In Maharashtra devotees hurl children from height for good health

Last Updated: Fri, Oct 15, 2010 12:20 hrs

As part of a ritual in a temple in Maharashtra's Jalna town, children were hurled from a height of 40 feet in the belief that it would enhance the kids' physical health and stamina.

The temples in Jalna town have witnessed the tradition of hurling young children for two centuries, but now, the height from which they were thrown has been decreased to five feet.

Hundreds of devotees took part in the ritual on Friday during Navratri.

The ritual is carried out by the temple priest, who throws the child to land safely in the hands of devotees waiting underneath, holding a cloth.

"This tradition of hurling children is almost 500 years old. This is faith of the devotees and not a superstition. We didn't stop this tradition because we can't hurt the feeling of devotees," said Dwarkanath Waghmare, a priest.

"Earlier, we used to throw children on the cloth from a height 40 feet but now it has been decreased to a height of five-six feet. We cannot stop this tradition but we have decreased the height," he added.

Normally, children from the age of two months to four years are the ones being hurled.

"The devotees have faith that people who don't have children come here for praying and when the child is born, they hurl their child in the arms of the goddess on the seventh day of Navaratri. Earlier, they used to throw the child from a height of 20-40 feet but now the height has been decreased," said Chandni, a devotee. By Abdul Hadi(ANI)

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