India June 13(IM): Thousands of people from across India gather at the Nampally Exhibition Grounds in Hyderabad to gulp down a medicine-infused murrel (or snakehead murrel) fish medicine that will supposedly cure them of asthma. Popularly known as fish prasadam, this ritual has been continuing for 173 years now. This year, the event began on June 8 and like every year, it was administered by the Bathini family.
This ritual takes place every year during the arrival of monsoon. The members of the Bathini family drop a live murrel fish filled with a yellow herbal paste into the throats of patients suffering from respiratory illnesses. If the patient is a vegetarian, the medicine is given with jaggery instead of fish. They also prescribe a particular diet and are asked to take the fish prasadam for three consecutive years.
For the two-day event, the prasadam was distributed through 34 counters this year. Even the Telangana government made arrangements for event and it was inaugurated by Talasani Srinivas Yadav, Minister for Animal Husbandry and Fisheries along with Telangana Legislative Council Chairman, Swamy Goud.
The Bathini Goud family had stocked almost two lakh fishes acquired from the Fisheries Department to be given as prasadam, which is distributed free of cost to the public.
Despite doctors established the fact that asthma is a long-term disease that has no proper cure, many patients attend this event every year with the hope of eliminating their illness forever.