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In Odisha village, 23 kids branded with hot iron for ‘healthy life’

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Nabarangpur: Superstition related to branding of children to cure them of common ailments refuses to stop in Odisha as a fresh case came to light today raising questions over effects of various awareness campaigns launched by the government against the practice.

In a shocking incident, as many as 23 children, including a seven-month-old were branded with hot iron in a village in Nabarangpur district by their respective parents. The reason: All the kids will live a good and healthy life in future.

The incident took place at Kadara Sahi village under Papadahandi block in the south-western Odisha.

Sources said the parents of the children, all are tribals, branded their kids with hot iron on the occasion of ‘Chitalagi Amabasya’ believing it will help their children to live a disease-free life. It is a common practice among tribal parents every year on the occasion ‘Chitalagi Amabasya’, sources added.

On being informed, a medical team from Papadahandi hospital, Anganwadi and ASHA workers rushed to the village and enquired about the health condition of the children.

Though no one was hospitalized, but all the kids were seen standing with a swollen stomach.

Last year, the Nabarangpur district administration had started Jyoti, an intensive health awareness campaign for the 4300-odd traditional healers against the ill-effects of branding and other traditional healing practices.

It’s not just Nabarangpur, the practice is rampant even in remote areas of other districts.