28-day-old infant critical after being branded with hot iron

Telkoi: Despite State government’s claims that steps are being taken to create awareness to curb superstitious practices like hot iron branding, three more children including a 28-day-old infant have fallen prey to such regressive practice in the State.

In Telkoi block of Keonjhar district, three children were branded with hot iron to cure them off ailments. As per reports, 28-day-old daughter of one Tuni Juanga of Juanga Sahi under Bimala panchayat in Telkoi was branded with hot iron following which the infant was critically injured. As the health condition of the baby deteriorated, an ASHA worker took her to the nearby hospital in an ambulance.

“I took medicine for the child to cure the ailments. However my mother-in-law branded her with hot iron,” said Tuni.

In another case, another woman Minjari Juanga branded her one-and -a-half year old daughter with hot iron to save her from lightning strike. “As per the tradition, I have given ‘chenka’ (branding with hot iron) to my child. But, no one stopped us.”

A few days back, another two-month-old baby boy was branded with hot iron to cure his ailments.

“The parents are not taking their children to the hospital despite awareness campaigns. They are not paying any heed,” said Hemalata Mahanta, ASHA worker of Tangiri.