Somatirtha Purohit

In a shocking incident, at least 60 families at a village were socially boycotted by other villagers due to fear of spreading of an unidentified skin infection in Kendrapara district of Odisha.

As per reports, around 400 people residing at Munda Sahi of Magurganda Patna were barred from moving out. Members of most of these families earn their livelihood by working as daily wage labourers. 

As their movement has been restricted by the fellow villagers, it has become difficult for them to have one square meal a day.

Sources said the chronology of these incidents began when one Lalu died due to skin disease. Lalu was working in Bangalore as daily wage worker and returned home due to the disease.

After the incident, fearing that the infection would spread, the villagers socially boycotted the families residing in that locality.

According to locals, they were not allowed to buy groceries and other regular items.

“They are not allowing us to walk in the market and prohibiting us from our daily jobs. We are unable to fetch water for our daily needs,” said a villager.

Meanwhile, Nirmala Mohanty, Zilla Parishad member said that it is wrong to boycott someone without having proper knowledge about the disease.

“They are not confirmed that the infection is monkeypox or any other disease. I have contacted the local administration and asked for their help,” the ZP member said.

When asked about the incident, the district collector said a medical team will be sent to the locality for proper investigation and treatment of the infected persons will begin soon.

“The medical team will ascertain, whether the infection has spread to any other family member or not. Things will be clear after proper investigation,” Amrit Ruturaj, Kendrapara district collector said. 

He emphasised that the locals will be made aware of the skin disease, its symptoms and cure. He advised locals not to be afraid of infection.