25 children branded with hot iron in Dhenkanal

Dhenkanal: The superstitious practice of hot iron branding has assumed alarming proportions in Odisha with reports of more than 25 children subjected to the torture surfacing in Dhenkanal district today.

Sources said the villagers of Mathkargola Panchayat believe that children will not be affected with any disease if they are administered hot iron branding on the day after Makar Sankranti. Hence, large number of  people come to Thoria Chhanda village under Bhuban block in the district for iron branding on the day every year.

As per latest reports, over 25 children were branded with hot iron by their family members at Thoria Chhanda village as a cure for various stomach ailments. From newborns to five-year-old children, family members branded their children with hot iron and copper rods.

On  the other hand, Mathkargola Sarpanch said he is not aware of the incident.

“I did not know that children are branded with hot iron. I will definitely visit the spot and try my best to stop the ill practice in the area,” said Sarpanch Suneli Nayak.

Kartik Jada, a villager, said, “Our forefathers used to perform the practice on the day after Makar Sankranti every year. We are just following suit.”