Minor girls paraded naked in India’s rain ritual
File: Photo of villagers pouring cold water over a child to evoke rain
As they walked through the village, women walked beside them singing songs of praise to the rain god.
The girls stopped at each house and begged for foodstuffs, such as bread and flour, which was then donated to a bhandara, or community kitchen, that had been set up in front of the village temple.
Damoh District Collector S Krishna Chaitanya told reporters that the girls' parents had given permission for their children to take part in the horrific ritual and in some cases had even joined in.
He said that there was little that local government can do in these cases. "The administration can only make the villagers aware about the futility of such superstition and make them understand that such practices don’t yield desired results," he said.
Nevertheless, a major Indian children’s rights group, the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights, has demanded a full explanation from local government officials.
Regional Police Chief, DR Teniwar, told reporters that the videos surfaced on Indian social media networks, showing the girls walking naked with a frog tied to a wooden shaft on their shoulders. “We received information that some young girls were paraded naked to appease rain gods, as part of a long-held superstition and prevailing social evils.”