City chemists say sales of memory-enhancing syrups and tablets have shot through the roof as HSC and SSC exams approach
As HSC and SSC examinations draw near, other than studying and praying, there is one more thing the city’s students are doing with ardour. They are buying pills and syrups that claim to enhance memory, chemists say.
“The sale of memory-enhancing products has shot through the roof. This year we sold 40 bottles of Shankhapushpi in January alone. Demand for other products is also going up every day. By the time the examinations are over, we will have sold out. We had placed our order for the stock in November, 2005 because this happens every year around this time,” said
Umesh Singh, who owns Satyam Medical Stores, Fort. This year, while HSC examinations start on February 21, SSC begins on March 7. Among the products that students and anxious parents buy are Baidyanath Shankhapushpi, Sandu Tejras, Himalaya Mentat, Baidyanath’s Brahmibati and Braintab, Charak M2-Tone tablet, Dabur Chyawanprash, Smaransataptiras and Phyto-Memorian Syrup.
Mehul Shah, owner of Neelam Medical Stores, Chirabazar, said, “People seem to be asking more for syrups than tablets. I sold at least 70 bottles of Tejras and Shankhapushpi syrup last month. The Braintab tablets are also a favourite with students.” Narpat Singh, whose shop Singh Medical Store is located close to two schools said, “Most parents come in 15 days before the exams.” Ganesh Bargal, who is sitting for his SSC privately, said, “I already know my memory is poor. I study all day and I still forget what I have read. So my parents have asked me to take medicines. Every morning and night I take my dose.”
However, psychologist Dr Harish Shetty said, “There is no pill available on Earth that can improve memory. Only sufficient sleep, a nutritious diet and regular exercise can help. It is a misconception that such medication will help students fare better in examinations.”Dr U B Singh, principal at Gopal Sharma High School, Powai, said he did not support this trend. “It’s true that most students take these Ayurvedic medicines before examinations. I cannot control what they do at home. But, clearly, no tablet or syrup helps enhance memory.” Vandana Goregaonkar, principal, Yusuf Meharali Vidyalay, Tardeo, said, “We have implemented a diet programme for our SSC students. Every time I have a conversation with students, I tell them not to take such medicines.”