61 percent of the deaths in India in the age group of 30 to 70 are due to non-communicable diseases such as heart disorders, diabetes, and cancer, according to a WHO report published in September 2017.
Most of these are preventable deaths since they are associated with lifestyle choices made by individuals from early on in their lives. The stresses of the modern lives start pestering the lives of young Indians at every stage of life from getting education, to getting a job, buying a house or travelling through traffic.
Most of the young lives in India are spent in cutting through the rush and competition. In this rush, health and wellbeing of the individual often get neglected, leading to sickness and loss of productivity of the individual which in turn leads to loss of productivity of the economy.
“In a country where half of the population is below 25 years of age, focus on improving the lifestyle choices of the youth can go a long way in reducing the overall burden of non-communicable disease. Wellness industry can thus play a crucial role in bringing about this change by providing options to lead a healthy lifestyle,” said Dr Pradeep Jain (Director) The Department of Laparoscopic GI, GI Oncology Surgery, Fortis Hospital.
A neighbourhood gym or yoga class or sports club provides the much needed physical and mental stimulation to the body in an otherwise sedentary lifestyle. However, one type of activity may not provide complete wellness solution.
For example, yoga is great for increasing muscle flexibility, toning and mindfulness but weak as a cardio exercise, where sports and gyms have an upper hand. Integrating gym based cardio-exercise and yoga will thereby be an ideal option to maintain well-being of the individuals.
Yoga, which has evolved as a professional service over last two decades, has been now exempted from service tax. India also managed to get the United Nations declare June 21 as International Yoga Day in 2015.
The current market for AYUSH products is estimated to be Rs 500 crore, while exports amount to Rs 200 crore, according to Union Minister Suresh Prabhu. The Commerce and Industry Minister also said that the sector will be providing jobs to 1 million people directly and 25 million people indirectly by 2020. This is a huge contribution in terms of employment provision.
The benefits derived from the expansion of yoga and Ayurveda are multi-faceted; it is not only creating a healthy population but also growing an industry that provides for this population. And these benefits arising out of yoga and Ayurveda will ensure their sustained growth as a sector, irrespective of the government which stays at the helm of affairs.