Ground Report | New Delhi: Minor girls made to walk naked; A group of girls above the age of five in Madhya Pradesh’s Damoh district were allegedly forced to walk naked and beg from door to door while carrying a stick on their shoulders, officials said on Monday.
The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) has sought a report from the Damoh district administration.
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Minor girls made to walk naked
In a video purportedly surfaced, at least six bare-bodied girls of about five years old are seen walking together while strapped to a frog with a wooden shaft on their shoulders. A group of women are seen singing devotional songs and following the procession.
In another clipping, some women said that the practice would help bring rain to the area where the paddy crop is drying up. He said they would collect raw food grains from the villagers during the procession and then cook food for a ‘Bhandara (community feast) at a local temple.
Crops dying due to lack of Rain
According to a report in India Today, it was mandatory for all villagers to participate in this ritual, which took place on Sunday, 5 September. In a video circulating online, a woman can be seen saying that the ritual will protect the paddy. Crop in Baniya, which was dying due to lack of rain. “We believe it will rain,” she can be heard saying.
Damoh Superintendent of Police (SP) DR Teniwar said, “The police had received information that some young girls were paraded naked to please the rain god as per the local custom and prevailing social evils.” Police are probing the incident. Action would be taken if it is found that girls are forced to be naked, he said, adding that villagers believe this practice may result in rain.
According to beliefs, young girls are forced to walk naked along a wooden shaft, to which frogs are tied on their shoulders. He said that the women accompanying these girls sing hymns to praise the god of rain. Damoh Collector S Krishna Chaitanya said that the local administration will submit a report in this regard to the NCPCR.