Following the death of a month-old baby, after the newborn and the mother were made to stay in a hut outside their Gollarahatti village in Tumakuru district, in accordance with a tradition in the Kadugolla community, an FIR has been filed against the baby’s father and grandfather.
Last month, Vasantha, wife of Siddesh, gave birth to twins at the Tumakuru district hospital. The baby boy died during delivery. The mother, who returned home with the newborn baby girl, was made to stay in a hut outside the village, as they were considered sutaka (impure).
After the child developed fever, the Department of Women and Child Development took the mother and the baby to the district hospital where the infant died in the incentive care unit.
As per the direction given by the High Court and the Karnataka State Legal Services Authority, district court judge and member secretary of the District Legal Service Authority Nurunnisa visited Gollarahatti and ordered the filing of a complaint against the father and grandfather of the infant.
On the basis of the complaint given by Rajashri R. Mang, Child Development Project Officer, the Kora police have booked an FIR against Siddesh, father of the deceased infant and grandfather Chikkahuligappa.
Meanwhile, Sridhar, Deputy Director of the Department of Women and Child Development, said, “We visited Gollarahatti and impressed upon them the need to forgo such practices.”
However, members of the Kadugolla community alleged that the district administration had failed to create awareness against the practice.
Chikkanna, a Kadugolla community member from Tumakuru, said, “Majority of Kadugolla community people live in Tumakuru and Chitradurga. Many people, even the educated, practise the custom. The administration has failed to create awareness among the community. They visit the place only when such incidents take place.”
Basava Ramananda Swamiji of Sri Vanakallu Mutt, Bengaluru Rural district, said Kadugolla is a tribal and nomadic community that once lived in forests. To avoid infection, they would keep newborn babies, mothers and menstruating women separate. “Now, due to the lack of separate rooms and toilets, some people keep the newborn and mother in a hut outside the village. For many years we have been trying to create awareness in the community,” he said.