Kozhikode: In a bizarre incident, a three-year-old child dressed as Lord Krishna was tied to an artificial peepal leaf for nearly two and half hours during the Lord Krishna birth celebrations conducted in Kerala. A photograph of the child clicked during a procession in Payyannur on Tuesday has sparked outrage in the state.
The incident came to fore after Sreekant Usha Prabhakaran, a resident of Payyannur posted a photograph of the child on Facebook.
“I saw this little kid dressed up as Krishna and he was tied to an artificial peepal leaf for hours atop a vehicle during the procession organised by the Vivekanandan Seva Samiti,” he said.
Sreekant Usha Prabhakaran said initially he thought it was a statue but when he saw the child moving, shaking his head to avoid sunlight, he was alarmed. He said he instantly rang up Childline to convey the information but their response was cold.
"The person who picked up the phone said Childline has informed authorities concerned. I then posted the photograph on Facebook with my comments," Sreekant Usha Prabhakaran said.
“The procession with many vehicles of the Seva Samithi, began in the afternoon from near Payyannur New Bus Stand and had children dressed up in various styles. The photograph is that of a child dressed as Krishna and sleeping on a peepal leaf in one of the vehicles,” the Facebook post along with the picture said.
“Children standing in the procession had to bear the sunlight for hours. When I first saw the child, I thought it was a statue. Then I saw the child moving his hands and legs. The waist of the child seemed tied up to the leaf. The visual of the child lying down like this, with his head resting on a side to avoid sunlight reminded me of crucified Jesus,” the post said.
The post further said, "The person who picked up the phone asked me whether the child or his parents have any complaint. After some time, the call was transferred to Kannur Childline and I was able to talk to the woman who is in charge of Payannur. When I asked her to visit the spot, she said that it was not their duty, but what they do is only informing the authorities concerned.”
However, Amrutha KP Coordinator of Childline in Payyanur said as soon as they received the call, they enquired about the incident and found that the child was safe. She said the procession would have halted if the child was harmed and there was anything that would hurt him.
The picture has triggered debates on the social media with many people coming out against it.