Shocked by 13-year-old Jain girl Aradhana Samdhariya’s death after fasting for 68 days, the Jain community in Hyderabad and Secunderabad on Monday decided to issue informal guidelines to the community to prohibit and discourage minors from undertaking strict fasting in which they survive only on boiled water.
At a meeting of the Jain Seva Sangh, the biggest Jain organisation in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, it was decided to issue instructions to parents to not force, or even encourage, minors to undertake fasting. An announcement is expected to be made by Hyderabad-based religious head Guru Bhagwan Ravindramuniji at the Kacheguda Sthanak on Tuesday.
Aradhana died in the early hours of October 4, two days after she broke her fast. At the meeting, the Seva Sangh also decided to back Aradhana’s family in the abetment to suicide case registered against them by the police.
Ashok Sanklecha, the organisation’s president,“We are telling the community to be careful with minors. They should not be allowed to go on fasts for weeks. It should not become a competition,” he told The Indian Express.
About backing Aradhana’s family in the police case, Sanklecha said, “Blaming her parents without understanding the background and the religious significance is unfair.”