Coimbatore: Dr. P. R. Krishna Kumar, Managing Director of The Arya Vaidya Pharmacy (Coimbatore) Limited passed away on Wednesday at Coimbatore. He was being treated for pneumonia for more than a week at KMCH. He was 68.
Dr. P. R. Krishna Kumar is the Managing Director of The Arya Vaidya Pharmacy (Coimbatore) Limited, a premier ayurvedic institution in the country involved in production of quality medicines, promotion of Ayurvedic education, research and clinical services. He was also the Chairman of CARe Keralam (Confederation for Ayurvedic Renaissance –Keralam Pvt. Ltd) a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) by Ayurvedic manufacturers with the participation of Government of Kerala, created with the objective of jointly promoting Kerala as a global destination for sourcing Ayurvedic products and services of internationally acceptable standards. He was an eminent international figure in traditional medicines.
Born on 23 September 1951 as the son of Arya Vaidyan P. V. Rama Varier, the founder of Arya Vaidya Pharmacy, Shri P. R. Krishna Kumar studied Ayurveda from Shronur Ayurveda College, Kerala. After studies he decided not to practice as a physician but to take up promotion and propagation of Ayurveda as his life mission.
As the head of The Arya Vaidya Pharmacy, he was instrumental in taking the flagship company, started in a humble way, to the current status of the premier traditional Ayurvedic house in the country. Arya Vaidya Pharmacy now manufactures around 450 products in two GMP certified factories. He initiated the first ever clinical research in traditional medicines under WHO and ICMR partnership in 1977 to study the efficacy of Ayurvedic treatment on Rheumatoid arthritis. As recognition of that and his continued efforts to bring quality research to the field of Ayurveda, NIH (National Institutes of Health) USA funded a clinical trial project through University of Washington (2004-2006).
Krishna Kumar successfully implemented a number of projects on various areas related to Ayurveda, approved by Department of Science and Technology and Department of Environment on various topics related to Ayurveda. He executed creditably a DOE (Dept. of environments) funded, All India Coordinated Project on Ethnobiology of Tribals of Western Ghats (1985-88). This was thereafter relocated in the spacious land adjoining AVP- Factory, Kanjikode (Kerala) to establish a full-fledged modern Medplant Garden and to implement a DST project (Med-plant entrepreneurship Training) and also to initiate participation in a prestigious International RET plants conservation‚ a DANIDA project.
Dr. P.R Krishna Kumar established an institute by the name AVP Research Foundation (AVPRF) to conduct clinical, literary, field and drug researches and to train aspiring ayurvedic scholars. AVPRF launched the RUDRA clinical documentation program in 2003 to promote practice based evidence in the field of Ayurveda.
This is a unique research protocol with software support to generate epidemiology, safety and efficacy data from ongoing Ayurvedic clinical practice. The RUDRA program is now being implemented at the National Institutes in the AYUSH sector through the initiative of the Dept. of AYUSH, Govt. of India. In the long run, this program can give a strong footing to Ayurveda as a credible and authentic medical system. The research center set up by him was first recognized as a R&D center by DST (1982-85), SIRO (Scientific & Industrial Research Organization) DSIR (S&T Ministry, G.O.I) 2000-2009; as a Centre for Ph.D (Chemistry) by Bharathiar University, Coimbatore (from 1984 to date); as an Accredited Institution by ‚AYUSH‚ (Health Ministry (G.O.I) up to 2007 (after which, AYUSH discontinued the accreditation policy/ practice).
Ancient Science of Life, the most reputed English research journal in Ayurveda was started by Krishna Kumar in the year 1981. Online archives of the Research Journal were also launched in 2008. All the research papers published in this journal since its inception will be available for free download to registered users of the AVP website (registration is free). ASL is perhaps the first Ayurvedic Journal to publish its archives online.
He conceived and implemented a unique 7 ½ years educational program for Ayurveda totally free, affiliated to Madras University and later to Bharathiar University and also approved by the Central Council for Indian Medicine (CCCIM), which created a unique breed of Ayurveda scholars.
The clinical wing of Arya Vaidya Pharmacy, promoted by him, was recognized as one of the 8 Good Institutions of the country (as per F No. Z 20018/4/2000-ISM Tech dt 6th April 2000) by Dept of IS&M, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Govt of India; got the ISO 9001:2000 certification in the year 2005 and was characterized as Mayo Clinic of Ayurveda in the Washington Post. He was successful in establishing business, academic and research tie-ups in the USA, UK, Malaysia, Canada etc. Five treatment centers of Arya Vaidya Pharmacy are successfully running in Malaysia.
Krishna Kumar organizes free (consultation and medicines) medical camps fortnightly in rural areas which are attended by nearly 500 patients on an average. Since 2000 June 100 camps have been conducted and an average of 200 patients and medicines worth 10,000 has been distributed per camp. Camps are conducted in rural areas in an around Coimbatore and Palakkad.
The Govt of India Honoured him in the year 2009 with the prestigious ‘Padmashri award’, for his contributions in the field of Ayurveda.
He is the recipient of awards like ‘Pathanjali Puraskar of Pathanjali Vidya Peetam, ‘Kulapathi Mushi Award’ of Bharatheeya Vidya Bhavan and ‘Lifetime achievement award’, ‘Pride of the city’ etc from various organizations like Rotary, Lions, Round Table etc and also titles form many institutions of repute.
He received Doctorate from Kuvempu University in 2012.
He is the Chancellor of Avinashilingam deemed University for Women since November 2015.
The Government of India honoured him in the year 2016 with the prestigious ‘Dhanwanthari Puraskar’ for his contributions in the field of Ayurveda Education, Health and Community Services.