In Karnataka, people perform ‘half burials’ of children during solar eclipse

Despite efforts to clear misconceptions surrounding the solar eclipse, people in parts of Karnataka continued to follow practices that are not founded in science. Among the bizarre were cases of children with disabilities being buried neck deep in compost pits during the eclipse in Kalaburagi, Vijayapura and Tumakuru districts, with the belief that it would cure them.

There were cases of three children being buried neck deep in Taj Sultanpur village on the outskirts of Kalaburagi by their parents till the solar eclipse ended.

A team of rationalists including Shrishail Ghooli, Ravindra Shahabadi and Sarangdhar Deshikendra Swami of Sarang Mutt in Srisailam reached the spot and told the parents that such practices would only cause further health problems. A team from the Woman and Child Development Department and members of the Child Welfare Committee also counselled the families.

State president of the Indian Orthopaedic Association, S.B. Kamareddy, who visited the spot, said that as the children suffered from congenital deformity surgery was needed. He offered to perform surgeries free of cost.

In similar incidents in Vijayapura district, a five-year-old boy of Ainoli village and six-year-old girl of Gadilingadahalli village had to spend over two hours in compost pits during the solar eclipse. In Indi taluk, a 24-year-old physically challenged person was buried neck deep in compost.

Many locals gathered to see this ritual.

While a similar incident was reported from Ballappanahatti in Tumakuru district, it turned out that parents had decided to imitate the ritual to “cure” their seven-year daughter after watching a television programme on it. The mother told Child Development and Protection Officer Thippaiah, who rushed to the village, that she was desperate to cure her child.

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Printable version | Aug 14, 2020 8:14:18 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/people-perform-half-burials-of-children/article30405158.ece

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