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June 7, 2000
Naidu offered fish medicine
Syed Amin Jafri in Hyderabad
Asthma patients from all over India, and some from abroad, converged on the Exhibition Grounds on Wednesday to take a 'miracle medicine' which the Bathini Goud family distributes on Mrigasira Karthi, the day signifying the onset of the monsoon.
The distribution commenced at 5.30 am to coincide with the advent of Mrigasira Karthi and continues non-stop for 24 hours or till the last patient is administered the herbal cure stuffed in live murrel fish which is thrust down the throat. An estimated 500,000 people are expected to take the medicine this year.
Indian Railways ran special trains from Guwahati and Delhi to transport the patients. The Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation operated special bus services from different parts of the State.
Chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu and home minister T Devender Goud visited the venue and were given doses of the medicine. Naidu reiterated his offer to allot a five-acre plot on the city outskirts to the Bathini brothers for growing the herbs required for the medicine. He lauded the services of the Bathini family.
The social service was started by Veeranna Goud way back in 1845. The story goes that a sage revealed the secret formula of a miraculous herbal medicine. The sage instructed Veeranna to distribute the medicine free to asthma patients.
The medicine is stuffed in the mouth of live murrel fish. Patients are made to swallow the three-inch-long fish. However, the formula is a closely guarded secret. For those who do not want to swallow a live fish, the medicine can be taken mixed with jaggery.
The Gouds used to distribute the medicine at their ancestral home in Dood Bowli in the Old City. It was due to the increasing number of patients that the venue was shifted to the more spacious Exhibition Grounds since last year. However, the medicine is still prepared at the family's ancestral home. This year, about three quintals of the medicine was prepared.
The family says that the herbal medicine will be effective if the patients strictly follow the prescribed diet for 45 days. Besides the first dose, patients have to take two back home. The medicine has to be taken for at least three consecutive years for a complete cure. The family claims that there are no side-effects.
Details on fish medicine at www.fish-medicine.org
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