Marudevi Ammal, an 83-year-old woman chose to observe ‘santhara’, a Jain ritual where one voluntarily fasts unto death. Recently, the Supreme Court stayed Rajasthan HC’s verdict that penalized ‘santhara’ after a PIL was filed.
Marudevi has been fasting for the past 40 days in a remote village, Thensenthamangalam of Tiruvannamalai district.
According to the elders of the Jain community, Marudevi would be the first to perform the ritual in Tamil Nadu.
Santhara or Sallekhanā, is an ancient ritual practiced by the Jains and is particularly meant for people struggling from incurable diseases, disabilities or people who are nearing their end.