As Covid-19 pandemic continues to ravage several parts of the country for over a year, a village in Karnataka’s Mandya district has resorted to a superstitious practice to ward off the deadly coronavirus infection. Villagers of Koppa Hobli in Maddur Taluk in the district have erected an idol made of mud and named it ‘Corona Amma’ (Mother Corona).
To appease the idol of ‘Corona Amma’ smeared in vermillion and decorated with flowers, the villagers have sacrificed sheep and roosters to it as they believe that the pandemic will end by such offerings. The villagers worship the mud made idol and appeals it to move the pandemic to the next village.
Once the villagers finish the superstitious rituals, they take the idol to the border of the village and walk back to their respective homes.
From there on, the locals of the next village come and carry the idol to their village. They also repeat the superstitious customs. Until now, the mud idol of ‘Corona Amma’ has travelled through Nagamangala, KG Koppalu and Taramanakatte villages of Maddur Taluk and the journey is still on.
Speaking to a shopkeeper Prashanth Kumara in the village, he said, “I have lived all my life in this village. If everyone in our village believes that this ritual can help us suffer less, then I join them in this. We have all suffered a lot in past one and a half years. Entire world has suffered, we cannot continue like this. If our belief and God’s mercy can give some strength, then we will embrace it with all our will.”
“Gods have always protected us. This is not the first time an entire village is coming forward for such a cause. Even when I was a young girl, I remember everyone performing mass puja for the sake of good health of the children in village. Then, measles was a huge problem and kids were dying in large numbers. The village deity had protected all the children and that’s how I am alive. If Coronamma can protect our children and grand children I don’t see anything wrong in worshipping her. In fact, everyone will know her power soon… mark my words,” claimed Hanumanthamma, a woman who lives in the same village.
Last year, there was another incident from North Karnataka’s Hulikere village where people made a wooden idol and called it ‘Corona Amma’ and took it on a procession through the lanes of the village to wade off the pandemic.
This is not the first time when people in Karnataka have resorted to such superstitious beliefs. Earlier, ‘Plague Amma’ and ‘Maari Amma’ were also made to end certain diseases.