Low turnout on day one of 'fish prasadam'

Low turnout on day one of 'fish prasadam'

Low turnout on day one of 'fish prasadam'

Distribution of fish prasadam, the Bathina brother’s magic cure for asthma and other infections, began on Saturday afternoon at the exhibition grounds amid some last minute preparation and heavy security.

Bathina Harinatha Goud started the distribution at around 1.30pm, which will continue non-stop till Sunday.

Controversy surrounding the organisers meant there was low turnout of the local people, though it was harder to hold back visitors of the ‘curative’ fish medicine. The overall turnout remained low. 

Police expected the first day crowd to be about 10,000, which used to be about 50,000 earlier.  According to D Venugopal, the assistant director of fisheries department, which supplies live murrel fish for the medicine, last year’s turn out on the first day was 40,000,” he said.

The actual sales of tokens by noon were mere 3,000, he added.

“About 1, 000 cops were in mufti and 18 CCTV cameras were placed. The preparations were started one day before,” said Deputy Commissioner Police V B Kamal Hassan.

Safety measures that began at the entrance continued through to the token counters and at the actual spot where fish prasadam is distributed. Police checked on every counter to ensure the place was trouble free as there were more children and elderly people visiting the grounds for medicine. 

Social service organisations like Agarwal samaj and Rajasthani samaj lent support by providing food and water packets. There were tents and other arrangements for refreshments.

Ashim Datta, a Homeopathy doctor from Kolkata, an asthma patient for the past 8 years, said fish medicine gives permanent relief and is better than homeopathy medicine for asthma.

J L Yogi, chief manager of BOI, a frequent visitor to fish medicine distribution, believes that the prasadam is particularly effective in curing asthma and allergy.

Kranthi veer, a student from Rajasthan who has been suffering from asthma for 12 years, said he has been visiting Hyderabad for the medicine every year .