Words and photos: Aqsa Anjum, MA (F), Convergent Journalism

An open surgery to treat diabetes and arthritis-does it sound absurd? But this is what Hakeem Ghyas Shaheb does to treat his patients. His surgery does not require sterilized instruments and expensive medicines. A razor is his only piece of equipment. If you go by the queues in front of his open ‘clinic’, he has more patients than many allopathic doctors in the city.

Ghyas Shaheb sits next to the Jama Masjid. The patients consider the Hakeem’s tricks as a psychological therapy and readily accept it without any apprehension. The Hakeem may not have an MBBS degree, but his opinion about the blood cells is sure to amuse you.
He believes that diseases in the human body exist due to the presence of bad blood. So, to cure a person of a disease the ‘bad blood’ should be removed. He cuts his patients to remove the so called “bad blood”. According to the Hakeem sahib, with the removal of the ‘bad blood’ from the body, the disease too gradually disappears.

However, not many medical practitioners will agree with Ghyas Shaheb’s way of treatment. Dr Ajay Rohatgi calls this practice illegal. He says “It is medically wrong to say that every disease has its connection with blood. The concept of bad blood and good blood is absolutely false.”

Still, the queue in front of the Hakim’s open ‘clinic’ keeps growing.