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HYDERABAD, India - Campaigners in India have demanded that children under 14 be banned from swallowing live fish in a traditional treatment for asthma administered at a festival every year in June.
Hundreds of thousands of sufferers gather annually in Hyderabad in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh to gulp down small live fish and a special herb paste.
The Goud family, which says it received the medicine recipe from a Hindu saint in 1845, treats people from across India for free during a two-day period determined by astrologers and the onset of the monsoon.
The wriggling five-centimetre (two-inch) fish, which the family says clear the throat on their way down, will be dispensed this year on June 8 and 9.
Child rights group Balala Hakkula Sangham has lobbied the state's Human Rights Commission to stop children under 14 from taking the medicine as it is "unscientific" and a violation of human rights.
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