Self-proclaimed Godmen, exorcism rituals, and superstitions are like epidemics that plague our country. Mental illness or something even as trivial as fever is often blamed on bad omens or evil spirits. Treating women as untouchable, shunning them from entering the main house during menstruation is a part of these patriarchal and regressive mindsets.
One such example is a small village called Bhilwara, located in the remotest area of Rajasthan. There, women are made to drink water from shoes as a practice of liberating them from evil spirits.
In the name of curing them, local priest or healers make them carry shoes in their hands, mouth, and heads for miles, drinking water from those shoes, and then be dragged down 200 stairs of the temple.
Many young girls are subjected to this inhuman treatment as well. Mental health experts say that these practices can take a toll on their mental and physical health, exposing them to long-term emotional and psychological damage.
Lack of education, health facilities, and patriarchal society are the key factors endorsing such acts that usually make women an easy target.
We are living in a society where we talk about empowering women, motivating them to achieve new heights for a better living and take an oath to make a gender-neutral community concurrently with the above ill-founded practices. Is this empowered India?
Empowering a country takes place with the empowerment of every individual irrespective of gender, caste, and religion and this can only happen with proper education and health facilities provided even to the remotest areas of our country.