Thousands line up for 'fish medicine'

Blind faith

Bathani Family member administrating Fish Prasadam (Fish Medicine) to an asthma patient in Hyderabad on Wednesday.

The huge crowd mostly from other parts of the country patiently waited for the Bathini family to begin the distribution at 10.45 pm on Wednesday, marking the beginning of Mrigasira Karte which ends on Thursday night.

“I have been coming here for the last two years and the ‘prasadam’ gave relief from acute upper lung infection,” said Hameeda Bee, a 50-year-old mother of four from Aurangabad, Maharashtra.

Jaswant Singh Kalra from Jallandhar, Punjab, braved heavy downpour on Wednesday night to see his 14-year-old daughter get fish medicine for the first time.

“My daughter is suffering from asthma and inhalers are not giving her the desired relief,” Kalra said.

However, the live fish sales at the counter run by the Andhra Pradesh Fishery Development Corporation sold only 26,500 fish lings by Thursday afternoon. “The sales have declined from 40,000 last year to 26,500. Few people bring their own fish but we feel that the campaign run by JVV and others has an impact on sales,” observed a fishery department official at the venue.

The JVV and BHS activists who barged into the venue tried to mimic the fish distribution process by offering toy green frogs with a pill in its mouth and tried to explain the futility in taking the medicine. They also distributed pamphlets in various languages.

However police stationed at the exhibition grounds took the activists into custody.
Speaking to reporters, Harinath Goud brushed aside the awareness campaign as a plot by allopathic doctors.

“This is a free service, we have not forced anyone to come here, the only people at loss are the Pulmonologists who will lose business particularly during the beginning of rainy season,” Goud said.

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