The NHRC has sent a notice to the Karanataka government over the alleged practice, in some parts of the state, of neck-deep burying of children in compost pits to find cure for their deformities, officials said on Monday.
The Commission has observed that the ritual appears “weird, unethical and cruel towards poor kids, who are being treated with indignity in the name of faith,” the rights” body said in a statement.
“The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has taken suo motu cognisance of a media report that children with special needs were buried neck-deep in compost pits in Kalaburgi, Karnataka under the belief that exposure to sharp rays during a solar eclipse will cure them of their deformities,” it said.
The incidents were reported from three villages in the district — Taj-Sultanpur on the outskirts of Kalaburgi town and Ainolli and Gadi-Lingadalli villages in Chincholi Taluk, it said.
Reportedly, following a tip-off, the district child protection task force had rescued the children and reunited them with their families after a medical examination, the rights panel said.
The Commission has observed that such rituals tantamount to violation of human rights of the victim children. There is a need to sensitise the authorities as well as the parents of such children not to victimise the young ones in the name of blind faith, it added.
Accordingly, the NHRC has issued a notice to the Karnataka government through its chief secretary, seeking a detailed report.
“The Commission would like to know that whether, apart from Kalaburgi, this inhuman practice is prevalent in other districts of the State, if so, what action is being taken by the authorities,” the statement said.
The report must include if the state government has issued any guidelines with regard to the subject and status of its implementation. The response is expected within six weeks. The chief secretary of the state is expected to look into the matter personally, the statement said.
Issuing the notice, the Commission has also observed that “due to spread of COVID-19, social distancing is being maintained and it is not advisable to organise awareness camps etc. in the villages but through local authorities, with the help of media and various digital modes like video conferencing etc., the awareness with regard to the ill practice and its impact on the tender minds of the children is required to be created amongst the public at large”.