Updated: August 15, 2021 7:53:43 am
Though Hema Ingale was initially reluctant to cut off her matted hair (jat), her daughter and son-in-law were anxious to ensure that she was freed of the superstition. They contacted Nandini Jadhav and her team, the Maharashtra Andhashraddha Nirmulan Samiti (MANS), who managed to convince Ingale to cut off her matted hair which she had maintained for the last five and a half years. Jadhav has said that Ingale was the 201st woman she had helped get rid of her matted hair.
Founded by slain rationalist Dr Narendra Dabholkar who was murdered in Pune on August 20, 2013, MANS has over the years helped many such women get rid of matted hair.
Ingale came to Dehu Road a couple of days ago, where Jadgav cut off her matted hair in the presence of activists Anjali Deshmukh, Appasaheb Ingle and Navnath Marathe.
Jadhav and her team said many women in the state are vulnerable to the superstitious belief that they are special because of their naturally matted hair. Many of these women are influenced by religious gurus who convince them that their matted hair is of religious significance and getting rid of it can lead to disastrous consequences.
On receiving information about such women, Nandini counsels and convinces them to get rid of their matted hair. The team believes that the ‘Jat Nirmulan’ exercise can also help these women conquer their superstitious beliefs.
Before Ingale, Jadhav and her team, comprising activists Milind Deshmukh, Rajesh Kankariya, Shriram Nalawade, Vijay Surve and Subhash Solanki, helped 45-year-old Pune resident Shalini Nikalje get rid of her matted hair. Nikalje’s son Kishor had contacted Jadhav after coming to know about her work through social media.
“Shalini had kept her matted hair for the last six years and she was facing multiple medical issues due to it. Also, due to her matted hair, she was not being invited to any family events. Her children were also facing problems in getting married. But a self-proclaimed guru had warned her that if she cuts off her matted hair, something bad will happen to her children. We counselled her for about three months and finally convinced her to cut off her matted hair,” said Jadhav.
Shalini said, “I am feeling much better now. I was suffering from headaches and also problems with my eyesight due to my hair.”
Jadhav said that the ‘Jat Nirmulan’ movement will continue. “We appeal to the people not to believe in any superstitions associated with matted hair. This is a totally wrong practice due to which many women in our society are facing severe problems,” she added.
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