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Why mums roll children in cow dung in bizarre ritual in India

 Children being rolled in the dung Photo: Courtesy

Young babies and children are dipped and rolled in cow dung by their parents in a bizarre Indian ritual designed to bring them luck.

Footage of the quirky practice shows small children sitting in mounds of cow pat as their bare-footed mothers stand around ensuring none escape.

Carried out for centuries, the women claim the tradition brings their children good health and positivity.

Before the odd ritual the women perform a special Hindu prayer called the ‘Gowardhan Pooja’.

But despite the perceived benefits, the youngsters appear visibly upset, screaming and crying while surrounded by the excrement and constantly trying to leave.

The ritual is practised by residents of Betul, in the Madhya Pradesh region

Their parents keep putting them back on the pile and binging more children to roll around on the mountain of dung, which they covered with decorative orange flowers.

The ritual, practised by residents of Betul, in the Madhya Pradesh region, takes place every year the day after Diwali on November 2.

Mothers believe that dipping their children in the cow waste will bring them good luck and protect them against diseases.

Dr Mangilal Rathore, a general surgeon at Pooja Hospital in Betul said: “It is an old practice followed by a particular community here.

 “I would not criticise it but at the same time I would not advise it as it could be seriously dangerous for the children, especially if they have some wounds or open injuries.

“The bacteria in cow dung could also harm the sensitive skin of children.”

The cow is a sacred animal in Hindu culture, with preachers claiming its urine and dung has medicinal properties, and the slaughter of the animal is banned in certain parts of the country.

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