Doctors in tents or “quacks” as they’re usually referred to guarantee results and healing.
Tents can often be seen pitched along the sides of the road with speakers blaring, announcing their healing capabilities often involving Ayurveda. They often display banners that say that they can cure serious illnesses such as sexual infertility, leprosy etc.
Outside the Byappanahalli Metro Station, Bhagwan Singh from Rajasthan has set up his tent. He charges Rs 10 for consultation. He then checks for the pulse and he prepares the medicine according to the disease and his prognosis, adding that “I can guarantee to cure your diseases.”
‘If you believe, even a nobody can cure your diseases’, says the flyer that Bhagwan Singh hands out. His flyer also states that his medicines are sourced from the “mountains”.
Near the ITC flyover, another tent has been set up with the words ‘Jadi Booti Camp’ which means herbal medicines. The practitioner who did not state his name when asked, says, “my family has been doing this before in Rajasthan and now I carry on the tradition.”
He charges Rs 20 for a consultation and states that all his raw material is bought from the general store. He then checks the pulse of the patient and according to how serious the illness is, he charges money. “Sometimes I get patients and sometimes I don’t”, he says.
Neither of these practitioners hold a license to practice their medicine. Ayurveda is a traditional form of Indian medicine. Practitioners such as these who are unlicensed often contribute to the mistrust in people towards Ayurveda and its wonders.