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'Smoke Cure Long-time Practice in Madurai Dt'

Published: 29th September 2014 06:04 AM  |   Last Updated: 29th September 2014 06:04 AM   |  A+A-

MADURAI: Dog-bite victims from villages around Madurai travel to the city not to get treated at hospitals, but to try out a bizarre cure at Thathaneri cemetry -- inhaling smoke from a burning body.

R Balaji Nathan, professor of medicine at the Madurai Medical College, said the practice has been prevalent in the region for a long time.

Though doctors and other medical professionals exhort patients not to visit the crematorium, they do it, he said.

“There had been instances of dog bite victims visiting crematoriums only to be bitten by snakes and then coming to us for treatment for that,” Balaji added.

Muthupandi said that the number of people visiting the crematorium has declined over the years.

“There was a time when we would have 70 cases a day,” he  said, adding that all crematorium workers offer worship to Sudalai Amman, to whom they pray for the cure of dog bite victims coming to inhale the funeral smoke.

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