Terrified toddlers scream and sob as they are tossed from balconies in the name of religion.
It’s an age-old annual ritual carried in southern India, meant to bring participating infants good luck, health, and prosperity. Horrified children’s rights groups have labeled it ‘barbaric’ and want it banned by the Indian government.
The practice is believed to date back centuries and takes place across India – involving both Hindus and Muslims. Video of a ceremony in 2009 shows robed priests shaking frightened babies, before dropping them to the ground below, where locals are waiting with blankets to catch them.
When the children land safely, the crowd celebrates wildly, passing each infant around before returning them to their parents.
Participants argue that it’s their religious duty to attend the ceremonies. Some argue it creates an opportunity for fellowship and community.