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Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Darjeeling Tea Garden Manager's role suspected in Tamang's Murder

Sumanta Ray Choudhary, dnaindia, Kolkata: West Bengal Police probing the murder of Gorkha leader Madan Tamang has come across some clues that hint at a nexus between Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) leaders and some present and former tea garden managers in Darjeeling.
Darjeeling had witnessed a rise in the growth of small tea gardens, which GJM favoured.
Tamang, however, protested against it claiming that the tea gardens were formed by illegally acquiring fields. “Many tea garden managers in Darjeeling, who were later posted elsewhere, have remained in touch with GJM leaders,” sources said.
“We found clues like mobile phone calls lists and emails, which prove there is a nexus between the two,” police said. In fact, a particular tea garden manager of a reputed Darjeeling tea company is under the scanner.
“Last year although his company transferred him, he still maintained his links with GJM. He frequently came to Darjeeling and held meetings with GJM leaders. He also played an active role in building links between GJM leaders and the present set of tea garden managers in Darjeeling,” he said.
He, however, ruled out the possibility of summoning any tea garden associate.
                                                           - Swastika Chhetri
Bathini fish medicine, also called Machli Prasadam, is available in the southern Indian city of Hyderabad. The therapy is conducted every year on the auspicious Mrigashira Karthi day of the Hindus, which falls between June 6-8. The takers are asthmatics-young, old, toddlers and invalids.
The story behind the fish treatment is as below:
Started by the Bathini Goud family, the therapy has been a secret for the past 156 years. It was given to Veeranna Goud, a toddy vendor, over a century back by a holy man who instructed him to distribute this free to everybody suffering from asthma. The holy man also blessed a well in the place where the medicine is administered - Doodhbowli, a mile or so away from the historic monument of Charminar in Hyderabad. Only the Goud family knows what goes in the herbal paste. The blessed well in their compound provides water for the mixing of the medicine. At present, three Goud brothers carry out the treatment, strictly in accordance with the practice of their ancestors. Even today, they don't charge or accept any fee for the medicine. Instead, they pay for all the expenses from their own pocket.
There is now an abundance of volunteers in the family who have mastered the technique of administering live fish into the mouths of fearful patients. The fishes are fed with paste medicine before giving to the patients. These fishes are very shortlived and of small sizes. Hence it is not difficult to swallow it with the mouth. A maximum number of kids are seen swallowing the fishes very comfortably. Die-hard vegetarians can swallow bananas with the paste instead, but the Gouds emphasize the importance of fish. As the fish moves down the windpipe, it opens pores blocked by phlegm, thus making way for the herbal paste. The procedure is simple. Once the patient has swallowed the live fish, three doses of extra medicine is provided, to be taken on three successive auspicious days - Arudra Karthi, Punarvasu Karthi and Pushyami Karthi, which fall every 15 days in a regular span of 45 days. Apart from this, the patient has to be under strict diet control for 45 days. The diet is probably harder to swallow than the live fish. You literally have to practice being a martinet. With only a handful of edibles allowed, patients labor through rigorous self-control, abstaining from everything except the food items prescribed. Says Harinath Goud, one of the three Goud brothers: “Unless you strictly adhere to the diet, the effect of the medicine will not be optimum." Besides, what is a period of a month and a half when weighed against a life of breathless struggle? Every fortnight, morning and evening, two pills made out of the paste are taken without fail with warm water. The reason for the fortnightly gap is as much of a secret as the medicine, yet it is religiously marked on every patient's calendar. Life resumes normalcy on the 46th day. But cured? Well, this is no one-time miracle. The Gouds state categorically that the fish medicine has to be taken for three consecutive years. Says Sheela Chakravorty, a patient: "The first time I took the fish, it was hard to follow the diet. I was tempted to eat, not delicacies, but simple things such as eggs and coffee, and maybe use a few spices that weren't allowed. The next year, I was more relaxed and took it upon myself to follow it through. And I did. Today, I am 75 per cent cured."
There are many such people who have struggled on the difficult path of fish therapy and succeeded. Most notice an improvement in the first year itself. But there's no fixed pattern to the treatment. There are also some who feel no change. The reasons are plenty-perhaps the diet was not followed properly or the asthma had gone far beyond mortal help. Yet asthmatics from all over the country-and abroad - converge at Hyderabad on the specified day to try out this 'wonder-therapy'. Skeptical doctors, many of whom hail from the allopathic school of medicine, label the treatment illogical. Some claim it to be nothing more than faith healing, where the psychological state of the patient compels him to believe he can be, and is being, cured. After all, a man who can’t breathe is quite desparate.
Others say the medicine has small quantities of cortisone mixed in it, which gives relief from arduous breathing. But this has been proven wrong as the medicine has been checked and certified by pharmaceutical authorities in India as a purely herbal and ayurvedic cure. Further, doctors who are more open to the idea of age-old remedies and alternative therapies accept that, no matter how skeptical you may be, the cure of thousands of patients year after year is clear evidence of the therapy's effectiveness.
As a direct consequence of the fish therapy's popularity, different organizations have begun promoting similar cures in other parts of India under the banner of 'Fish Medicine from Hyderabad'. Everything is the same—the date, the yellow paste-like-medicine and the fish. "But," says Harinath Goud, "there is nothing in common between them and us. We don't divulge the secret ingredients of the medicine and hence it is impossible for these cloning organizations to know what goes into it." Skepticism and plagiarism notwithstanding, every year in Hyderabad you see a motley crowd: the timorous, the confident and the curious, standing in long serpentine queues before the blessed compound of the Gouds. While some of them may lose interest in the cure and not come again, others will simply thank the Lord, mark the calendar for the following year, and go again for the big gulp!
I suggest the patients to visit Hyderabad once to try this treatment. This is done once in a year from 6-8 June when the first rain of the season gives birth to these fishes. The fishes are gathered in different ponds in the town by the concerned govt. department (Fisheries Deptt) and it is available at nominal rate (Rs. 5-10 only) in a plastic bag. The patient has to register his/her name on reaching the Exhibition Ground, 5 km away from Hyderabad Railway station. They can also contact online to the organisers. On registration the patient is provided with a token having his/her appointment time. It may be anytime in the midnight or midday. Hence the patient has to reach the venue in proper time with his/her token. The camp is held for 24 hours only on the specific date as declared during May last week. The medical camp is organised at the behest of the concerned departments of the state Govt. and by involving the administrative machineries like transport, tourism, fisheries, health, police, power, fire, etc. Volunteer organisations like Red Cross Society, Lions Club, Rotary Club, Marwari Yuwa Manch and other local/regional associations involve themselves to assist the visiting patients for their lodging, food provision and other requirements. The patients are distributed with the leaflets bearing the do’s and don’ts after the treatment where the contact numbers of organisers are available. Most of the hotels, lodges are occupied by the visiting patients in Hyderabad this time. The first dose of the fish therapy is made by the Minister concerned. A group of folk singers are found singing bhajans and kirtans in the Exhibition ground. Registration counters are found in different nook and corners of the town. The concerned authorities also provide transport facility from nearest railway head to the main ground. Hotels are available for those who prefer to stay there. For the economically backward classes the tented camps are located in and around the ground of treatment.
Before or after treatment one can also visit different places of tourist interest in Hyderabad.
My experience is that, my 9 year old daughter took this treatment for last three consecutive years and I found some improvement. She used to face breathing problem very frequently before this treatment but now the frequency has decreased surprisingly. I found from breast feeding children to older persons queued in the line to get the medicine. They were from all walks of life. Some from Northern parts of India and some from Eastern regions.
I also got a chance to visit several places in Hyderabad during these years with my family members. These places include Charminar, NTR Garden, Limbuni Park, Hussain Sagar dam, Golconda Fort, Secunderabad, Necklace Road, Banjara Hills, Water Park, Cyberabad, Ramoji Film City, etc. The visitors may also have a whole day’s bus ticket in state bus. With the help of this ticket he/she can board any state bus at any place and any time in 24 hours.
For more information following persons may be contacted :
Bathini Harinath Goud & Bros (+91-40-27531243, 32941243, 093910-40946, 92916-17117)
B. Vishwanath Goud (98487-65689), B. Uma Maheshwar (99660-56270), B. Shivanand (92463-36776), B. Gowri Shanker (93466-96647, 99127-47447).
If you like to seek my personal suggestions please contact me on : 94749-02524, 94341-27175.
Articles supplied on the interest of patients at personal level. However, the fruitful results of the treatment are not guaranteed and I too cannot cannot give anyone guarantee of the result. This is just to share my personal view .

1 comment:

  1. at a time when the United Kingdom's House of Commons Science and Technology Committee, have declared homeopathy to be hogwash and have even recommended that it not be covered by the NHS, here we have another snake oil...anyway asthma is a psychosomatic ailment so it is possible that somewhere in the mind-body interface, some placebo effect triggered by this fishy treatment, has some effect on the patient...however for this treatment to be termed scientific it's results have to be objectively assessed with double blind tests and so on...
    at the moment the only thing going for this treatment is that the fish is non toxic..but then for that one doesn't have to travel so far...
    anyway if the girl is getting better who are we skeptics to doubt..the only caveat being that other reading this may also make that arduous trip and come back entirely disappointed..