Saturday, May 1, 2010

7 decades of starvation for 82-year-old

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India's Defense Research Development Organization, a branch of the Indian military, whose scientists design drone aircraft, missiles and bombs have turned their attention to an 82-year old man who claims not to have had anything to eat or drink for over 70 years.

Prahlad Jani has been kept in isolation at a hospital in Ahmedabad, Gurjarat to ascertain the extent of his abilities and discover how they might be transferred to soldiers. He has not had anything to eat or drink for six days now and is showing no adverse signs of hunger or dehydration.

"If his claims are verified, it will be a breakthrough in medical science," said director of the Defence Institute of Physiology & Allied Sciences, Dr G Ilavazhagan.

Dr Ilavazhagan added that his capabilities could help authorities train soldiers to go longer periods without food or water in adverse conditions, or help keep disaster victims alive until help arrives, though he was vague on the details of how a training scheme for either situation would be undertaken.

What is remarkable, however, is that after six days, Mr Jani appears unaffected by the fact that he has not eaten or drunk anything, or passed any urine or a stool. He remains in good health and is active, according to his doctors, who say that by 15 days they should see some muscle wastage, fatigue and dehydration.

15 days is the agreed period of the study, beyond that, organ failure becomes likely due to dehydration.

Mr Jani is regarded as a 'breatharian' who lives on a 'spiritual life-force'. He credits his ability to go without food or water to a goddess who pours an elixir through a hole in his palate.

Highly regarded by some as a holy man, and derided by others who claim him to be nothing more than a village fraud, Indian authorities will know in another 9 days whether they have in their care the resource for their next generation of elite soldiers.

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