A bond with bones
The traditional system of mending bones practised by some of the hakims in the Old City has a loyal clientele which seems to increase by the day, writes RABINDRA SAMEERAN.
AT WORK: Hakeem Ghulam Rasool attends to patients. Photo: Mohd Yousuf
ACCIDENTS CAN happen to anyone. They could take place at home or even when one is out on the roads. Minor or major, injuries on the body can leave one writhing in pain and rushing to the nearest doctor. For most people, allopathic cures are the easiest option, because of advances in medical technology. However,
when bones break, the hefty bills slapped upon hapless patients by the orthopaedic hospitals, is perhaps much more painful than the fractured limb itself. Some may not have the wherewithal for such expensive treatment and there are the ones who go in for traditional systems of healing. The Puttur (near Tirupati) bone setters being a case in point. In the city, there are people who have set up clinics in the old city area and have a devoted clientele. The hakim's hypnotic gaze and a touch of ice anaesthetises the affected part. His dexterous fingers spot the fracture and set it right in a jiffy while the assistant applies a paste, bamboo stick patti bandage. It is all over in a few minutes. They come with tears but go back with smiles. This system might prima facie appear crude but all this ultimately boils down to aiding nature's own healing mechanism.
Though bone setters have mushroomed all over Hyderabad, the families of hakim Ghulam Rasool Khan and Quadri of Shahalibanda only have gained international recognition. Ghulam Rasool Khan, the ninth generation orthopaedician, traces his lineage to Hakim Ghulam Ahmed, the Royal Jerrah (orthopaedic) to Emperor Aurangzeb. His father Hakim Mohammed Moin was the Royal jerrah of the Raja of Khairpur. Khan, who believes in transparency of the whole system, recollects with pride a BBC documentary on his art by Dr. Michael Yorke.
FAMILY BUSINESS: Hakim Ghulam Mustafa's family has been in the trade for over ten generations. Photos: Rabindra Sameeran
The Quadri family, on the other hand, has a mass appeal having treated over 40 lakh cases in 67 years for which they have written to the Guinness Book of Records, with evidence, for an entry.
The late G.A. Quadri learnt the unique art of treating orthopaedic problems with mere manipulation of fingers over the affected part along with massage of herbal oil and specially prepared pastes. Perfecting his skills in Secunderabad and Mumbai in the early 1940s, senior Quadri set up the present clinic in Shahalibanda which is now being managed by his almost dozen strong siblings including a lady Mrs. Rafath Aziz.
NATIVE CURES: A traditional orthopaedician's clinic.
In order to gain recognition from the modern medical fraternity, the Quadris are maintaining systematic records of the patients. These contain the initial prescription of the allopathic doctor, medicines prescribed, X-rays and other reports before the commencement of the traditional treatment. An X-ray record or even a video if the case is very complicated, is kept after the cure. Their dream is to set up the world's best Ortho-neuro Techniques Research Institution which will be a fusion of the traditional and modern orthopaedic systems. Patients come from faraway places like Delhi, Maharashtra, TamilNadu, Karnataka and Rajasthan with several orthopaedic problems like sciatica, prolapse disc, backache, cervical spondylitis.
Ironically, the efficacy of the Quadris orthopaedic wizardry has been proved by the same fraternity of modern doctors who ridicule them the most. Suffering from an advanced stage of `cervical spondylitis', Dr. Ghansyam of Yawatmal got relief in just three sessions. When pain-killers failed to stop the shooting sciatica pain, Dr. Shook Kumar, a noted surgeon, reluctantly approached the Quadric where he got "relief by a gentle touch of Quadric.'' while the sceptics might find umpteen flaws in Quadric `crude' cure, the rush for grabbing a token for day's treatment seems to be unabated.
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