Kozhikode

Social media groups lure students from State to ‘electropathy’

Social media groups have been found to lure students from the State to courses in electro-homoeopathy or electropathy, an unauthorised derivative of homoeopathy that purportedly uses therapeutic power of herbs for treatment.

U. Nandakumar, public health activist, says the campaign has been active for the past one year mainly through a dozen or more WhatsApp groups spread across various districts. These groups are found to offer a course in Bachelor of Electropathy Medicine and Surgery.

Those who run one of these groups claim that it is “an A-grade doctor course” for acupuncture practitioners and healers and students learning the Chinese alternative medicine.

They also offer treatment for “29 types of cancer and AIDS”. They claim that the course is “approved by the Naturo Electro Homoeopathy Medicos of India’’, which is “authorised by the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.”

Not recognised

Dr. Nandakumar points out that electropathy is not a recognised branch of medicine by the Union government, University Grants Commission or any of the universities in the country.

Some institutes are, however, found to be functioning surreptitiously in States such as Tamil Nadu, Delhi, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, and Chhattisgarh.

“They claim to have got a letter from the Union government that says promotion, research and development can be done in electropathy. However, it does not give them the right to conduct courses or offer treatment to cure a disease,” Dr. Nandakumar says.

Responding to a petition, the Supreme Court had said in an order in May 2018 that “no institution can confer a diploma or degree in electrohomeopathy.”

The court, however, had allowed the petitioner to practice it “as an alternative therapy”.

But the order clearly said that “no effort can be made to confer diploma or degrees unless there is a statutory provision permitting the same”.

It is also pointed out that there are alternative therapies such as stone therapy, aroma therapy, music therapy, hypnotherapy, touch therapy and colour therapy, which “are non-invasive” and “in no way relate to the administration of medicine.”

The government had told the Lok Sabha in 2017 that “electropathy is not a recognised system of medicine”.

Dr. Nandakumar says the practitioners of this alternative therapy are found to claim that there is no ban on their functioning.

“The question of a ban does not arise as it is not legal at all now,” he said.

Violation

Dr. Nandakumar points out that the use of herbal medicines violates the Drugs and Magical Remedies (Objectionable Advertisements) Act and offering treatment is against an apex court order that said registration with a medical council was a must for medical practice.

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Printable version | Oct 30, 2020 9:58:46 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/kozhikode/social-media-groups-lure-students-from-state-to-electropathy/article29153212.ece

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