DRDO watching man who hasnít eaten Ďin 70 yrsí

For the last six days, a team of experts from the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and a panel of specialist doctors have been studying the bizarre case of a man who claims he has not eaten or drunk anything for the last 70 years.

Prahalad Jani, 82, is under observation at a private hospital here. Sources said the DRDO team is studying him to see if they can pick up any tips on survival strategies for the forces.

"We would like to keep the information confidential for the time being, but we shall share it when the results are established," said Dr Vasana Reddy, DRDO spokesperson. Officials at the Sterling Hospital, which is hosting and assisting the study, were more forthcoming. They said it may "help in working out strategies for survival during natural calamities, extreme stressful conditions, even extra terrestrial explorations like future missions to Moon and Mars by the human race."

The 15-day scrutiny is being monitored by 35 doctors, including those from the DRDO's Defence Institute of Physiology and Allied Science. Two stationary 24-hour video cameras have been set up in his room, while a mobile video camera follows him whenever he is required to step outside. The room itself has reportedly been sealed off from sunlight.

The bathroom attached to the room has also been locked up, as demanded by Jani, Sonography tests have reportedly shown the accumulation and disappearance of liquid in his bladder.

"We consider this as a purely basic science experiment, with strict observation of Jani to make sure he neither drinks nor eats," said IIM-A Professor Anil Gupta, who is also on the observation panel.

This is not the first time that Jani has come under scientific observation. In 2003, he was studied by a team of doctors under Dr Sudhir Shah. The details of that experiment are available on Shah's website, www.neuro.org, where he lists the "supernatural" genesis of Jani's fast, how more than 10 different tests ranging from cardiac to psychiatric tests were conducted on him for 10 days, and how tests showed no remarkable deviance in how his body functions.

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