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Rat-headed children of pakistan

The sight of shrunken head children with ears resembling those of rats, begging in towns and cities of Pakistan, is not unique. The story behind their short stature, miniature skulls and incoherent uttering is shameful and shocking.

Popularly known as “RATS OF SHAH DAULA” these children are an unfortunate product of superstition. According to centuries old belief, if a woman was barren and she prayed at the shrine of Shah Daula located in the city of Gujarat, she would became fertile. But unless  she offers her first born child in service of the saint , all subsequent children would be born with a head similar to that of a mouse. Therefore, couples seeking the saint’s blessing promise to donate the granted child. These ordinary infants are subjected to torture when their skull caps are fitted with metal to cease the brain’s development. As a consequence, they grow up having small conical heads with a fully grown body. They only reach the intellectual maturation equivalent to a seven year old ; Microcephaly’s.

Afterwards, these ‘Rat Children’ are handed over to the beggar mafia. Due to prominent deformity and impaired intellect, they receive massive sympathy and abundant alms from the privileged. Some people also believe that this‘Rodent Population’ has supernatural powers.

According to an estimate there are about 10,000 ‘rat children’ in our country. The cult of Saint Shah Daula and the shrine’s associates deny the man-made, artificial creation of human rats. Since these children belong to different families and areas, scientists don’t consider consanguineous marriages responsible for their faulty genes.  The research is not promoted due to religious sensitivities.  Therefore the existence of these rat children in such a large quantity, is still a mystery.

In 1960 the Auqaf Department took over the shrine. The Ministry Of Religious Affairs claims to have stopped the deliberate deformation of children since then. However, more efforts are needed to completely eradicate this monstrosity.

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