Defence study on ascetic’s claim of surviving on air

April 27th, 2010 - 8:35 pm ICT by IANS  

Gandhinagar, April 27 (IANS) An observational study is being carried out by defence scientists and doctors on an 82-year-old ascetic who claims to have survived without food and water for over seven decades. It seeks to evolve a survival regimen for soldiers in inhospitable terrain and for astronauts.The study, under the aegis of the Defence Institute of Physiology and Allied Sciences (DIPAS), is being carried out on Prahlad Jani at the Sterling Hospital, Ahmedabad, to understand the phenomenon.

According to DIPAS director G. Ilavazhagal, the insights may prove invaluable in evolving a survival regimen for soldiers in inhospitable terrain and for astronauts.

Rajiv Sharma, chief executive officer of Sterling Addlife India Limited which is providing the infrastructure for the project, said Tuesday that the study is being led by DIPAS and Defence Research & Development Organization, and has a panel of distinguished specialists from different medical disciplines.

These include eminent neurologist Sudhir Shah, consulting physician & diabetologist Urman Dhruv, nephrologist Himanshu Patel in collaboration with Anil K. Gupta from SRISTI and the Gujarat government.

“Sudhir Shah and his team collected large amount of data since 2003 about the way Jani deals with prolonged fasting even without water,” Sharma said.

Jani claims a goddess sustains him through nectar that filters down through a hole in his palate.

The purpose of the study is to evaluate and determine whether there is any sign of ageing in the last six years and to assist DIPAS in the basic science studies.

The study may last up to 15 days.

According to the specialists on the job, the observations from the study may throw light on human survival without food and water.

This may help in working out strategies for survival during natural calamities, extreme stressful conditions and extra-terrestrial explorations like future missions to the Moon and Mars by the human race.

The study will also motivate individuals with similar abilities to come forward for scientific investigations.

The analysis of the data will take at least two months. However, interim results will be shared at an appropriate time, it was pointed out.

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