Help Stop Chettikulanagara Temple From Conducting Banned Ritual On Children

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Chettikulanagara temple in Alappuzha, Kerala is preparing to conduct a ritual called 'Chooral Muriyal' as part of the 10-day Kumba Bharani festival on Feb 22, 2018. This ritual is being conducted in defiance of a ban imposed by the State Commission for Protection of Child Rights (KeSCPCR) in November 2016 on this regressive practice that is a blatant example of child abuse. The Hon'ble Kerala High Court had also upheld the ban order. Yet, the temple authorities are adamant to go ahead with it, with at least 24 children expected to be subjected to the ritual on that day.

A report in Deccan Chronicle by T Sudheesh (@sudheeshdc) on Feb 8 says, "As per rules, children below 8 bought from underprivileged families are used for the ritual.

Either side of the midrib of the child is pierced with a needle and golden strands are inserted by an Asan (master). The children are made to walk to the temple accompanied by cheering devotees and a cacophony of flute and slogans on the day of Bharani festival. When they reach the temple, the elders pull out the string from the bleeding fissures and offer it to the temple.

The KeSCPCR had banned the ritual following a complaint registered by an Alappuzha-based lawyer citing child rights violations. However, the temple conducted the ritual last year as well."

The children are brought from underprivileged families in exchange for money, sometimes as much as Rs. 1 lakh for the ten day ritual, and parents accept the money for the future of the family.

God can't be so merciless to accept such a ritual in His name.

We urge you to sign this petition and share it widely so that it reaches the Prime Minister (@PMOIndia) Ministry of Women & Child Development, GoI (@MinistryWCD), and Kerala Chief Minister (@vijayanpinarayi/@CMOKerala), and help put an end to this inhumane practice.