In a remarkable instance of going way over the call of duty, two senior police officials in Chhattisgarh walked on burning coal to prove that this was a scientific rather than a supernatural exercise.
In front of a large group of villagers, who had gathered in the town of Bhatgaon, Vivekananda Sinha and Nitu Kamal poured water over their feet and walked on a carpet of burning coal without getting their feet singed, The Times of India reported today.
This exercise was part of a larger awareness program in which a team of experts from Nagpur are going to villages most affected by black magic and superstition, and educating people against medieval practices and beliefs.Superstition in rural communities drives many social ill such as the branding of women as witches, and those who claim to be witchdoctors have tremendous influence over people, often asking them to perform barbaric and senseless rituals. When struck down by disease or snakebites, villagers often go to see their local "bhopa" or "hooda" instead of the hospital.
After the two police officials had walked on coal, others including schools girls came forward to do it as well, TOI reported. "It was no rocket science to walk on the blazing coal, rather I walked twice, this gave confidence to people present there that it wasn't an impossible task," Sinha told the newspaper.
Kamal said, "Initially I was little scared but when I walked after pouring some water on my feet, it was very easy and I didn't feel anything. When no one turned up, it was my duty to take initiative and show that it's nothing beyond human reach. It's all trick that they play upon."
Walking on coal is possible because feet are poor conductors of heat, are in contact with the burning coal for hardly anytime, and are insulated by a layer of cooled charcoal.
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