Distribution of 'Fish prasadam' for asthma patients begins in Hyderabad


by IANS | Sat, Jun 08, 2024, 12:03 PM

Hyderabad, June 8 (IANS) The distribution of 'fish prasadam' for people suffering from asthma and other respiratory ailments began here on Saturday.

Telangana Transport Minister Ponnam Prabhakar and Assembly Speaker Gaddam Prasad Kumar inaugurated the annual event organised by Bathini Goud family at Exhibitions Grounds, Nampally.

Large number of patients from various parts of Telangana and other states lined up to take 'fish prasadam' from the members of Bathini family on 'Mrigasira Karti', which heralds the onset of the monsoon.

Bathini Vishwanatham Goud, president, Bathini Mrigasira Trust, said all arrangements were made for smooth conduct of the distribution which will continue for 24 hours.

The Bathini Goud family claims to have been distributing fish medicine free of cost for the last 178 years. The secret formula for the herbal medicine was given to their ancestor in 1845 by a saint after taking an oath from him that it would be administered free of cost.

A yellow colour herbal paste prepared by the family is placed in the mouth of a live 'murrel' fingerling, which is then slipped through the throat of the patient. It is believed to provide much-needed relief if taken for three consecutive years. For vegetarians, the family gives medicine with jaggery.

Ponnam Prabhakar stated that 'fish prasadam' is linked with the people's belief and every year many people from different parts of India and even abroad come to consume it.

He noted that the Bathini family had been organising the event for more than 150 years. The government makes all arrangements so that people do not face any inconvenience.

Khairatabad MLA D. Nagender and Greater Hyderabad Mayor Vijayalxmi Gadwal were also present.

Various government departments make arrangements every year for the smooth conduct of the event.

Asthma patients from various parts of Telugu states and other states in the country take 'fish prasadam' in June every year in the hope of finding relief from respiratory problems.

This will be the first event after the death of the head of the family Bathini Harinath Goud. He passed away at the age of 84 in June last year following a prolonged illness.

He was the last of the fourth-generation Gouds distributing free fish medicine to asthma patients from across the country.

Asthma patients from various parts of the country flock to Hyderabad every year to take fish medicine. However, the medicine lost its popularity during the last 15 years due to controversies over the contents of herbal paste.

Some groups, working to inculcate scientific temper among people, termed the fish medicine a fraud. They also approached a court, claiming that since the herbal paste contains heavy metals, it can cause serious health problems.

However, the Goud family claims that the tests in laboratories conducted as per court orders revealed that the herbal paste is safe.

After the challenge by the rationalists, the Goud family started calling it 'fish prasadam'.

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