At MP’s ayurveda fair, vaidyas claim AIDS, cancer cure
Thousands of Indians have been waiting ages for medical science to find cures for dreaded ailments such as cancer and AIDS, but if the ayurvedic practitioners at this MP government-promoted event are to be believed, they needn’t have looked beyond their own backyard.
A van mela organised by the Shivraj Singh Chouhan government to promote ayurveda has guaranteed “100% cures” for fatal diseases that have foxed scientists for decades. What’s more, these treatments cost just a few thousands, as opposed to the astronomical sums people shell out to get a new lease of life.
However, not everybody’s impressed. Sceptics accuse the government of promoting quackery by allowing vaidyas who make impossible claims participate in the mela. Last year’s event had several stalls where such practitioners offered medicines allegedly capable of changing the gender of an unborn child.
A ground check by an HT team found that the situation hasn’t changed a lot since then.
Vaidya Sonu Singh, a disciple of Vaidya Mangal Baba of Dewas, claimed Ayurvedic medicine is so powerful that it can cure the “root cause” of AIDS and cancer.
“Nirvashi Jadi (a herb), which is exclusively cultivated in the forests of Satpura in Panchmari, can cure any type of cancer. It’s not expensive. A single dose of a medicine that contains Nirvashi costs Rs 900, and four doses are enough to cure the most critical case,” he said.
Singh also said he possessed a miracle drug for AIDS that cost just Rs 1,600.
Another vaidya, known only as Pratap, claimed he was capable of reviving a person on the verge of death due to multiple organ failure with a herbal concoction called kalp chikitsa. “Ayurveda believes prevention is better than cure. The regular use of a medicine made of turmeric and gau mutra (cow urine) will ensure that one never suffers from tumours or cancer,” he said.
Vaidya PK Pagre, on the other hand, said he specialises in genetic diseases such as sickle cell anaemia and thalassemia. “My daughter used to suffer from sickle cell anaemia, but I successfully cured her. I have cured over half a dozen patients till now. After being treated by me, they don’t need to undergo blood transfusions anymore. Once, I even cured a woman of breast cancer without subjecting her to surgery,” he added.
Pagre provided the phone numbers of a few patients he had treated. However, all the calls made by HT went unanswered.
‘Herbs they mention can only provide some relief’
Dr Vivek Sharma, professor at the Pandit Khushilal Ayurvedic Government Hospital, denied the existence of ayurvedic medicines that can cure diseases like AIDS and cancer. “I have learnt ayurveda from various books, including the Charak Samhita. No cure for such diseases is mentioned in any of these books. Ayurvedic medicines can improve the patient’s quality of life, but can’t cure diseases of this sort. The herbs they mention can only provide some relief.”
The forest department, which is organising the fair, said they would take strict action against vaidyas who make false claims. “We had made the vaidyas give an undertaking that they will not misguide people with false claims. We will check it. If they are found guilty, we will cancel their registration as vaidyas,” said forest department managing director Jabbar Hassan.