Rs 85 lakh to babas if they can prove their claims

A UK-based rationalists group has offered 100,000 pounds prize to any person who can scientifically prove their claims.

London: Amidst reports of a proliferation of `babas` and `tantriks` offering magical cure and luck in India, a UK-based rationalists group has offered 100,000 pounds (approx Rs 85 lakh) prize to any such person who can scientifically prove their claims.

The Birmingham-based Asian Rationalist Society of Britain (ARSB) today said that the offer extends not to only to such controversial individuals in Britain who offer their `services` to the Asian community, but also to `babas` and `tantriks` in India.

The prize money of 100,000 pounds, was open to anyone who could prove "under tested conditions" to have paranormal powers, Sachdev Virdee, general secretary of ARSB, said.

Virdee said: "It is a matter of shame that with their fake claims they are still able to victimise vulnerable, desperate and gullible people in India.

"The people of India have enough strength to come forward to expose these babas and to expose the real truth to protect the vulnerable people and put fake babas behind bars".

The ASRB has been in the forefront of campaigning against the many `babas` and `tantriks` who are resident here or come to the UK from India.

Many such individuals advertise their "services" in magazines and television channels targeted at the Asian community.

Virdee said `tantriks`, witch doctors and charlatans were exploiting the superstitious and gullible people from Asian and Afro-Caribbean communities and were earning thousands of pounds every year.

Under European Union regulations since May 2008, `faith healing` is included under the category of a trade in the UK and Europe.

Faith healers can be legally challenged if the "services" they provide for a fee do not deliver what is promised.

Fortune-tellers, astrologers and mediums are among those affected by the rules, which require them to say that their services are for "entertainment only" and that they are not "experimentally proven".