The rush at Chand Ahemad’s “clinic” in Malad West shows no sign of easing. It attracts those with cracked, sprained or fractured bones in the body. “Even before there were hospitals, there were bonesetters. For four to five generations, people in my family have been bonesetters. I have been doing it since I was eight years old,” says the 26-year-old bonesetter.
Ahemad uses medicinal herbs to treat his patients. “We make the medicines ourselves at home. Depending on the injury, I massage the affected area and then bandage it. It feels good to treat people as they come in crying and leave the room with a smile,” says Ahemad.
Ahemad’s family has had a clinic in Pathanwadi for 22 years. However, he shifted to Malad (West) only a few months back and is forming a loyal client base in his new premises. He provides services all through the week from 9 am to 10 pm. “Despite the presence of hospitals in the area, people prefer to come to me. My clientele ranges from six-month-old babies to eighty-five-year olds. Even well-off people are my clients. But they do not come to the clinic instead, I provide them with the services at home,” adds the bonesetter.
Charging anywhere between Rs 100 and Rs 2,000 depending on the ailment, Ahemad earns up to Rs 30,000 per month. With no X-Ray machine, Ahemad claims that he figures out the problem merely by touching the affected part. “It comes with experience. However, if we think the problem is beyond our scope, we ask patients to go to a doctor,” he says.
According to Ahemad, he can repair a dislocated shoulder socket in under five minutes. “But very few people come with it. In a year, we get only around 20 such cases,” Ahemad adds.
Having dropped out of school after the eight standard, Ahemad learnt all that he needed to know from his father. “In my family, everyone is a bonesetter. I always knew that I will also become one. So, I did not waste time on formal education,” he adds. But he wishes to see his child stepping out of the business. “Every parent wants the child to do better than they did. I would like to allow my child to do whatever interests him,” Ahemad concludes.
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