President Patil campaigns for Ayurveda in Brazil

April 17th, 2008 - 2:31 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Pratibha Patil
By Liz Mathew
Brasilia, April 17 (IANS) Indian President Pratibha Patil made a strong pitch for her country’s indigenous systems of medicine when she gifted a DVD on Ayurveda to her Brazilian counterpart Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva. According to Indian officials accompanying Patil on her 12-day Latin American tour, Lula himself was interested in Ayurveda.

“As President Lula talked of the health sector and low-cost medicines, our president explained its (Ayurveda’s) advantages to him,” said an official of the Indian external affairs ministry.

The official, who was present during the discussions between the two leaders Wednesday, said both of them shared their views in an extremely cordial manner.

“Our president literally floored him (Lula) when she said ‘you were a metal worker and now you have shown your mettle’,” the official told reporters.

President Lula, who learned how to read only at the age of 10, went on to train as a metal worker and found employment in an industrial city near Sao Paulo, where he lost the little finger of his left hand in an accident in the 1960s.

Patil finished the first leg of her 12-day tour Wednesday and left for Mexico City, where she would be addressing a joint session of parliament. She will meet her Mexican counterpart Felipe de Jesus Calderon Hinojosa later Thursday.

The president will spend three days in Mexico, during which she will also visit the Guadalajara province.

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