A seven-year-old boy has been forced to marry a female dog – because his family believe it will ward off evil spirits.
Mukesh Kerayi lives in the deeply superstitious rural village of Manik Bazar, in eastern India. According to his parents and grandparents, his horoscope predicts his first wife will die young.
So in an effort to avoid such a tragedy, they put a bitch in a wedding dress and made it Mukesh’s first wife. Just like a normal wedding, villagers danced and cheered in celebration of the youngster and his new ‘bride’. The dog was reportedly kicked back onto the streets after the service.
Mukesh’s grandfather, Ashok Kumar Leyangi, 43, said: “We believe the marriage will ward off any bad omen attached the boy. This is traditional practice in our tribal community and we still believe in these old customs. We feel that it is our adult responsibility to keep our children safe and happy this way.” The Indian Government is still trying to educate rural and tribal communities that these acts of superstition is wrong.