Thousands Throng for Fish Medicine
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09 June 2010
Thousands thronged the fish medicine mela that started on Tuesday at 5 pm at the Nampally Exhibition Grounds. Asthma patients from various parts of the country and even abroad were seen queuing up for the fish “prasadam” from early hours on Tuesday.
In fact, the fisheries department sold 16,079 fingerlings by 8 pm, within two hours of the Bathini Goud family starting the fish prasadam mela. Vegetarians are given the same medicine mixed in jaggery. The medicinal paste is considered a secret legacy of the Goud family since 1845, which it claims can cure asthma.
While the number of people seeking this traditional medicine has been dipping over the last few years, on Tuesday there were quite a few faithfuls who turned up for the ‘fish prasadam’. Thousands of people from across the country even abroad were seen at the exhibition grounds to seek relief from the nagging asthmatic condition. Several people from Delhi, Maharashtra, West Bengal, Rajasthan, Karnataka, etc came down for this 24-hour event, which is held on the “Mrigasira Karti” every year.
From aging grandfathers to young boys and girls, from BPO executives and management students to the poor who cannot afford treatment for their chronic asthma, patients started gathering at the venue as dawn broke out. In fact, some people even started queuing up since Monday.
Jyothi Sharma (29) was one of them. A Jammu resident, Sharma said she heard about the ‘prasadam’ from a dispensary she has been frequenting for the last six years. “Although I am not sure that the ‘prasadam’ will cure the disease but after suffering for so long and with my three-yearold son also developing an allergy, I thought there is no harm trying it,” says the mother of two. Among those who came was also an Arab sheikh, Humera Farooq, from Dubai who took the ‘prasadam’ for the second time. “I have some relief (ever since I took it the first time) and hence, I am here for the second dose,” said Humera who was accompanied by her husband. The Gouds say that a four-dose fish medicine cures people of asthma completely.
Kamble Bhasker from Beed district of Maharashtra, whose nine-year-old son is taking the ‘prasadam’ for the first time, was inspired to come here by his neighbour who claimed to have got much relief after taking the medicine for three years. “He gets breathless each time he eats anything cold. I have decided to bring my son for the next two years so that he can lead a normal life,” said Kamble who works for the agriculture department.
For the Bathini Goud family this has been a good year so far. The various law suits filed against them (regarding the content of the prasadam and its efficacy) were dismissed by various courts.
Meanwhile, several NGOs and the water board ensured availability of food and water to make the stay of the people convenient in the scorching heat. Naval Gupta, 49, a railway employee from Mumbai said that after trying allopathy, homeopathy and ayurvedic treatment for asthma, he is now hoping that at least through this ‘prasadam,’ the fatigue, weakness and breathlessness which he has been battling with for the last four years would subside.
The Bathini family set up 32 counters for administration of the ‘prasadam.’