A one-and-a-half-year-old boy suffering from fever was branded with a hot iron rod in MP’s Ratlam district, leaving him with serious burn injuries.
The toddler lives with his grandmother in Naya Tapra village, 15 km from Ratlam district headquarters. His father works as a labourer in Gujarat, while his mother stays with her family in the neighbouring Raoti village.
The incident came to light when the grandmother, Dewabai, 65, admitted the boy to a government hospital for children in Ratlam on Monday night.
Dewabai told the police and doctors that the boy, who is the youngest of three siblings, lives with her. On Saturday, he fell ill. As there was no doctor in her village, she took a bus to Ratlam where she met some “shepherds”.
They suggested her that the boy was suffering from convulsions and he could be cured by hot iron branding, she said.
Dewabai handed over her grandson to the shepherds, who branded him with an iron rod. But, this worsened his condition further. On Monday night, she took him to the Ratlam hospital for treatment.
Dr Tejsingh Dewda of the government hospital for children said the boy was brought to the hospital in a serious condition. “The doctors who were on duty immediately started the treatment and as a result, he is out of danger now. He will be fine in next 10 days,” Dewda said.
Police have not registered a case in the matter so far.
Hot iron branding or inflicting burns on the body as a remedy for various illnesses is still prevalent in rural parts of Madhya Pradesh, particularly in tribal-dominated districts like Jhabua, Alirajpur and Barwani.