Source: Couponraja

Just the idea of tossing a child from a height of 50 feet can make anyone feel dreadful. However, in some parts of India, tossing babies from this much height is considered a blessing. This custom is followed at holy places like Baba Umer Dargah and Shri Santeswar Temple. Even after confronting a lot of criticism, the devotees feel that tossing a baby into the air can bring health, prosperity, and good luck.

This custom is followed in numerous parts of India. This custom indicates how far people would go to show their religious faith. Some families in rural India, both Hindu and Muslim are willing to let their infants be tossed off from the roof of a temple or a mosque, to be caught in a stretched bedsheet about 30 to 50 feet below. While the origin of this ritual is not known clearly, it is believed that it began during the times when the infant mortality rate was extremely high and there was a lack of healthcare facilities in India. Due to a lack of knowledge about medical advancements, death causes, and blind belief in priests and rituals, people turned towards priests and their superstitions. The parents of the dying babies were advised by a priest to build a temple and throw their dying baby from the roof. If the parents truly believed and trusted in God, a magical sheet would appear in mid-air for their safety. And accordingly, this weird ritual was started. However, there are no reported mortality or injuries of children from this ritual.

In recent times, the ritual of baby tossing has come to be some kind of celebration. It no longer is related to dying or suffering children but rather is a celebration in a few parts of India. The followers of this ritual strongly believe that it is their religious duty to follow this ritual. A priest begins this process by shaking the baby a few times and then dropping it down from a 30-50 feet height and a group of men stand down with a bedsheet for the safe landing of the baby. After the baby lands on the sheet, the crowd, and relatives of the baby celebrate, sing, and dance, and pass the baby around, before returning the baby to their mother.

Source: The New York times

Devotees believe that this ritual brings prosperity and health. Many couples participate in this ritual in the hope that they will be blessed with their children. People easily agree to toss their children for the sake of happiness and Good luck. But this ritual can be risky, and it can also become a traumatic experience for some mothers and their babies.

This ritual came into the eyes of the law in 2009, when a video got viral which was recorded at the Baba Umer Dargah, a mosque in Solapur, Maharashtra. The National Commission for Child Rights intervened in this matter and ordered that the baby-tossing ritual should be stopped. Mr. G. Mohanty, a media adviser of this commission said that “We do not support this superstitious practice.”, “It is against the interest of the children. They may be really scared, and nobody knows how it affects their psyche”, he added. There are no official complaints against the baby-tossing rituals since 2010. But numerous people have witnessed and experienced this ritual in small villages.

This unusual ritual was created to figure out the problem of infant mortality. But the advancing medical facilities in India significantly cuts down the infant mortality rate when compared to 700 years ago. Mandatory vaccinations for polio, chickenpox, hepatitis, influenza, rubella, etc. are continually available in India with several awareness campaigns to take the vaccinations. But still, this baby-tossing ritual exists in the small rural parts of India without anyone knowing. The blind belief of some people on these weird religious customs will continue the rituals like baby-tossing even after the world-class technology and health care services are being offered.



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