20 Tribal Children fall ill in Odisha after being branded

KalingaTV News Network

Dhenkanal: At least twenty tribal Children fell ill in Kamakhyanagar area in the district after being branded with a hot iron to cure stomach ailments on Monday.

According to reports, over 25 children aged between 2 and 10 years were branded with a hot iron on their stomach to cure their bloated belly by a traditional healer in the tribal dominant Thoriachhanda village under Bhuban police limits in the district today. Among them, twenty children fell ill due to burn injuries.

“Since there is no medical facility in and around our village, we depend on the traditional healer for the treatment of our children,” said Nrusingha Gerge a resident of the village while speaking to Kalinga TV. “The practice of branding to cure various stomach ailments is not uncommon in our area,” he added.

“The children were branded to treat vain disorder in their stomach, which can’t be diagnosed and cured in hospital,” claimed the traditional healer Kartik Jata .

“Branding is normally administered on the very next day of Makar Sankranti,” he added.

The local Sarpanch Suneli Nayak however told that there is a need of creating more awareness among the tribal people to prevent such harmful practices.

“The Shantali tribe in our region very often use the technique of branding the baby with hot iron to cure different diseases. It’s a traditional practice of these people,” Nayak said.

“I will visit the village along with the health officials and ask the people not to adopt such practice. I will also persuade them to visit hospital for the treatment of their children,” she added.

It is not an isolated case of this superstitious practice in Odisha. Last year several children died of burn injuries after they were branded with hot iron in various tribal dominant districts including Nabarangpur, Malkangiri and Keonjhar.

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