13-Year-Old Girl Dies After Fasting For 68 Days
In a heart-wrenching incident that occurred recently in Hyderabad, a 13-year-old Jain girl died after 68 days of fasting. Aaradhna, a class-eight student, was asked to observe fast. After fasting for 68 days, she passed away. Sadly, people are rejoicing her demise rather than looking at the incident proactively. At least 600 people attended her funeral procession hailing her as a ‘bal tapasvi’. The funeral procession was called a ‘Shobha Yatra’- a mark of celebration, as reported by NDTV, but nobody cared to know that why a 13-year-old girl was forced to observe fast for ten weeks.
As per the reports by Times of India, Aradhna, a 13-year-old Jain girl observed the “Chaturmas” fast on request of her parents. Aradhana’s father, Laxmichand Sansadiya, suffered a huge loss in his jewellery business. In a quest to recover from such loss, he approached a Chennai-based priest. The priest advised him to ask his daughter to observe the ‘Chaturmas’ fast. Her 10-week long fast ended on October 3 and it was celebrated with huge pomp and show at their house called ‘Paarana’. It was also attended by Padma Rao, Telangana minister from Secunderabad area.
After the celebration, she was rushed to a hospital because of dehydration and later slipped into a coma after a long period of starvation. Her intestine had dried up and both the kidneys were damaged.
“Aradhana completed her 68-day fast and did not display any problem related to her health. But perhaps due to a fall in blood pressure or other reasons, she died naturally. She took up the fast voluntarily and there was no pressure from the family on her to do so. In fact, last year, during the Chau mas period, she had fasted for 34 days,” Aradhana’s uncle Dinesh Jain told TOI.
According to Jain Religious leader, Santhara is for elderly people, who have lived their life and wanted renunciation. This is all done willingly and should not be imposed on people. He also said that the whole incident is a tragedy. He has also appealed people to take a lesson from it. Shanta Sinha, the Child rights activist, has demanded that a case should be registered and the Child Rights Commission must take action against this. A lot of questions are being raised now as of why the girl was forced to drop school to observe fast? How could his father recover losses by forcing his daughter to observe fast? Is it a tradition that only a girl or a woman is responsible for going through trials or observe fast to bring good luck in a family? Why didn’t the Telangana Minister probe into this matter earlier instead of rejoicing at the event?