Rats of Shah doula: Genetic Disorder or abusive religious ritual

Unfortunate kids abandoned due to mere superstitions are generally refers as Rats of Shah Doula. If this horrendous act can stop these kids can be fruitful citizen of society.

South Asia is unfortunately a hub of weird superstitions and traditions. Some of them are brutal and atrocious but they observed in the name of religion. One of them is Rats of Shah Doula. Kids are mentally unstable and their heads are deformed. They suffered from a disease called Microcephaly. It started in 1800s after an infertile woman blessed with a kid after offering prayer in the shrine. The main shrine is in Gujrat city Pakistan. It is after the pious man named Hazrat Syed Kabeeruddin Shahdaula.

He was born in 1581 in a very noble house of the city. He lost his parents in a tender age. Then he went to Sialkot and later he came back to his native city. He was a very religious man, with the passage of time he starts getting fame. People asks him to pray on their behalf and Allah Almighty use to bless them with acceptance. Once an infertile lady asks him to pray for her to get a kid. She blessed with a baby boy. She offered him to the shrine in the form of gratitude. It says that the boy’s head was deformed and later Dole Shah kay choohay or Rats of Shah doula came into existence.

Legends about this tradition

Various legends found in this manner. One of them when people blessed with kids they have to offer their first born to the shrine because of deformation or a chooha. Another misconception is if they do not offer their kid to shrine their rest of kids are born as rats. One of the most absurd legend is if a couple had a rat kid and they do not left him at shrine. That kid along with other rat kids found their way to the shrine themselves.

Because of these weird superstitions the beggar mafia is active near the shrine. It also said that when these kids came they are normal. But a metal ring or iron band placed on their heads. This practice stops the growth of their head and brain. This causes the formation of rat kids. Later they taken by mafia on contract basis. They used for begging and other stuff. Refusing to these kids considered badluck that’s why they can be really useful. They returned back to shrine when contract expires. These poor kids are exploited both physically and sexually. Because they know they can talk. Average income of these kids estimated in 400 to 500 pkr per day.

Genetic Disorder or a curse

A thorough study has done in this scenario. Doctors says that there is no evident of genetic disorder or history in these kids. If this disorder runs in the family then it can affect baby. Doctors also says it is a mix of Down syndrome and Microcephaly. There are no proper evidence of these findings but fate of these kids are unfortunate and sad. There are almost 10,000 rat kids resides allover Pakistan. They used for begging and so far there is no future for them.

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