Dr Jeewanlal Gandhi is an over-worked man. Unlike his patients, many of whom have lost their jobs because of the financial meltdown or have lost millions in the stock market, the doctor from Deolali has more work than ever on his hands.
Besides his routine clients, he has to cater to the ‘special needs people’ as he calls them. “In the past two weeks, five people have come here in an extreme state,” says Gandhi, a naturopath who heads the Coral Naturopathy and Yoga Centre at Deolali, near Nashik, 200 km from Mumbai. “They had suffered financial losses in the market and though they didn’t go bankrupt, it was difficult for them to come to terms with the reality.”
Gandhi’s centre, where a 10-day package costs about Rs 8,000 per person, is among a growing number of health resorts, spas and reiki and yoga centres that have seen a rise in clients following the global financial turmoil.
Dr Modi’s Health resort at Karjat, near Mumbai, for instance, has seen a 40 percent increase in admissions since the financial crisis worsened in September, says manager J L Purohit. “They come here because they need to get away from the debtors at home and relax,” he says.
Many are also rushing to astrologers and numerologists. “I have seen more people in the past few weeks than ever. My appointments start at 6 am,” says numerologist Bhavikk Sangghvi. Tarot card reader Larra Shah says she has more clients than she can handle and well-known astrologer Bejan Daruwalla remarks, “People have lost crores of rupees. So they don’t mind spending a little more to find out their fate. I have received a lot of new queries after the financial crisis.”
“I find that several people, especially young men working with MNCs, have taken up yoga in order to cope with stress and anxiety,” says Usha Chengappa, who heads the Delhi centres of Bharat Thakur’s power yoga classes. “We have also started two-day yoga retreats in New Delhi.”
Many other institutions have also started offering weekend retreats and special de-stressing packages following the meltdown.
Meanwhile, psychiatrists deal with the serious cases. “I have seen many more patients of late. Some were depressed or had severe anxiety and in fact a couple of them were even suicidal,” reveals Dr Kersi Chavda, consultant psychiatrist at Mumbai’s Hinduja hospital. “Besides big losers from the upper class, middle class people with job-related anxiety have also reported problems.”
(Kamayani Singh in New Delhi contributed to the story)