Odishatv Bureau

Keonjhar: In yet another display of superstition-based inhuman behaviour in the rural areas, a five-year-old boy was branded with hot iron by family members to cure stomach ailments here in the district on Friday. This is 11th case reported in a span of two months.

According to sources, the incident occurred in Kundurupanu village under Joda block when the child, Deepak Lohar complained of severe stomach ache. Instead of taking him to the hospital, the family members, as per the advice of villagers, branded him with a hot iron rod.

The child was admitted to Champua Hospital with serious burn injuries in the stomach area, and later shifted to the District Headquarters Hospital (DHH) as his condition deteriorated. Critical, the infant is undergoing treatment at the child ward of the DHH.

“The infant has been diagnosed with cerebral malaria due to which his stomach had swollen but his parents branded him with hot iron. He has gained consciousness and his condition is showing signs of improvement after treatment,” said Keonjhar DHH Child Specialist PK Mahakud.

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The practice of branding children with hot iron to cure ailments is rampant in remote areas of the State and instead of taking medical help, the families resort to miracle healing.