false claims, and prevailing myths on social media tarnish the reputation of this ancient health care system, whereas its positive contributions and potential are being undermined. The Indian Government has shown keen interest in mainstream Ayurveda in recent days. Favourable research policies have been formulated, allocated funds, and done studies even during the COVID-19 pandemic. At ĀCĀRA, we have been focusing on research to understand how Ayurveda can be deployed to better human health. Working with THIP Media, we wish to bring to light the ‘proven facts’ of Ayurveda.”
Under the collaboration, THIP Media’s chatbot RAKSHA will also be answering questions and clearing doubts about Ayurveda. RAKSHA, an acronym for Readily Accessible Knowledge and Support for Health Action (RAKSHA) is a chatbot by The Healthy Indian Project. Neelam Singh, Editor, THIP Media says, “Right knowledge is the first step of staying healthy. Any Indian citizen can Ask Raksha about any Ayurveda based questions they want answers to or share any health or Ayurveda-related message they want to get Fact Checked. All they have to do is send a message on whatsapp to +91-85078-85079. If RAKSHA knows the answer, she will reply back immediately. If RAKSHA doesn’t know the answer then she will refer the question to the internal editorial team who will then work with members of ĀCĀRA to get an answer as fast as possible. Through our partnership with ĀCĀRA we aim to make scientifically validated, evidence based knowledge about Ayurveda reach to all Indians and save them from misinformation.”
THIP Media currently publishes in 6 different languages: English, Hindi, Bangla, Punjabi, Nepali, and Gujarati. Singh confirmed that all Fact Checks done in association with ĀCĀRA would be made available in all the six languages.