Konark: Despite restriction imposed by the district administration, hundreds of devotees on Saturday half-buried their physically challenged children in sand at Nabagraha temple (Nine planets) here in Puri district and offered puja for their early recovery.
It is believed that if parents burry their children in the sand near the holy temple on every Saturday of Odia month of Kartik, Magha and Baisakha on the occasion of ‘Pali Yatra’, their kids get well.
Taking a strong note of the ‘inhuman’ practice, Odisha Human Rights Commission (OHRC) registered a case in this regard. Following the directive of the commission, Gop tehsildar had issued a notification, asking the people not to follow the practice.
On the other hand, devotees and priest of the temple have opposed such move of the administration.
“We are not torturing our kids by burying them. This is our belief. I have taken my child to many places for treatment. Finding no signs of improvement I brought him here and I hope he would be cured”, Laxmi, a devotee, said
Echoing same voice another devotee Jaya Krushna Sahoo said, “Since her birth my girl was unable to walk. But after I performed puja and buried her here she started walking. If government opposes this ritual then it will be a loss for us.”
Kali Prasad Padhi, priest of Nabaghra temple said, “It is the belief of the devotees. They are following the practice on their own. Nobody can change them”.