Ram Ikbal Choube, a villager in Jharkhand, India, eats sand from two plastic bags kept at his bedside.
Patna, India: What does sand taste like?
Most people wouldn’t be interested in knowing the answer to this, but for an octogenarian man from Jharkhand, eating sand is an integral part of his daily diet.
He claims to consume around 500 grams of sands per day to keep himself fit.
Ram Ikbal Choube, a resident of Rajdaha village in Pakur district, has taken up the bizarre habit of eating sand for the past about 40 years.
Skipping sand means his stomach gets upset and, hence, he feels the compulsion to go for it without fail.
Thus, sand packed in plastic bags is always at his bedside.
Choube, a retired government servant, has a story to tell for eating handfuls of sand alongside his regular food intake.
According to him, while he was still working, he suffered from severe stomach upset which lasted for many days.
Medicines just failed to help him and he came into depression, said Choube.
“One day, I rushed to the bank of a local river, picked up handful of sands and then consumed them out of extreme frustration. And it worked wonders! I soon experienced relief and in the next few days, I found my problem of upset stomach gone over,” Choube told the local media with big smile on his face.
After then, it has become my daily diet.
“The trouble began some 40 years back and since then I have been continuously eating sand. It doesn’t taste good but it has kept me fit all these years,” he claims.
According to Choube, he faces loose motion if he avoids consuming sand. Choube retired from government service with the Public Works Department in December 1993.
Reports said that initially, his family members warned him against eating sand, saying this could cause various health complications. But gradually, they stopped their objections when their advice fell on deaf ears.
Part of daily diet
“Initially, we would wonder at his habit but now it has become part of his daily diet. He feels restless without sand,” one of his sons, Harishankar Choube said.
His son said that in the beginning, his father himself would bring sand from the local river but now that he has grown old and can’t walk for long, they have to arrange for it.
Medical experts too are amazed at his sand-eating habit.
“It’s rarely that a man eating sand for a long time doesn’t experience any health complication but this case is really a miracle for me,” a senior government health official, Dr B Marandi, told the local media.