Teenage girls running naked to cure their fertility problems

Saturday, May 22, 2010
From the Hindu, (April 2002)

Vijayawada April 24. Kokuntla village is just 35 km from the much hyped Hitech City but bizarre things like teenaged girls running naked, or an entire village population of 3,000 going into mass hiccups happen here.

A fortnight ago about 20 young girls, almost all of them in their teens, ran naked in the village. The reason, the local self-styled witch doctor suggested such a "propitious'' act as most of the women were suffering from some gynaec problem or the other. And after performing such strange rituals, the villagers again shells out Rs. 2,000-3,000 each to the witch doctor as fee.

Team of doctors investigate the superstition
Mr. Vijayam was among the eight members from Vijayawada's Atheist Centre who went round over a dozen villages of Ranga Reddy district on April 20-21 at the invitation of the District Superintendent of Police, Ramachandra Raju. The team was led by G. Samaram, a prominent physician here.

``The 20 young girls ran around the village naked were examined by the team and it was found that many of them were suffering from anaemia or other gynaecological problems,'' said Mr. Vijayam.

According to another team member, some of the women have illicit affairs. But their husbands choose to overlook the same under the notion that nothing can be done as the women are under the spell of "Bhanamathi''

More stupidity
At Anantagiripally in Vikarabad, two men and a woman were tied upside down to trees and made to pull out each other's teeth on the suspicion that they were performing black magic.These are not isolated cases as such incidents are common in most villages in the districts besides the adjoining districts of Medak, Nizamabad and Nalgonda.

Lack of proper medical/physchological care
Says head of the delegation, Dr. Samaram, "Some of the villagers have stomachache, schizophrenia or joint pains, but in the absence of medical facilities the villagers approach the witch doctors who mislead them.

Abject poverty, illiteracy, lack of basic medical facilities are the main reasons for these superstitions among the villagers, Mr. Vijayam added

Text quoted from,


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